10 Resume Tips Straight From the Mouth of A Recruiter
Have you been applying for hundreds of jobs daily and not getting any responses back? Do you feel like your resume is going out into the ether? Ever wonder what Recruiters and Hiring Managers are really looking for when sorting through resumes? Well I am here to give you the inside scoop! I have been recruiting for over 10 years and have read through thousands upon thousands of resumes. In the following article, I will share with you my top ten tips to make your resume really stand out!
First impressions are everything. The overall appearance of your resume really makes a difference. If you have a clean design, corresponding fonts, and suitable usage of bullet points and indentation, I am more likely to pick up the phone and call you. Remember this is your initial chance to showcase your attention to detail- a trait that is highly desirable to hiring managers and recruiters.
Spelling and grammatical errors are huge “no-no’s”. I have literally deleted thousands of resumes because of this. I am looking for candidates who have the ability to correctly structure a sentence. Spell check is your friend- use it! It’s also a good idea to have other people proofread your resume. They may catch a grammatical or syntax error that you may have inadvertently missed.
Typically when I have an open position, I am looking for a candidate with a specific set of skills and experience. If your previous positions and skill base match my open role, I am likely to call you. If you have performed similar tasks or have a set of transferrable skills, I will probably reach out as well. However, if your previous experience doesn’t match up at all (i.e. a store clerk applying for a Registered Nurse position) your resume will likely end up in the recycle bin.
Believe it or not, your resume tells a story. Do you have large gaps in your resume? Do you have a jumpy work history? These are all red flags for Recruiters and Hiring Managers as they can be indicators of someone who is not successfully able to keep a job. Although some of these gaps or movement of positions can be explained (i.e. maternity, school, company layoffs, etc.), if they are coupled with other dubious items, your resume can be passed over in favor of someone with a more solid work history.
In all of my job postings, I specifically ask my applicants to email their resumes in either a Word or PDF document. I typically delete any resumes that do not come in this format. Pasting your resume in the body of the email does not count. Also, if you save your resume with your first and last name, it not only saves me time, but also shows me that you are organized and professional.
Size Does Matter
I know that it is hard to condense your work experience. You want to show everything that you have done and all the skills you have learned along the way. Believe me, I get it. But please, please try to keep your resume no more than 1- 2 pages. If you have 20 years of experience, please only put down the jobs that you have held in the last 7- 10 years as these are the most relevant. Conversely, I know that for recent college grads it may be hard to fill up a page with experience. Nonetheless, having a resume that cuts off in the middle of the page is just unacceptable. There are many resume fillers that are acceptable for recent grads including skills, interests, school honors, etc.
Make it Pop
I read over five hundred resumes daily. They all pretty much look the same. However, if you send me a resume that stands out among the crowd, I am more inclined to want to call you for an interview. There are some awesome resume services that can make your resume look amazing. But remember not to make your resume too over the top or flashy as this may have the opposite effect and end up making it look tasteless and tacky.
Most Recruiters and Human Resources Reps have a sort of sixth sense on being able to tell whether someone is being truthful on a resume. If you are still in college, I don’t expect you to have ten years of work experience. If the title of your last position is Manager but your duties are those of a clerk we are going to know that something is not adding up. So just be honest about your work history. Don’t forget that the truth always comes out somehow. If we were to call a previous employer or school to check your work history or to verify your degree, we are going to find out if you are being dishonest. So why lie?
Make Me Want to Read It
If you have 20 different colors on your resume, I am going to pass. If you have 20 different font styles on your resume, I am going to pass. If you have 20 different font sizes on your resume, I am going to pass. Rule of thumb: stick to 1-2 font sizes, styles and colors. Make sure that the font style you choose is professional and easy to read. If you want to vary between light and dark in order to differentiate between job titles and duties that is fine. Just make sure to pick shades that are not too light. You want to stay consistent so that the flow of the resume is appealing to the eye and is not visually confusing to the reader.
Professional Contact Info
So you have successfully passed the previous nine requirements. I am impressed and want to reach out to you. Please make sure to always have a working number and professional email address on your resume. And by professional, I mean a variation of your first and last name. I have passed over tons of resumes because of unprofessional or inappropriate email addresses. Creating an email address is free, so there really is no excuse for not having a professional one.
Written by Jessica Diaz