Four Tips for a Winning Resume
An employer can receive hundreds of resumes in response to an advertised position. For every hundred resumes an employer receives, only a few resumes stand out from the crowd. Want your resume to shine in the eyes of the employer you want to attract? Start by including a well-written resume cover letter with the resume. Then, follow these resume guidelines to create an interview winning resume that is head and shoulders above the crowd.
- Formatting and feel, on a mailed-in resume, matter. Your resume, at first glance, can impress or depress the employer. Lots of open space, a clear, easy-to-read font such as 12 point Arial, and easy-to-find and skim information, entice the employer to read on. With electronic publishing, every mailed resume should be freshly printed on high quality paper. And don’t even think of sending your application to my company in your current employer’s envelope, or with metered postage. Think about what this says about the integrity of the candidate. I receive, at least, one of these a week. Envelopes do matter.
- You will likely grow tired of hearing this but correct spelling, appropriate grammar, no missing words, and no typing mistakes make your resume an employer-pleaser right out of the starting gate. An error-free resume is rare. Indeed, some hiring managers will not further consider your candidacy if they find even one mistake. Every mistake makes me pause and think. Every mistake makes me question your carefulness, care, and attention to detail. Don’t make me pause; don’t make me think.
- Contact Information: In this era of instant messaging, email, and cell phones, there is absolutely no reason to make contacting you difficult for the potential employer. Yet, over half the resumes I receive have no contact information except a home phone number. And guess what? You’re never home. Give the potential employer your cell phone number, even if you have to buy a mobile for your job search. Avoid the dreaded phone tag that may make you miss out on an interview altogether.
- Write and customize an “objective” for each job and employer. The objective is your opportunity to connect your skills, experience, traits, and job requirements with those the employer is seeking. Read the job posting carefully and you can pick out exactly what the employer believes he needs. Don’t settle for a lame, “I seek a challenging opportunity to utilize my skills with a progressive employer who will provide opportunities for growth.”
In response to an ad for a marketing specialist, I received this customized objective: “I am seeking a position as a marketing specialist in a growing, environmentally conscious company that will utilize my current skills in the development of advertising and other marketing materials and website design and writing. At the same time, I hope to gain experience in market research, Internet competitive analysis, and market segmentation.” Who do you think I called?