Resume writing has evolved over the years and what we are sharing here is what we have found to be the most successful in what we refer to as “The Ticket to the Interview”. There are lot’s of people that will give you advice on how a resume should look. We have seen many people over the years that have paid hundreds of dollars to have their resume written by a professional only to find that it was a waste of money. Keep in mind the purpose of the resume serves two purposes. 1) to get the interview 2) to act as a proof document during the interview process Formatting and content are the components of the resume so we will address them separately.
We find 14 point font for headings and 12pt font for all other text to be the most appropriate. Times Roman is a standard font and can be used, we also find Ariel to give the appearance of more modern and up to date.
- Heading- Should be centered on the document with (Name 14Pt font bold) (Physical Address )(Phone Number) (email)(Linkedin Public Profile Link) Make sure your linkedin profile matches dates and content on your resume. You can exclude accomplishments on your Linkedin profile as it is not a resume. Make sure you have a professional picture on your Linkedin Profile . *there should be no divider lines, boxes etc. as it can detract or play havoc with electronic formatting as it is passed from system to system.
- Professional Experience – bolded
- List positions in chronological order with most recent 1st (Current Employer) ( Position)- (Location) – both items left hand justified (month and year to Present) right hand justified-
- 3-4 lines describing duties of position in paragraph form
- 3-5 bullet pointed accomplishments
- (subsequent positions in same format ending with with position right after college)
- Additional achievements, training, volunteering etc.
When delivering in person, good quality paper should be used i.e. 22# laid bond
When sending via email or uploading online Microsoft Word . doc. .docx Adobe PDF is also acceptable
Misconceptions about resume formatting that we often face when talking to candidates:
- I was told my resume needs to be 1-page. – Most resumes can be limited to 1-page, however if you have employment history and achievements to justify more than 1-page it is perfectly acceptable
- It needs an objective statement- objective statements are no longer deemed necessary
- It should say “references available upon request” this is now assumed and is no longer necessary
- Colors , designs and lines will set my resume apart.- black on white is the most appropriate
- I am attractive so I put on picture on my resume- pictures alone are considered discriminatory- you should avoid. Pictures on Linkedin Public Profiles are acceptable
The best resumes we see are have the following characteristics:
Your email address should be a non-company address. Please make sure to sanitize your email address. i.e. hotchic123 @gmail.com and firstname.lastname@example.org are frowned upon.
We are not big fans of Summary Statements and Word Clouds. The reason being, no one reads them. The only purpose they serve is to present buzz words or keywords for applicant tracking systems.
When you use the formatting suggested above it allows you to present these characteristics in the best light possible. When showing your employment history it needs to be chronological with the most recent employment 1st. It should include month and year of employment. If it only shows years it will look like you are trying to hide gaps in employment. Make sure your dates are accurate as at some point in the process you will have to fill out an employment application. Those dates on the resume and the application must be the same. If a background check is done those dates should be identical.
With each position you can write a brief description of your functions and duties. This should be clear and concise. Keeping in mind the reader loses interest quickly while reading lengthy statements.
Accomplishments and achievements should be in bullet point format. This is one of most important sections of the resume. This is also where we see a great deal of mistakes being made. Make sure you are listing accomplishments and not functions of the job. Good examples of accomplishments are:
- Stack rankings- how you compare against other i.e. ranked #1 our of 87 Sales Representatives nationwide- make sure to state the total number so that they know how you compare. When stating a stack ranking make sure you are in the top 20%
- % to quota or % to plan- i.e. 112% to plan of a 1.2 million dollar quota
- Presidents Clubs stated by year
- Awards i.e. Rookie of the Year
College- state the years attended and graduated. If a graduation year is not present it causes question if there is another job between college and the first one stated.
Formalized sales and leadership training goes here.
Athletic Achievements – i.e. Quarterback college football team, Captain college swim team