- Tell how you positively impacted the organization. Quantify and qualify by listing accomplishments, not a job description.
- Explain what you actually did in terms anyone can understand. The use of acronyms or technical jargon may be impressive to the person that will hire you, but a recruiter’s assistant, researcher, or worse yet, a Human Resources intern might be the first person in the recruiting chain to read your resume. If they don’t understand that you are a fit, no one else will ever see your credentials.
- Tell the truth, but do it in good taste. Liars get caught and fired.
- Leaving something off your resume (like a short time with a lousy employer) is ok if you describe your JOB HISTORY as CAREER HIGHLIGHTS and use years as time markers and not months. Tell the story when you are interviewing as hiring managers will be more understanding face to face. It is never okay to leave a job off your employment application.
- If there is any question of your citizenship or clearance status, then list it in the first portion of the resume or at the very end. If you are on a VISA, put it on your resume, it simply saves time getting to the information. It does not help you get the job.
- If your name could be considered male or female (like Pat or Chris) consider putting Mr. or Ms. in front of your first name.
- Put your contact information on the resume and include a professional sounding e-mail account. If your e-mail address could be considered offensive, silly or hard to remember, get a yahoo or hotmail account with a more appropriate address.
- Keep these things off your resume:
- Religious status (unless applying for a job with a religious organization)
- Marital status
- Date of birth
- Ages of your children
Q: What if my resume makes me look old?
If you would prefer not to disclose your age, document the last 20 years or so, then add a section entitled “Earlier Experience.” In this section use a few sentences to highlight any work you did that is not on the resume. You didn’t hide anything, but you didn’t give anything away unnecessarily. Additionally, list your education, but leave the years off.
Q: Should I use an objective?
Absolutely. If there is a reason for you to create a resume, there is an objective. Your objective will come out eventually and if your priorities don’t match with the employers, you’re not going to get the job anyway. Tell them what you want in the first paragraph of your resume, doing so will expedite the process if you are a fit.
An example of a strong objective might be, “To apply my 10 years of food related sales management experience to a position as a Director of Business Development with an established Integrated Food Company.” This will keep you from getting some calls, and you can thank us for it. Now all the information technology companies in Baltimore won’t call you, but you can bet you will attract the attention of food processors.
Q: What if no one has heard of the companies where I worked?
Always assume the reader never heard of your employers. Take this opportunity to tell the reader. For example,
Director of Recruiting
Continental Search & Outplacement, Inc., Baltimore, MD1996 – Present
CS&O is a boutique recruiting firm specializing in hard-to-fill assignments.
Futures Personnel Services, Inc., Towson, MD 1991-1996
Futures was an established employment agency and an Inc. 500 award winner.
In the example the reader has the (accurate) impression that the candidate worked for two first-rate organizations instead of two small businesses that would be unknown to most people.