The old adage of “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” holds true today especially as it relates to your resume in this competitive job market. You could very well be one of the top candidates for a role, but if you don’t spend the time making sure your resume is the best representation of yourself, the hiring manager might pass on you as a candidate, and you’ll be left wondering why.
As someone who has looked at thousands of resumes and hired dozens of individuals, there is a wide range in quality of resumes; some are great and some are not-so-great, and you can guess which ones we scheduled for interviews.
To help all of you reading this with the ability to put together a great resume, below are some helpful tips from my perspective as a hiring manager:
Tip #1: Spelling Errors and Typos
This may seem obvious, but it happens more than you think! Take the time to proofread, spellcheck, and then proofread again prior to sending in your resume, cover letter, and/or email. If you have time, have someone else proofread your communication prior to sending as a second set of eyes can be very helpful!
Tip #2: Layout and Formatting
Ensure the layout and formatting are crisp and easy to read. If there are different fonts, font sizes, misaligned bullet points, improper spacing, etc. this is a reflection on your attention to detail, which will be noticed by the resume reviewer. Make sure you proof the layout and formatting in addition to grammar, typos, etc. There are also many resume templates online you can download and edit with your information.
Tip #3: Too much white space
A resume that has mostly white space on it screams “not enough experience.” Being concise and to the point is great, however, you do want to make sure you have enough content on the page to secure an interview. Not sure what to write? Under each job, when typing out your bullet points, make sure you list what your responsibilities were but also your accomplishments while holding that position.
Tip #4: Provide relevant Information
Make sure you resume contains room and details for information that matters for the role you are applying for. Hiring managers are most likely combing through hundreds of resumes and will appreciate not having to search for relevant information.
Tip #5 Submitting your resume that as a PDF
By sending your resume via PDF, you are ensuring that the person looking at your resume is going to see it exactly as you want them to see it and it can be easily opened/viewed via multiple formats (PC, Mac, Mobile, etc.).
Tip #6: Provide a strong objective statement
Many objective statements contain the standard “looking to obtain an entry level sales position with a professional sports team” or something similar. A better objective statement would be “Eager, results oriented individual who sold over $100,000 in Virginia Tech football tickets during my most recent internship. I’m looking to sell even more for your company.”
Tip #7: Don’t embellish
Be honest about your education, experience, duties, etc. on your resume because the truth will eventually come out in the interview process, and that will get you off on the wrong foot and likely cost you the opportunity. Being open and forthright is the best approach!
Resumes are an essential part of the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process. Make sure you follow these tips to ensure your resume will be the best representation of yourself to the hiring manager which will put you in the best position to secure an interview!