Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub
Over the last few years, resumes have changed. No longer can you just have one resume for very job opportunity. Today, each job application requires a customized resume containing the pertinent information to the position while still clean, concise and easy to read. Keeping a ‘master resume’ with your job history and all your accomplishments is a must. This will allow you to easily pull the appropriate information to customize any resume without recreating it each time.
Your resume must:
1. Have just the pertinent information.
2. Be customized for each job.
3. Be strategic in content.
4. Have the most relevant information at the top of every section.
5. Be concise, have white space and be easy to read/scan.
6. Be applicant tracking system (ATS) ready – no headers/footers, graphs, color etc.
7. Not have old, outdated material.
8. Include appropriate keywords.
9. Use bullet points to make it easier to read.
10. Be error free.
There are four basic resume styles: Chronological, Functional, Combination and Targeted.
A chronological resume includes a listing of your work history, beginning with your most recent job. This is a great format for your master resume.
A functional resume highlights your major skills areas.
A combination resume utilizes parts of both the functional and chronological resumes. It lists skills on tope followed by the work history.
A targeted resume focuses on specific abilities and duties that relate directly to a particular job. This is the most favored resume style.
The typeface you choose for your resume is very important. Your resume needs to be as clear and concise as possible. It will be read on many types of devices from desktops to mobile phones. Sans-serif typefaces are best for small screens and the easiest to read on all screens. You can search for san-serif fonts, but here are some of the most common:
Times New Roman
What Goes On Your Resume?
1. Your name, address, telephone numbers and email address. Identify your phone numbers if you are putting more than one (cell, business, home, message etc.) If you are looking for a job in a different locale and want to be relocated, put your full address on the top, as usual. If you are looking for a position where you have a residence or place to stay lined up, leave off your address or use the address at the location. Also, remember to check the email and voice mail you list regularly.
2. In your work history, put the company/agency name with a short explanation of the nature of the organization. Hiring managers might not be familiar with your employer or you might be working in a specific product unit.
3. If you are looking for work in a PR or Advertising agency, list your clients or account expertise.
4. Under education, list the school and degree.
5. If you are fluent in a language or have knowledge of specific or technical computer programs, list them.
6. Current Board/Committee memberships can show your interest in a field or philanthropic area. List them.
What Does Not Go On Your Resume?
1. Don’t list any personal information such as birthdays, marital status etc. While common practice outside of the US, it is not legal here.
2. Keep the names of your references on a separate sheet and give them out when asked.
3. Salary information does not belong on the resume. If a job ad asks for salary history, it should go in your cover letter.
4. Don’t include any activities that are not relevant. You can always make a separate addendum page if you want them.
5. The phrase, “References available on request” is outdated.
Your Resume Summary vs. an Objective:
One of the most difficult parts of a resume seems to be the Summary/Objective. Here are some tips to help you decide which to use and what to include:
Use an objective if you are looking for a specific opportunity or an opportunity within a specific discipline.
–A senior-level communications/finance/marketing etc. position with a global healthcare company.
–Social and digital media specialist position within a consumer environment.
–Interested in furthering my career with an agency focusing on international public affairs.
Summary paragraphs are better for experienced, multi-disciplines professionals.
–Extensive management experience in (field), including work with a global consumer products company and a major financial services company.
–Over 10 years of experience in (field) with a special emphasis directing financial communications, social and digital media and issues management.
–Fifteen years of experience in investor relations. Industries include: (list industries)
When writing your Objective/Summary, remember:
–It’s ok not to have one.
–An Objective should be as specific as possible.
–Be brief and to-the-point.
–Ideally 2 to 3 sentences.
–Include the keywords you want to highlight.
When writing your Resume, remember to:
1. Eliminate pronouns. Resumes should not include I, he/she.
2. Tailor your summary to the position you are applying.
3. Don’t include non-sequitur information.
4. Use bullet points to make it easier to read.
5. Avoid jargon/buzzwords.
6. Do not include personal information.
7. If you feel your resume is too long, eliminate from the bottom. You don’t really need bullet points for your first jobs.
8. Include as many keywords as possible.
Words Not To Include On Your Resume:
Unnecessary words that don’t add anything, describe anything or showcase your writing ability should be eliminated from your resume. You want to be clear and concise so eliminate words like:
Works well with
Good communication skills
Good work ethic
Words to Add To Your Resume:
Customizing Your Resume:
Tailoring your resume to ‘get’ the interview is what you want to do. You can’t accomplish this with one resume. Every hiring manager/recruiter is looking for different skills depending on the position. That’s why it is so important to customize your resume for each job. It might sound tedious and time-consuming but it can be done easily.
Have a master resume with everything you’ve ever done to pull from. Then hunt for keywords within the ad or description. Also not how many times a specific keyword is mentioned. The more it is mentioned, the more important it is. Then look for job skills. While keywords are usually disciplines, job skills will further refine the opportunity – managing, supervising, writing/editing. Use the keywords and skills in your resume.
Applicant Tracking Systems:
Your resume will probably go through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). When you answer an online ad or submit your resume online, it will go through an ATS. All applicant tracking systems basically work the same. They use a ‘parser’ to read the information in your resume.
The parser will read the information that has been keyed into the system. In most cases, these are the keywords and skills listed in the job description/ad. So you must use the exact terminology in the ad.
Sending Your Resume:
It’s a digital world when it comes to job hunting so your resumes will be sent electronically.
Transmitting your resume with a generic name can cause it to be overlooked or to get lost in the system. Be professional and name your resume file properly. You want hiring managers to know it’s your resume and make it easier to track through their email system.
1. Use either a PDF or Microsoft Word Format.
2. Personalize your file by adding your name – MarieRapertoResume.
3. Don’t use a version number. Just keep it simple.