8 Resume Tips

Man's hand on a resume


A great resume is key to finding your dream job. Here at TradeWinds we read dozens of resumes each day. In a continuing effort to provide service to qualified job seekers, I've condensed the "Top 8" most frequent resume tips to share. 

1.    Objectives are out; professional summaries and profiles are in. Tell your prospective employer the key characteristics of you that they will value most. "A detail-oriented network engineer with more than ten years of direct systems analysis oversight." Doing this gives potential employers a chance to envision potential solutions by hiring you.

2.    10 years of professional experience is enough to list. Give the greatest weight to your most recent work and accomplishments. If you've been in the workforce for more than fifteen years or so, include at the bottom of your detailed work experience a heading that says "Past Professional Experience" and list company names and title(s) only.

3.    Purchase a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. This is the bible of writing form and grammar, and it should be used especially by non-native English speakers. The biggest issue we often see is unnecessary capitalization.

4.    Resumes are judged in seconds, not minutes, and every inch of information counts. Don't waste your writing (and their reading) time on data that doesn't matter. Like it or not, we're a "short attention span" society and we want information fed to us in easy, bite-size pieces. Limit your bullet points to three per job, and define them in the format in bullet point number five.

5.    List your result first and then tell your employer how you did it. The old-style resume might say "Conducted clinical trials on mice over four years that proved a direct link between smoking and cancer." Bad news for the mice; bad news for you. Here's an approach that puts the result of your work first. "Proved a direct link between smoking and cancer by leading a team of researchers and doctoral candidates."

6.    Education goes near the end of your resume, not at the top. Employers hire for practical experience and results, so make sure those two take center stage.

7.    One misspelling dooms the entire body of work. Proofread your own resume and have several people proofread it again. After it's been proofread by friends and family, hire a coach or an English teacher or a librarian to proofread it again.

8.    Your resume doesn't have to be created each time you apply for a job, but you do need to customize it for each position. If the job posting says "Looking for a financial professional with 10+ years of experience" your Professional Profile should reflect that you meet that criteria. By the way, "10+ years" could mean eleven years, or forty-two. Don't "age" yourself unnecessarily.

A few other resources that you have at your disposal are free on the Internet. Check out http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/wdc/291196665.html for an excellent article on resume do's and don'ts. If you'd like to speak with me about one of our positions or your resume, feel free to email me at timothy.t@twc-j.com.

I hope you've found these tips and advice useful. Tough economies never last, but tough people do.

By Timothy Trahan, Recruiting and Outsourcing Consultant
On Linkedin:  http://jp.linkedin.com/in/timothytwc