Once upon a time the way to make your resume stand out was to put it on bright paper, be funny or clever in your objectives and, basically, tell your life story. Um, the 80s called and they want their resumes back.
HR mangers today have neither the time nor inclination to read through hundreds of resumes the size of “War and Peace” with the readability of the dictionary (speaking of throwbacks). The prevailing wisdom now is that when it comes to your resume less is more. Here’s how to keep it short, to the point and still make a favorable impression:
§ Contact Information – Only include what is necessary both for the sake of brevity and to protect your own privacy. Potential employers will be communicating with you by email and/or phone so there’s no need to give out your street address. You can list your city and state, but when considering opportunities out of your area leave that information off so potential employers know you’re serious about being willing to relocate.
§ Objective Statement – Again, short and sweet. Focus on your experience and skills and how you see those propelling you toward your future career. While it’s tempting to write a paragraph about how awesome you are, stick to objective facts or you’ll lose your reader along the way and ultimately hurt your chances for employment.
§ Accomplishment vs Occupation – Instead of a two-page list of the places you’ve worked and every function of the job that you did, focus on specific accomplishments. True humility is owning not just your shortcomings, but your strengths. If you keep an neutral tone you can give examples of excellence in roles that are relevant to the position that you want without sounding egotistical. Using numbers is an effective way to do this (i.e. “Exceeded 2016 annual goal by 45%.”).
§ Bulleted Statements — Trying to keep facts together without falling into the trap of writing a novel is tough in paragraph form. An HR manager needs to be able to scan your resume in quickly or your resume may end up at the bottom of the pile. A good way to keep that from occurring is to use bullet points. These are excellent for outlining your accomplishments, by the way.
§ Common Skills – In this age of rapid technological advancements listing proficiency in programs like Microsoft Office is a waste of space. Use that real estate for sharing technical skills and proficiencies less common to the general populace and more specific to the position for which to are applying.
The information not included on your resume doesn’t have to go to waste. Use it in a cover letter, an interview or a follow-up email to sustain interest throughout the hiring process and let your talents shine.
Now that you resume has been tweaked and polished, check out our career opportunities in Finance/Accounting and Technology online. Then, let one of RJ Byrd’s Search Consultants handle the headhunting for you and help you make your perfect career match!