I am constantly amazed by how badly people portray themselves in a resume. Failure to put considerable time and effort into correctly writing this critical document could cause you to lose out on opportunities.
Many of my clients secure my services after spending fruitless hours attempting to write their own resume. Others seek me out because they have no wish to risk their chance of employment by presenting a sloppy résumé, and prefer to relax and trust a professional.
Resume writing is defined, it’s an art. Seek out a resume writer who will work for you, one who is experienced, certified and will meet your needs. You wouldn’t trust a dentist to fix your car, would you?
My peeves are: avoidable mistakes, typos, poor punctuation and grammar, and failing to present oneself at one’s best. Here are some tips to set you on the right path.
A resume is a brag document. We have become a very accomplishment based society. Sell yourself! To be blunt, you are a product, the resume is the package and you have to put it out to the market place. Numerous people just outline their job descriptions and responsibilities. This is not good enough. The trend across North America is to highlight accomplishments. Decision makers assume at various levels you have certain responsibilities, there is no need to endlessly list each duty performed. You have to be bold. Stand up and be counted! Fly above the competition!
Times change, and resumes evolve over time. I have been writing resumes for over a decade, and I have seen tremendous changes! Many people still use a format suitable for the nineties; outdated formats don’t work. The format for optimum performance is the combination; it works extremely well for all my clients. Don’t list your personal details or use a photograph. Omit the phrase “references available upon request,” avoid graphics and use only white paper. Choose a font that makes you stand out, certainly not Courier or the word processor default Times New Roman.
A lack of direction and focus in a resume will make an employee think the job candidate is not too sharp! Many times, when I read a resume submitted to me for a critique, I am hard pressed to know exactly what industry the person is in. The “Pro-Jective” beneath your name and address is where you present to the reader the position you are looking for. This keyword savvy section portrays your hard and soft skills’ what you could bring to the table. If you are a human resource professional, say you are a good listener, are empathetic, and highlight the specialties within this broad profession. Is it compensation & benefits, change management, or payroll. Speak Human Resources and nothing else but!
Do you use the MS Word resume templates? I call these the “Bill Gates” resumes. What does this portray to the reader? Certainly not creativity! As a Master Resume Writer I can recognize a template from a mile away. Steer clear of templates at all costs. Although they save time, they will work against you. The objectives I see from templates make me want to cringe. “A challenging position where I can utilize my skill sets to provide growth and opportunity.” Yuk! Everyone wants a challenging position to enhance their careers and assist the company. A very weak statement doesn’t do anyone justice.
There is no perfect resume. I visit the local book store and see the book entitled “The Perfect Resume.” This send shivers up my spine. I have yet to see a perfect resume, even with my experience and certifications. I don’t create the ideal resume, it’s very subjective and there are many variables. I set people on the right path and my resumes have been highly successful for my clientèle from all professions and levels. There are many conflicting messages about page lengths, one page versus two page. Education first or last? Depends again on the circumstances, everyone is special and everyone deserves a document to make them shine.
Finally, words cannot convey how important a professional resume is to you. It can make or break you. A well written and presentable document can propel you onto great and exciting challenges. Good luck!