Evaluations of resume writing can be very subjective, influenced by personal taste and feelings. Potential employers may have an opinion on your font style, design, or whether or not you should use a summary or personal statement, to name just a few. But even though your resume is subject to this type of evaluation, it is important to not dismiss objective, measurable facts from your resume.
There are some key resume writing tips that hiring managers can agree on:
The Golden Rules of Resume Writing
• Spell check, read and re-read. Have a friend check your resume. Misspellings and grammatical errors show a lack of attention to detail. This may seem obvious, but it happens frequently! These mistakes can often be fatal to your job search prospects and automatically send your resume to the “no” pile.
• No photos, and keep off personal information such as age, religion, gender. Recruiters don’t want or need to know these facts and this information shouldn’t impact the hiring decision.
• Be concise. Think minimalist. Use clear section headings and bullets or numbers to make it easy to read. Keep it to the point, summarizing specific, measurable accomplishments and skills. Typically, the shorter, the better.
• Don’t lie. Don’t stretch the truth. Dishonesty will always come back to haunt you, if not in the hiring process, it will soon become apparent after you are on the job. If you are hired based on inaccurate information, this could lead to being fired. Lying on your resume can have long-lasting repercussions on your reputation.
• Get rid of old information. Have you been out of school for a number of years? No need to list your GPA or part-time high school jobs. Make sure your contact information is updated with new phone numbers and addresses. Talking addresses, your email address should be somewhat professional, not a cheesy reference to your favorite sports team or what you like to do on the weekends.
• Tailor your resume to the job. Research the organization and job you are applying for before sending in your application. Build keywords from the employer’s job description into your resume. Show the employer that you’ve done your research, really want the job, and aren’t just shoveling out applications to any job opening that might even remotely fit your skills.
• Think about your file name. Save your resume with your name, date/year and possibly even the position you are applying for, like “Bonnie Johnson Resume 2017 Marketing Associate.doc.” Not only will it help you organize resumes and make sure you send the right resume to the right job, it will also make it easy for employers to sort and find your resume. Imagine hiring managers’ frustration when they have multiple files called “My Resume.doc.”
For more resume advice, check out these articles from our AgCareers.com Career Guides: Resume Tips from Employers, Don’t Let Your Resume Hit a Digital Dead End and Job Search Don’ts.