When I think back on all the resumes I’ve seen, which ones do I remember the most? The ones that stood out - for all the wrong reasons!
On your own, you can find lots of web sites, books, and articles that dive deep into the topic of how to prepare a resume. Instead, I’d like to share tips that are from the point of view of the recruiter. Here are five things that you can do to make the recruiter’s job easier and therefore, potentially, have it work in your favour:
1. Save your resume as a PDF.
A PDF file is easy to share with hiring managers and it also prevents any unexpected edits from happening. It’s a simple step that you can do right in Microsoft WORD. Maintain a WORD version on your computer so you can make updates at any time.
2. Save the document with your name as the file name.
There’s no need to get fancy. Call your resume document, YOURNAME_RESUME. And your cover letter (if you do a separate one), YOURNAME_COVER LETTER. It makes it easier for the recruiter to know which is which and it’s a great way to reinforce your name and keep it top of mind.
3. Provide a professional email address.
This might sound trivial, but this is where some past resumes have made me laugh out loud! I’ve seen email addresses that included “hot”, “cutie” and “juicy” in their names. Instead, keep it simple: Firstname.Lastname@emailprovider.com. It makes following up with applicants much easier.
4. Ensure all your contact info is correct and consistent.
I’ve had this happen where an applicant provided an email address (or phone number) in their cover letter and it was different then what was written on their resume. Not a good first impression.
5. Take your time to proof read and check for spelling errors.
When a lot of time is spent staring at and editing your own work, you’re bound to miss some mistakes. Always get someone else to proof read your work. It looks really bad when you’ve listed “detail-oriented” as a skill and errors are found on your resume!
My last comment is on the choice of resume format: Chronological vs Functional. I think the chronological resume is the better option. This choice makes sense no matter how long you’ve been at home. Chronological resumes, if done correctly, still allow you to showcase your accomplishments and skills while helping the recruiter understand your career history. And it’s a great tool when preparing for interviews.
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