If you ask 10 people to review your resume, chances are good that you will get 10 different answers. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for resume success. There are, however, some steps you can take to present your work history in a way that will get a recruiter’s attention:
#1. Start With Your Contact Information
At a minimum, provide an e-mail address and phone number where you can be reached easily. If you’re using a personal e-mail account, stick to using just your name instead of something cute. Make sure your voicemail message is professional, too.
#2. Make The Most Out Of Your Summary Statement
Use the summary statement to answer the question “Why should I hire you?” You may find that this is the part of your resume that needs to be tailored to each job opening. Because this is at the top of your resume, it’s the first thing that recruiters will read, so you need to build a compelling case for why your resume (and you!) should move onto the next round of the hiring process.
#3. List Your Work Experience Next
Most recruiters prefer chronological work experience with your most current job first. There are a lot of resume templates and samples that advise putting your educational experience first, but this isn’t the best format if you have prior work experience. At some point in your career, your work experience becomes more important than your educational experience.
There’s a trend that people with extensive work history are only listing their last 10 years of experience. Most employers won’t require work history before this timeframe, but it might be wise to include a statement like “prior work history available upon request” so that you don’t short-change your true level of experience.
#4. Use Bulleted Lists
Use bulleted lists to highlight your major accomplishments and responsibilities at each job. This isn’t a time to craft the sequel to War and Peace. For most people, four or five bullets per job successfully highlight the key activities in each position.
#5. Wrap-Up Your Resume With Certifications And Awards
If you have been honored for work-related or community projects, it is appropriate to list the name of the award or recognition and the year it was received.
#6. Skip Saying, “References Available Upon Request”
Save the space on your resume. If a recruiter wants references, he/she will ask you for that information.
#7. Try To Keep Your Resume To Two Pages Or Less
In today’s job market, some openings generate hundreds of resumes. Recruiters appreciate brevity.