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Top Resume Tips: Getting to the Top of the Stack

Written on May 9, 2018

Have you ever sent your resume off and wondered if it will even be seen by a hiring manager? Are you curious about how you can make your resume stand out in the sea of other resumes? Good news! We can help with that.

While every position is unique, and every hiring manager has their own style, there are some common themes when it comes to making sure your resume shines.

We recently polled our team of recruiters and account managers to find out their top resume tips. Our team of industry experts review over 65,000 resumes annually – these guys really know what they’re talking about! Here are some of the common mistakes they’ve seen and advice for avoiding these pitfalls.
 

Keep formatting consistent

  1. From bullet points to punctuation, make sure your formatting stays consistent.
    1. Here’s what one of our recruiters had to say: Pay close attention to detail when using punctuation at the end of bullet points and writing dates for positions held (Jan – Feb, Jan to Feb, January – February, etc.), as these are often overlooked.
  2. Simplify the layout
    1. No need for color, shading, or a multitude of text boxes all over the page. Keep your resume template simple, clean, and easy to read from top to bottom.
  3. Font choice matters. Be sure to use an easy-to-read font, and consider choosing a font that is slightly different from the defaults (Times New Roman, Calibri, Helvetica).

Bottom line: sloppy or distracting formatting will take away from the content you’re trying to deliver.
 

Proofreading is key

  1. Check spelling and grammar – three times!
    1. One of our account managers recommends: Have at least two other people review your resume for content clarity and spelling/grammar mistakes.
  2. Avoid using third person references. Take ownership of yourself and your accomplishments.
  3. Review your language and tone. Your current role and responsibilities should be written in the present tense. All previously held roles should be written in the past tense.
  4. Make sure contact information is up to date. Otherwise, how can a hiring manager get in touch with you?

Bottom line: spelling and grammar mistakes are red flags to hiring managers. Outdated contact information could cost you the job.
 

Don’t be afraid to brag

  1. One of our recruiters had this to share: I often speak with people who are more experienced than they portrayed on their resume.  That shouldn’t be the case.  If you have done it, put it on your resume.  That one piece that you leave out could make the difference between getting an interview, and not.  When it comes down to it, a resume is your gateway for you to get an interview.
  2. Seeking a job with specific technology or certification requirements? List them at the top of your resume. Hiring managers want to see that you meet the minimum qualifications before reading any further.
    1. Be very specific on what technologies you know and your experience level with each. If you list a specific skill or technology, be prepared to speak about it in an interview, as well as prove your proficiency once you’ve got the job.
  3. Qualifications Summary / Professional Summary:
    1. Include enough specific details in your summary to strike the hiring manager’s interest, including accomplishments, achievements, and how you have contributed value throughout your career.
    2. Be descriptive in explaining your roles and responsibilities for each position held, as well as some examples of projects you have been a part of. When possible, quantify your success and achievements.

Bottom line: hiring managers want to know details about your specific qualifications.
 

Create Multiple Resume Versions

  1. There’s a time and a place for every length of resume. Being prepared with multiple resume versions will prevent last minute panic when the right job pops up!
    1. One of our account managers recommended: Prepare multiple resume versions – short version / long version; one pager / 3 pager; Project Management Focused / BA focused; etc.

Bottom line: Prepare your resume in advance.
 

Don’t overshare

  1. DO: Keep it relevant – adding information that isn’t pertinent to the position you are seeking is a distraction to the hiring manager.
  2. DO: Keep your salary history to yourself – adding this information on your resume may inadvertently limit you.
  3. DO: Keep your resume as text-only – while LinkedIn is a great place to feature a recent headshot, your professional resume is not.

 

Did you get the interview? Here’s one tip for preparing – we’ll share more advice in another blog soon!

Memorize your resume

  1. Be prepared to speak to every detail of your resume, have a copy in front of you for interviews, and don’t misrepresent your skills.