I know I’m switching gears here, but with so many of my friends either out of work or anticipating being out of work, I thought I’d offer straight-shooting resume writing tips. The key is that you understand why I’m an expert on the subject. Prior to becoming a writer, I spent over 13 years working in the staffing industry. I started out as a technical recruiter, progressed into HR management, and worked up to chief operating officer. If there’s one thing I know well, it’s how to evaluate a resume.
Many people, with sincere intentions, present resumes that flat out represent them poorly. Someone looking for a job stands a better chance of winning the lottery then having an employer tell them the truth of why they weren’t selected. And to be honest, it’s not the employer’s fault. They aren’t paid to provide you with resume or interviewing advice, their only purpose in talking to you is to determine if you would be an asset to their company.
So, with this reality in mind, let’s start with the basics and work from there.
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS include your legal name at the top of your resume followed by your full address, and phone number. If you have a cell phone and a landline, list both numbers and make it easier for a potential employer to contact you.
- Get a professional email address if you don’t have one already. Your best bet is to stick with some version of your name and incorporate numbers if necessary. You’d be amazed at how many people list their email address as something like – email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make sure that your voicemail greeting and answering machine greeting are professional and inviting to an employer calling you. Avoid greetings like: “this is Mike, Katie, Adam, Sue, Larry, Chip, Dominick and Amy; we’re not here right now…” Or musical intro’s, prayer/scripture intro’s (unless you’re applying for a ministry or church related position etc.)
- If you have 10+ years of experience, for goodness sake, don’t cram all of it on one page. Two pages are perfectly acceptable.
- Skip the objective. The employer already knows your objective – you want a job. Write a paragraph summary that highlights the sum of your experience and sells your background.
We’ll continue to cover this throughout the week. Please feel free to ask questions using the contact form. I’d be delighted to offer whatever help I can. Also, swing by on Thursday for the contest. The winner will receive a free resume critique.