February 28, 2012, 11:07 AM —
When looking for new permanent job or contracting assignment, having a great resume has always been important. Given our current extremely competitive times, a high quality resume has moved from being important to being crucial.
The resume tips below have been divided into three main areas; Form and Function, Content, and General Thoughts. Truth be told, the reason for this categorization is because this is how I, as a hiring manager, review resumes.
- Do other people review resumes differently than I do? Yes.
- Is my way better or worse than how other people review resumes? No, it’s just one way.
- Would every hiring manager and/or job search consultant agree 100% with what I am about to say? No, I think they would agree with me on most of my comments, but may disagree with a few of my points.
- Would they be right to disagree with me? Yes, their thoughts are equally as valid as mine. In fact, this is what makes resume writing so difficult. Different people have different opinions and like different things. As a result, you get conflicting suggestions on what is best. Your goal is to listen to me and other experts and make an informed decision of which advice works best for you.
Regarding a resume’s form and function, consider the following:
- Make sure your resume is neat and well organized (shows organization and structure)
- Be sure everything is indented properly. (I’m a techie, I can’t help myself. I dislike source code that’s not properly indented and I guess I have extended that to resumes.)
- Use bullet points not lots of text. (I personally like bullet points because it’s easier and faster to read.)
Regarding a resume’s content, I suggest the following do’s and don’ts:
- Use the right keywords and technology names
- Use effective action-based titles
- Describe your technical achievements factually without boasting
- Describe the business value related to your technical accomplishments
- Explain the benefits of your specific skill set
- Back up your qualities and strengths with example accomplishments
- List your job responsibilities only if you are in senior management role
- Include non-professional accomplishments only if they are impressive and significant