Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Resume Tips- How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

What to put down on paper: Resume Tips
 Let's discuss Resumes. I've seen so many horrible resumes I don't know where to start... so I'm going to start from the top of a resume and work my way down.

Include: Name, Address, Phone, email (& linkedin, Twitter, Blog etc link if you have one)

Omit: SS#, marital status, number of children, health or any other personal information that could be used to discriminate.

Objective lines are no longer necessary or desirable. Put that info in your email or when necessary a cover letter.

Summary: In a paragraph sum up the total of your best qualities (example: Accomplished, Versatile Technology Consultant with over 13 years of experience. Industry strengths relevant to: Healthcare Information Technology and Small business technology. Experience includes the following skills: etc)

Work History: Name each company you've worked for, dates of employment, job title and at least 3 bullets of your main responsibilities, try to include a bullet at the end about a milestone with that company (example: Earned the Presidential Sales award 4 years in a row).  If you have a technical career remember to include what technologies you used...for instance; instead of "worked as a builder during the EMR implementation" you might want to say "provided build assistance with the implementation of Epic Ambulatory".  Even if you have listed your technical skills in the Summary section of your resume, it is important to reiterate in the work history so the reader knows how recent your experience is with specific technologies.

Education: If you dropped out of High School and have gotten your GED, just list the high school you attended, if you've graduated college or have been out of high school longer than a few years you really don't need to list it at all. The important information is in the College degree, even if you only attended college, put the years and area of study. Also list any work related courses you have taken or certifications you have obtained in your field.

Awards and Affiliations: list any business awards you've received and any memberships you may have to work related organizations.

Volunteer work: (This is optional) list any relevant volunteer work you've done

References: Do NOT include references on the resume. Put: "References provided upon request" No need to provide references until you're to that stage in the interview process.

Font:  Use a simple font like Times New Roman or Ariel, don't go with fancy letters or fonts like Comic Sans because it is often more difficult to read and doesn't appear professional. 

Your resume (depending on how many years you've been in the job force) can comfortably be 2 full pages long. If you have a highly technical career, longer is acceptable. Keep personal information off the resume. If the potential employer wants to know your hobbies they'll ask.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, you want to be thorough but not overly wordy. Don't try to over-sell yourself. Get enough information out to intrigue the reader into calling you for an interview, then you can WOW them!

7 more tips:
1. SPELL CHECK! SPELL CHECK! SPELL CHECK! I've had clients turn down people for simple spelling mistakes.
2. Do not give reasons for departing jobs. cover that in interview
3. Stick to bullet points, paragraphs of information can be overwhelming
4. Update your resume regularly
5. If you are considering work in more than 1 industry (ex: Sales OR Management) its a good idea to create different resumes for each industry to highlight those particular skills.
6. If you have changed professions over the years there is no need to put information from 10+ years ago. For instance, if you worked various restaurant jobs until 1998 and since then you've been in Nursing, no need to put any experience before 1998 on your resume because its not relevant to your current job search.If you don't feel like you have a handle on how to create a eye catching resume, hire someone to help you.
7. Do not email a link to your resume if you have it available on a web site without including a resume in document form.  Providing your resume as an attached Document in PDF or DOC format is ALWAYS preferable.

UPDATED More Resume Tips!
-Use the same font throughout the resume.  You can change size to indicate a new section (ex: SUMMARY, EXPERIENCE etc) and bold the font to highlight employer and title but use the same font style
- Stick to black & white! Leave the colorful resumes to the people applying for Marketing or Artistic positions.
-  Dont include your mugshot.  A picture is unnecessary.
-  Double check for spelling errors. Many tech terms will not get caught by spell check.  (ex: Siemens Soarian... I've often seen it misspelled "Sorian"... if you can't spell the technology you're working with correctly how will an employer have faith in your abilities) 
- Watch for spelling errors with acronyms as well.  EHR often is autocorrected to HER.
-  Include your linkedin profile address but avoid your Facebook information.  Most information found on facebook should remain separate from work.
-  Have a friend or colleague that has similar industry knowledge proof read it!
-  When naming your document, use a combination of your name and the date to make it easily searchable by recruiters when they save it (ex: CLester092011.doc)

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1 comment:

  1. Via LinkedIn:
    Loni (Yolanda) Strach
    Coding Specialist at Physician Billing Solutions

    I learned some new tips; aside from the obvious, "spell check" rule. Valuable information!