Writing a Successful Resume
With fifteen years’ experience hiring people and reviewing resumes, I have seen countless times how the most basic items are overlooked in trying to think of some dynamic way to stand out.
Standing out from the pile is more often a matter of doing the simple things, well. Here are some basic tips and tricks that help secure a follow-up phone call.
Whether you have one resume or multiple resumes, your last name should be in the file name (for example, “presutto.pdf.”). When a manager is considering applicants, they could be reviewing dozens of resumes. Having your name on the file will not only make it easier for those reviewing resumes to sort, it is a way for them to get used to seeing your name over and over again. If you are submitting your resume via email, or having any correspondence via email, you should also utilize your name in the subject line.
Under the heading of “experience,” customize the transferable skills from your previous role to highlight relevance to the role for which you’re applying. If your prior position was an event coordinator, and you've applied to be an administrative assistant, focus on the skills that are useful in both roles: calendar management, organization, time management, attention to detail, and basic communication skills.
In order to really stand out, try to keep things to a basic formula of action verb + noun + what you specifically brought to the role. Don’t list calendar management under your experience. Instead, try “Managed calendars for major events to prevent double booking.”
The most important, but easiest way to stand out, is to have multiple people proofread for grammar and spelling. If you are describing your current role, the description should be in present tense. If you are no longer in the role, the description should be past tense. Make sure you utilize the correct forms of to, too, and two, your and you’re, and there, their, and they’re. Make sure your formatting is consistent; don’t use round bullets in one section and square bullets in another. A lot comes down to attention to details.
After all, it's difficult for managers to learn everything you want them to know about you in a single page. Remember that you’re not trying to get the job with your resume. You’re trying to showcase you have the basic skills to do the job so you can get a phone call. Once you get a phone call, or even better, an interview, you can focus on being yourself and telling stories of your phenomenal employment history and strong work ethic. Do not let the resume be your downfall from simple errors or trying to do too much in one page.
Brad Presutto is a 14 year Lakewood resident and a Manager of Recruitment Administration.
Brad Presutto is a 14 year Lakewood resident