Methods for Modernizing Your OLD Resume
If you haven’t sought a new employment opportunity for 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years, you may be confused about where to start with a resume for today’s marketplace. Has that much changed since you last applied for a new position during 1995 or even 2005? The answer is YES! And, if you choose to not implement these key tips, you can almost be assured that your resume will never see the light of day at the hiring manager’s office.
Tip #1 – Lose the Objective. Gone are the days of stating why you want to boost your skills, share your talents, and optimize your career path. The truth is—your objective is clear. If you are sending resumes for a new job, then your objective is to get an interview. The objective serves no purpose and should be eliminated from today’s resumes. Rather than wasting this prime real estate at the top of the resume, be sure to capitalize on it.
Tip #2 – Use a Career Summary. Instead of an objective, utilize that space to provide a high-overview of your career thus far. This allows you to pinpoint those qualifications and skills that make you different than other candidates, along with discussing a bit of your employment history. This is also a great place to add key words that are used in job advertisements.
Tip #3 – Identify Key Words and USE THEM. Speaking of key words, what are they? These are the words that are repeated in a job advertisement, specifying the technical knowledge, soft skills, and abilities required to be successful in the position. Many companies utilize an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) system to filter through incoming resumes. Without these words used in your document, your resume may be out of contention before an HR professional reads it.
Tip #4 – Don’t Date Your Education. Unless you graduated from college during the last six months, there is no reason to put your graduation date on your college degree. A recent college graduate may choose to do so (and even place Education prior to Professional History) simply because he or she doesn’t have any relevant professional experience at this point. However, for the rest of us, dating your education can be a reason for age discrimination in the future. And, why open yourself to that possibility?
Tip #5 – There is No Need to Include All Jobs. The most frequent question I receive from clients is about how far back to go on the resume. Should they include that first job from 1985? The answer is no. Typically, resume writers will recommend only including the relevant past positions and that usually aligns with the last 10-15 years of employment.
Tip #6 – It’s Okay to Split Your Job Experiences. For example, if someone has been in sales and marketing for awhile, but has also had IT experiences, it is perfectly acceptable to have two sections of professional history. In fact, this works very well if someone is specifically targeting one of the areas only. If sales and marketing is the future focus, then place that section first. And, if IT is where the candidate wants to go in the future, be sure to put that information first. This allows the candidate to adjust the resume as needed for future opportunities.
Tip #7 – Remove Personal Information. Many years ago, resumes potentially contained personal information such as marital status, number of children, and hobbies. Today, that type of information could become HR’s worst nightmare. There is no place for personal information on today’s resumes. Keep it professional at all times.
The bottom line is this: if you are ready to start your job search in the current marketplace, be sure that you are complying with all of the unwritten rules of modern resumes. And, if you are unsure where to start, please contact us today!
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish is one of our featured experts for the May 17th Free, You Can Get Hired Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center. She is eager to meet you and would be happy to connect on how she can help you get the best resume possible. Register now to get your ticket. Click the button below.
Highlighting Your Value on Your Resume
If you are working on your resume, it is important to position yourself as if you were reading it from the employer perspective. Instead of thinking, “What can this job do for my career?” – think more about “What can I possibly bring to this employer?” It is the answers to the second question that will help you align your skill-set with the needs of the potential job opening.
First, include several job titles or skill-sets at the top of the resume (immediately after the heading). For an administrative position, the headings could be something similar to Customer Service Expert | Administrative Oversight | Office Management. If someone is in accounting, they may want to use a heading such as Accounts Payable and Receivable | Financial Management.
Next, be sure to include a career summary. This is a three to five line section at the top of your resume (immediately after the job titles and heading) that describes your career from a high overview perspective. This section should include key words from the advertisement, a list of some of your past experiences, and the diverse skill-sets that you can bring to the employer.
Then, include a section that discusses Core Competencies or Areas of Expertise. This section can be modified for each job opportunity and should include skills that are listed in the job posting. Items like Leadership, Communication, Detail-Orientation, Decision-Making, and Time Management skills can be included here. This section is critical to making it through the Applicant Tracking System or ATS. Many companies utilize this computerized scanning system to go through resumes and put them into a ‘yes’ pile or a ‘no’ pile. If you don’t have the appropriate key words listed on your document, you can say ‘goodbye’ to your chances of an interview.
Finally, under Work Experience or Professional History, ensure you can back-up your claims. Rather than stating you have marketing skills, state the dollar amount of the budget you managed. If you increased sales during your tenure with an organization, list the percentage that sales increased by each year. Quantitative information is a key to relaying the relevant information when applying for a new position.
The bottom line is to be as specific as possible with your information, ensure you read and re-read the job posting to verify you are using the right key words, and include all appropriate sections within your document. If you have any questions on what should or should not be included, feel free to contact us today!
Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish will be a featured speaker for our May 17th Free You Can Get Hired Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Maple Grove Community Center. Register today and reserve a ticket to talk to Heather about your Resume! Click the button to register now.
Over the course of my career in Corporate America, I had to have a solid resume each time I changed jobs-which seemed to be every 18 months! I got pretty good at writing how my experiences were a perfect fit for the role. On the flip side, I also hired a lot of great people. And during the long process of finding that amazing new hire, I saw many resumes that were good. More often than not I would always have a few that were ‘not up to par’. Even if the person was a great fit-having a less than stellar resume didn’t get them very far in the process. Sometimes it was simple mistakes.
Your resume is your first impression to a recruiter, human resource professional or hiring manager. Mistakes can take you from an interesting candidate to a non-existent candidate getting thrown out before they can see how amazing you are.
In all my years as a hiring manager and career coach, there are a few things I have seen as consistent mistakes. I have highlighted FOUR. All it takes in one mistake….isn’t that the saying?
A Book of Experience.
Many times, I see three to four page resumes. The best approach is that if you have over 8 years’ experience, you should have a 2 page resume (front and back or two pages stapled). Less than 8 years, one page is adequate. In my career management workshops, this is the toughest one for people to get over. We all want to shout to the world how great we are right?
Your resume is a highlight of who you are – your summary section demonstrates your brand statement and skills that support the role you are applying for- and your accomplishments that back it up. Too many times I see people list their job duties. A hiring manager doesn’t care that you were responsible for pulling up a monthly report. They want to know how you are going to come in and be a rock star because you have proven you have done it before.
The main purpose of the resume is to get them to say “I want to talk to that person more” and get you an interview where you can spend the time going into the depths of your experience. So, pick your best accomplishments and shorten that resume. (Know where to find those great accomplishments? Start with performance reviews-where else are you expected to talk about the great things you did over time!)
Seems obvious right? Unfortunately it happens often. You spend a lot of time working on your resume. Crafting the right accomplishment statements and nailing down the perfect brand statement. It isn’t until you hand over your resume to a potential hiring manager that you notice it. The typo. How could you let that it happen?
The fact is the more you spend time looking at your resume, the easier it is to skim over that dreaded typo that spell check didn’t catch. It doesn’t know you meant to say ‘Their’ vs ‘There’.
How can you prevent this? Find someone else to read your resume. Heck, find two. The more eyes on your resume, the more confident you can be that it’s right. Also, try reading your resume from bottom to top. Changing how you approach your own proofing can help.
It’s great to show uniqueness in how you approach your work but a resume is not the place to do this. A recruiter or hiring manager spends less than 30 seconds looking at your resume to determine if they are going to spend more time looking at the content.
Keep your formatting consistent. Use fourteen point font for company name. At least 12 point font for job titles and eleven point font for your accomplishments. Keep you margins at an inch. Same spacing between paragraphs. No borders at all. And as much as you may not want to, remove any italics from your resume.
Crisp and clean resumes are the way to go. Show your creativity in the interview when you can bring supplemental documents to showcase your work.
Fabricated Truths (misrepresentation).
We all know lying is bad. Our parents taught us this. It’s easy to misrepresent on your resume. Nobody will know right? I cannot stress this enough – It is NEVER okay to tell a little white lie. NEVER. It’s also not worth it. If you saved your company 100k on a project. Say it. Don’t tell them you saved 1M. If you have completed only 3 years of college, don’t tell them you graduated. Things can be validated. Information can be checked. People talk. Be honest. That’s all. It’s not worth losing a great opportunity by fabricating the work you did. Ever. Okay, I won’t beat that one anymore.
Some other things to remember-keep acronyms to a minimum and don’t use any personal pronouns.
Hopefully these are helpful tips. Avoiding these simple mistakes will help your resume get noticed!
For more outrageous and crazy resume mistakes, check out the 2013 Career Builders study of Common and Not-So-Common Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job. Find interesting things like how someone listed on their resume their objective was “To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUI’s like my current employer”. I am not easily surprised these days…but that one threw me for a loop.
To your development, growth and amazing potential
Lisa is one of our valued experts who will be speaking and sharing some great tools at our August workshop. Please join us if you are available. Click here for more information and to register!