Is your resume suffering a breakdown? If it hasn’t netted you the number of interviews you need to be able to land a good job offer, then it’s broken. We’ll take the next four blog posts to dive deep into resume content so that you can understand just how to fix it.
The top half of the first page of your resume is like Boardwalk and Park Place on the Monopoly board. It’s prime real estate, so you don’t want to waste a single word. This is the content that will convince the recruiter or hiring manager to read the rest of your resume.
Your Contact Information
Your name needs to stand out from the rest of your information, so make it big and bold.
Do NOT place any of your contact information in the document header. It won’t show up if you use this resume to apply online, and the employer uses an Applicant Tracking System, as most do.
Don’t waste space with your contact information. It just needs to be at the top of the page so it is readily available. If it fits, put it all on one line under your name.
Include one phone number, preferably your cell number; your street address if you will use the resume for online applications, (if not, then your city and state or country is enough); your email address, and your customized LinkedIn profile url.
Place the title of the job for which you are applying under your contact information.
If you will use the resume for online applications, your first section heading should be SUMMARY.
Leave the summary to write last, after you’ve finished the rest of the sections. Then summarize your experience and accomplishments in about three lines.
Next, list your main areas of expertise as they apply to the positions for which you plan to apply. For example, let’s say you’ve been in sales for several years, but you’d like to apply for sales management positions. You need to summarize your management-related skills and experience with less emphasis on your sales experience.
For sales management, you might list Sales Management, Team Leadership, Product Development, and Revenue Generation. Then, for each item, summarize your accomplishments. The section might look like this:
- Sales Management: Exceeded all personal and team quotas for past 3 years.
- Team Leadership: Captained 4 retail sales associates to meet highest sales revenue in company history.
- Product Development: Increased annual revenue 55% in 2015 by creating and implementing Star Customer Referral Program.
- Revenue Generation: Achieved record-setting $6 million in sales revenue in 2015.
If lists of skills are important in your industry, this is the place for your list. I use them only for technical expertise that can’t be mentioned elsewhere in the resume.
If you plan to use the resume for online applications, use only 1 column for your list so the Applicant Tracking System doesn’t get confused.
Next week, we’ll cover the Experience section of your resume.
If writing your resume has been holding up your job search, now is the time to schedule some time to talk with me about your career plans.
Image courtesy PT Money via flickr