Resumes are intended for one purpose – landing a job. For many people, writing a resume is one of the most daunting tasks when it comes preparing for the job search.
The dynamic of the “resume” changes constantly. It seems as if every few months the criteria changes and when asking professionals questions – they all have a different answer. We want to keep it simple. Below are 3 key details to keep in mind when you’re putting a resume together.
1. Keep Formatting Simple
In the world of technology, we feel the need to stand out from the crowd by creating fancy resumes with pictures, icons, and heavy graphic design with multiple colors, lines, and features. While these resume do in fact “look” pretty, they will not serve the intended purpose.
Resumes need to be simple and basic in formatting, where an individual can read “left to right,” instead of their eyes being forced to bounce all over the page. More importantly, fancy resumes cannot be read by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These programs are designed to read “left to right” and to read verbiage rather than graphics and design.
2. Highlight Skills
Your skills are your most important asset. Skills are transferable into any position and any industry. If you’re looking to switch industries or perhaps you want to do something completely new, your skills will be your most important aspect of the resume. We recommend creating a section dedicated to your skill sets and how you implement those skills in the workplace.
3. Things To Avoid
Do not list references on a resume. First of all, a reference should only be given if asked. This is a communication aspect of the interview process. Wait until asked for a reference before providing it. It gives the recruiter or hiring manager a reason to reach out to you or ask for more information. (We call this a “touch point.”) Secondly, references are the last item on the resume that gets updated. It would be embarrassing if that reference from 5 years ago changes a phone number or no longer works for the company mentioned on the resume.
Do not list personal elements. This includes hobbies, family members, or what kind of pet you have. This takes up space on a resume, and it really is not relevant to the application process. We agree that company culture is important, but leave that for the face-to-face interview. Again, this would be considered a touch point. It doesn’t need to be included on the resume.
If you still feel like your resume lacks substance or you’re just not sure if you have all the right things, that’s why we are here. Contact us with your questions, and we will be glad to help.
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