June 19, 2020

Get Noticed with a Powerful Resume

You have under 6 seconds to make an impact with your resume. Statistics show that recruiters will decide in that amount of time whether to continue reading or put your resume in the discard pile. What can you do to stand out?

FORMAT MATTERS

Establishing a strong and visually appealing format is the first step to building a quality resume.

  • Start by choosing an appealing template. Take advantage of online resources such as Etsy for the most up to date templates.
  • DO NOT put an objective at the top of the resume. This will narrow your options.
  • Include a summary section at the top of your resume.
    • Highlight key accomplishments that directly demonstrate the skills needed for the types of roles you are seeking.
  • Make sure that your resume follows a reverse chronological order.
  • The length of your career should dictate the length of your resume. If you have been working for less than 5 years, your resume should probably be 1 page. If you have been working for 15 years or more, you may need 2 pages (or 3) to include all relevant information.
  • Customize the style of your resume to your field.
    • If you are in a creative industry, such as marketing or graphic design, consider adding some flare and creativity to your resume.
  • Consistency is key.
  • Ensure that you are following a consistent pattern, font, and format throughout your resume.

KEY WORDS

Include terms and key words that recruiters and applicant tracking systems would use to find you.

  • Including key words from the job description in your resume and LinkedIn profile will help you advance through applicant tracking systems.
    • Utilize word cloud tools such as Wordle. Insert a job description and the tool will relay which words are most prevalent throughout the provided text.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Highlight impactful special projects and accomplishments.
    • Specific technical skills and systems experience can often serve as a deciding factor amongst final candidates.
  • Include brief company details for each position you include.
    • Include both the company’s industry, revenue, ownership structure and headcount, if possible.
  • Explain transitions.
    • If you have had a lot of job movement, it is best to explain your transitions to the reader.
  • Use Quantifiable Evidence.
    • Use numbers and exact figures when speaking of impacts you have made on the business.
  • Consider a “previous work experience” section.
    • Early career experiences may not be relevant.  Create a “previous work experience” section and simply list the title of previous positions to maintain an appropriate length.

FINISHING TOUCHES

  • Proofread and proofread again.  Ask a family member or friend to review your resume.
  • Include your LinkedIn URL on your resume.
  • Save your resume as a PDF and name it professionally – Ex: “John Smith’s Resume”

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Most job postings receive an influx of resumes in the first several days of the posting. Your odds of being considered are significantly higher if you get your application in within the first week. The purpose of your resume is to generate interest and an initial conversation. Beyond preparing the resume, be ready to “tell your story” in a compelling and succinct manner.

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Purple Squirrel Advisors