Having reviewed thousands of resumes, I’ve noticed similar mistakes popping up in many of them. These 10 tips may get you closer to your job goal.
Today, we’ll review the top four sections of a resume. Next week’s post will cover the remaining six.
1. Personal Information
Your personal information includes your name, one phone number, your email address, and home address. If your LinkedIn profile is in good shape, add your unique URL. This is the one you created, not the one LinkedIn gave you that has a bunch of numbers at the end. For directions on creating your custom URL, consult LinkedIn’s help file.
Your personal information on a US resume does NOT contain:
- Marital status.
- Number of children.
- Height, weight, hair color, or eye color.
- A photo.
2. Objective / Summary
Delete the objective. An objective tells what you want: “To use my skills and experience and advance my career” for example. Everybody wants that. It is useless information. Worse, it focuses on your needs and desires rather than the employer’s. Big Resume Rule: It’s not all about you. Yes, the information is about what you have done, but the real reason for the resume is to fulfill the needs of the employer reading the resume. An objective doesn’t do that. Ditch it.
Instead of an objective, use a summary. Write it last. Create a brand for yourself by telling the employer about your skills and attributes that match the employer’s requirements. It’s not about ALL of your skills; it’s about the ones that match the employer’s needs. Focus on those in the summary.
It’s been in fashion to include a list of skills on your resume because they are keywords employers may search for. That much is true. However, if all you do is list the skills, an employer can’t tell how well you use them. Instead, give examples of how you have used those skills to produce positive results for your employer.
I love writing resumes for creative people. I enjoy how their minds work and how they love creating. One of the stumbling blocks I see most often is that they value form over function. They create a lovely resume with a breathtaking palette and exquisite layout. I’d like to hang it on my wall.
Unfortunately, that’s the best place for it because most resumes written by amateurs don’t contain the critical content that will make a difference to a hiring manager.
That content is accomplishments. To differentiate you from the competition, you MUST give examples of how your work has made a difference to your employer. If you’re only going to list the items on your job description, you look just like everybody else who does your job.
If you’re unsure as to the value of your resume content, contact me right away. I would love to help you get your job search turned around with powerful documents and the confidence it takes to win the interview and the job. (I never accept rush jobs and usually have a waiting list for projects, so contact me as soon as possible to ensure your project is timely.)