Finding a new job can be challenging and frustrating, but always rewarding when you finally get hired. Your first introduction to a potential employer in the process is your resume. In my profession as an Executive Recruiter, I have seen bad resumes and great resumes. You want to have a great one. If your resume is bad (i.e. typos, formatting inconsistencies, job descriptions that lack substance), it will likely end up in the recycle bin.
If you have a great resume, you will jump to the top of the pile and get noticed. Here is how you do it.
5 TIPS ON HOW TO GET YOUR RESUME TO THE TOP OF THE PILE
§ Write a quality resume. This means you must format it consistently throughout.
- · Do not put the dates next to the job title on one line and right justified for the next title.
- · If you use italic for your title for one job, do not forget to do the same for the next.
- · Use spell and grammar check to make sure your resume is clean of errors.
- · Your word processing program will have sample resumes that you can work from, or, you can look on the Internet for a style that suits you.
§ Use descriptions in your resume that read as achievements.
- · Don’t say, “I was the top salesperson.”
- · Say, “Increased sales 100% within first eight months of employment,” or “awarded top salesman of the year for increasing division sales from $2 million to $10 million in less than two years.”
§ Be honest and forthright in your resume.
- · If you are a recent college grad, you should include your GPA.
- · If you are over 50, should you list your date(s) of graduation, an automatic way to determine age? It is up to you, yet you must realize that employers are smart and will figure out the reason you left off the dates.
- · Don’t over inflate your achievements, but do list them. The resume is your chance to highlight your greatness, as long as it is completely accurate.
§ Write something unique and interesting about yourself at the end of your resume.
- · For example, spent two months between undergrad and grad school studying butterfly migration in Mexico.
- · Or, 4.5 tennis player, member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, marathon runner.
- · You will be pleasantly surprised that one or two personal items might connect you with the reader of your resume right away.
§ Do not answer online ads right away.
- · Find the person who runs the division for the job you desire and email a short note of introduction that highlights your skills and interest. Please, no more than one very short paragraph.
- · Do not attach your resume initially. Rather, ask if they might have interest in learning more about your skills. If the reply is favorable, you already have someone excited to read your excellent resume.
- · If you are referred to HR from the person you initially reach out to, you now have a personal introduction! Brilliant!
Follow these steps and you will be on your way to having your resume land on the top of the pile.