Resume advice typically comes in one of two fashions. There’s the flashy, trendy advice that comes and goes with the latest gimmick – and there’s the classic, no nonsense advice that never goes out of style.
This article is about the latter: honest advice that gives you the kind of resume hiring managers and recruiters want to see, and the tried and true resume tips that just plain work.
Tip #1 Explain your accomplishments: Your resume is a marketing document, not a list of job descriptions.Your reader doesn’t want to see what you did on a daily basis – they want to see results and measurable outcomes indicating past performance. Think hard facts and data driven results. When you are describing the job that you performed, phrase it in terms of accomplishments. When you hear a politician talk about their record, you’ll notice they don’t say, “When I was governor, I cast votes, signed executive orders, and presided over ceremonies.” Instead, they say, “When I was governor, I lowered taxes, increased equality, etc..” Talk about your record, not the fact that you did something you were supposed to do anyway.
Tip #2 Don’t include an objective/summary statement: Unless you’re changing your career path entirely, consider forgoing the objective statement. Why? Because the objective statement eats up valuable real estate and says nothing about you as a candidate. Recruiters and hiring managers read through countless resumes every day and each objective statement sounds exactly like the last one. Including one won’t help you stand out. The one exception is if you are going to take the time to craft an individualized objective statement for each job to which you apply.
Tip #3 Your Resume can (and should) be more than one page: Unless you’re right out of college, there’s no reason for your resume to be just one page. Elaborate on your accomplishments and provide details of your past experiences. The one page resume cliche is a novice mistake for seasoned professionals to be making. On the other hand, know that recruiters and hiring managers are busy – two pages is a good maximum.
Tip #4 Avoid useless and out of place information: That’s right, leave the fluff and the filler at the door. Don’t say that you are a great communicator, exceptional and proactive negotiator, etc… Get rid of soaring adverbs and any grandiose jargon – what does any of it all mean anyway? Recruiters and hiring managers want to see hard facts, not a B-Movie poster. You don’t hire someone because they say they are great – you hire someone that you know has done great things or is capable of great things. Also, don’t include personal data, business references, or salary requirements. It’s unprofessional and may cost you the job.
Finally as a word of closing, remember to sell yourself. This can be accomplished without the use of trickery and fanfare. At the same time, now is not the time for modesty. Be bold. You’re advertising a portrait of yourself, but your story must be proven instead of told – an honest assessment of a qualified individual is all that interviewers are after.