I recently heard from a client that he thought a colleague’s resumé was better than his. Since we had worked on his resumé together, that stung just a bit. But, it also reminded me of a universal truth about resumés: We are never wholly satisfied with them.
I’ve worked on thousands of resumés,
and even I always see something that I later think,
“I’d do that differently now.”
What I reminded my client of is that a resumé is never perfect; it just has to work. And there is only one meaningful measure of that – it’s getting you interviews. Anything else is truly, truly meaningless, and it’s likely a waste of your time to worry about it. To help you out, here are some quick answers to questions many people ask about their resumé:
- Use a san serif font like Calibri or Tahoma for a clean look
- Quantify your accomplishments – if you improved efficiency, by what percentage?
- Allow enough white space on the page for the reader to easily glance and see your skills
- Use bold and italic to guide the reader to what is important
- Format your resume so it can be easily read by applicant tracking systems
- Use less than a 10 point font – ever!
- Regurgitate the duties from your job description
- Cram your resume so tight with content to get everything on one page. Two pages is fine, as long as it’s relevant to the job you want
- Randomly capitalize words or include company jargon or acronyms outsiders won’t understand
- Use tables, templates, or trendy graphics and colors that could confuse applicant tracking systems. (Exception: Design jobs)
Most important, tailor every single resumé to each job, matching key words from the posting with your own experience. AND PROOFREAD!
Cheers to your career!