Most job seekers know the frustration related to their resume going into "the black hole". Additional frustrations we have heard expressed:
- Receiving calls for jobs for which they did not apply, and not being called for the job they do want.
- People calling to interview them who haven't actually read their resume or accomplishments.
- Getting one interview, but never hearing anything beyond that first interview.
Here are a few tips to help you write a resume that will get you noticed:
- Pick the right format. If you have a long tenure with a few organizations then a standard chronological resume is probably best. If you have served in consulting roles, and more than three positions in ten years or served in cross-functional roles, then a skills-based resume is the way to go. If you have done research, worked in education or academia, or have more than 25 years of leadership experience in a Curriculum Vitae is probably the right choice. If you would like to receive a template for any of these formats, don't hesitate to email Coreena Munsinger. We are more than happy to provide these templates at no charge to anybody.
- Outline your responsibilities. To whom do you report? How many people do you oversee? Do you manage a budget, size of budgets and the last few years of results? Make sure your responsibilities are clearly listed and defined. Pick no more than five of your biggest responsibilities, per position.
- List your achievements. Be sure to quantify the achievement and the impact it had on the organization. This is your chance for unabashed bragging. Any special projects, duties, committees, honors, awards or more! This is a chance to list your successes. It is important to have at least three, but no more than five. Keep in mind, these accomplishments should be your "banner moments" of the position. If you are having a hard time coming up with accomplishments think about filling in this sentence, "when I leave this company, I will be remembered for ______________".
- Education. You want to clearly state your education, as well as, any certifications, or special training. Be sure to use proper terminology. For example, for a nurse - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). By using both BSN and Bachelor of Science in Nursing your resume becomes more active for recruiters when keyword searching. Do the same thing with certifications for example - Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR). You want your resume to be found.
- Memberships. If you are a member of any major trade organizations, be sure to include those memberships as well. Potential employers get excited about people who are involved in professional organizations and take their own career path seriously.
With the major categories addressed, let's talk about length. The age-old wisdom is that a resume must be one page. The problem with a "one pager" is that you risk leaving out pertinent details that are important to gain you an interview. Generally speaking, we recommend enough detail to ensure you are clearly highlighting your accomplishments, but keep it to two or three pages. Give enough to gain their interest, but don't give so much information that you don't have anything to talk about during the interview.
Last but not least, the major "don'ts" - and yes these really happen.
- Don't copy your company job description into a WordDoc and call it your resume
- Don't start every sentence with "I"
- Don't list your reason for leaving jobs on the resume, especially if it is deeply personal, such as managing the death and dying process for a family member, or completed a rehabilitation program. Those reasons can be discussed in a face to face meeting, but don't need to be on a resume
- Don't use a font smaller than 9 or bigger than 12, also don't use anything "cute" for font such as script or comic.
Writing a resume may seem overwhelming, remember the purpose of a resume is to highlight your experience and determine if there is mutual continuing interest. Keep it simple, and don't hesitate to reach out to us if you need help.