Resume Format, Resume Writing Help, and Working with Recruiters or Recruitment
There are many things to keep in mind when you are writing your resume. When formatting a resume, it is important to keep the employer or hiring managers' point of view in mind. They're busy- very busy. They see tons of resumes every week. If your resume isn't formatted in a way that it is easy to read, chances are you will get written off immediately. To keep your resume from being thrown into a box marked 'rejected' it is very important your resume is as aesthetically appealing as it is organized and informative. It is usually best to save your resume in word format, especially if you are working with a recruiter. Often recruiters will take your contact information off your resume and put theirs in its place. That way, the hiring manager will call the recruiter to set up dates. If you have a non-editable PDF resume that could cause some conflict.
Using Power Words on Your CV or Resume
Sometimes it is hard for a person to step back and take a look at their personality, even though it is their own. When you are a part of the picture, it is understandable why it may be difficult for you to look at the 'big picture' from an outsider's perspective. If you are having a problem with that, try 'blind writing'. Blind writing is literally what it sounds like. Close your eyes and open word pad. Start typing about yourself, any positive qualities you can think of. It is going to appear jumbled, and there will probably be typos, expect that. When you are done, look it over and figure out how you can incorporate it in your resume. You can even call up some family members and friends and ask them what comes to mind when they think of you. It may seem ridiculous, but I cannot stress how important your resume is. Those sheets of paper represent you, and it is those sheets of paper that are going to get you past the first step. Are you popular, do you make friends easily? Then personable might be a good one to add. Do you learn things quickly? Then you are a 'quick learner'. Are you good at adapting to new environments? Someone who is 'adaptable' might be just who they are looking for. Here are some adjectives that would be good to have on your resume, you can pick and choose which ones describe you and add them to a 'personality traits' section.
ambitious, team leader, team player, quick learner, detail oriented, ability to work under pressure, adaptable, determined, technical, driven, punctual, motivated, persistent, goal oriented, mechanical,
passionate, positive, optimistic, calculating, accomplished, thick skinned
These are all words also known as power words. This applies to all resumes, but especially applies if you are posting your resume on a job board. When recruiters and hiring managers sift through resumes looking for the perfect candidate, using Boolean techniques, they are entering keywords of that ideal candidate. If you do not include that you are determined when you are, and that is what a hiring professional keys in order to narrow down their search to get a personality match, there is a chance your resume will not even come up. While most recruiters will not key in words that describe your personality, I've seen it happen and either way it looks good. If the employer is really looking for someone who is going to get along with the rest of their co-workers, the 'personable' and 'team player' power words are really going to stand out.
If your achievement is even remotely applicable, add it. If you were the team captain of a baseball league for ten years, it may not seem important to add on your resume, but you have to take a step back and think about it. Does the job require you to lift anything? If it does, it may help to let them know you are athletic. Are you working with or managing a team of individuals? If so, it will look good and emphasize that you are a 'team leader' or at least a 'team player'. Even if it doesn't seem related, there is a chance that the boss may have an undying love of baseball, which would indicate a personality match. If you are unsure of whether you should add it, or it even applies to the position at all, you can add an 'unrelated achievements' section at the bottom. If you include the time you won a pie eating contest, however, it will probably look foolish on your part even if you are applying for a position in the food and beverage industry. Note: If you are bi-lingual that is something you definitely want to have in a noticeable spot on your resume, followed by the languages you speak.
Promotions on Your Resume
Promotions within a company are a good thing to have on your resume. You want to pay attention to detail and make sure you list them as separate positions, but emphasize that they are promotions through the same company. Did you do anything special to receive this promotion? Did you achieve a new record of sales, and were promoted to regional sales manager? Were your leadership skills prominent enough to enable your promotion to management? Try to figure out why you were promoted within your company if you don't already know, and add it. If it was your attention to detail and the fact you were always on time, you might want to also add that you are a detail oriented and punctual individual in the summary at the beginning of your resume. Was it your ability to work under pressure, and multi task? Again those are also traits you would want to include at the top of your resume. If this is a replacement position, and the last employee was fired because they were always late and caved under pressure, this will make you stand out.
Your Resume is the Heart of Your Job Search
Look at your resume when you are done formatting it. Look at it again.
- Would it look better if something else was bolded, and another paragraph was in italics to distinguish two paragraphs?
- Is it easy to read?
- Does it look cluttered or wordy?
- Do you have words that are repeated too often? Play around with it. It is important your resume is easy to read.
Listing Previous Employers on Your Resume
Let me start off by saying, and this should be a given, do not ever badmouth a previous employer to your potential future employer. Even if you had a horrible experience- the company was disorganized, the boss was an alcoholic, and your co-workers were incompetent- leave it out. It will make you look bad too. I completely understand that there are situations that were unavoidable, you didn't realize how poorly run it was when you took the job, you only stayed there because you were trying to get another job, and it is not your fault that the company was weak- leave it out or at least sugar coat it. I was recently screening a candidate- let's call her 'Jane Doe'- for a position she was qualified for. The only problem was that she lasted less than six months in her most recent position, and it was a permanent part-time position. When I asked Jane why she was no longer working there, she told me that the company was 'unethical' and she didn't like how they were 'run'. I instantly knew that Jane was no longer a good candidate for this position. The employer is looking for someone who is positive. They don't want to hear you complain. A better response would have been that she was seeking a full-time, long-term position, which would also have abandoned the thought the hiring manager was worried about in the first place- lack of longevity. When filling in your work experience on a resume, you are going to want to write (something positive) about the company above your achievements and job duties. The internet is a wonderful resource. If this is a part you are having trouble finding information on, and the company has a website, their 'about us' section will be very informative. If the company is a bit behind the times and does not yet have a website, give the company a call as a prospective customer and ask them to describe themselves to you. Sometimes you have to be a detective to obtain your information.
Proof Read Your Resume
A longer resume does not necessarily mean better. In fact, it can turn around and bite you in the long run. His resume is informative, and straight to the point. In fact, I have even heard of hiring managers refusing to read a resume longer than two to three pages. As I mentioned above, it is very important to put yourself in the shoes of the person reading it. Does the company need to know you like to play golf? Probably not. Do they need to know you know your way around the computer and can use HTML? Absolutely, especially if you are applying for a position with a tech company. In fact, if your resume does not include that skill and it was required, there is a very good chance the hiring manager would discard your resume, even though it is a skill you are familiar with. Point being, don't leave anything out that could be required, and don't include anything you know won't help. It really helps to read and double check the job description a couple times to make sure everything is included.
Relocating for Work?
Even if you aren't relocating for a job, if you are having a really hard time with work, you may want to consider relocating yourself. Find an area you like using Discover Our Town and call up some recruiters. Let them know you are moving to a new location and inquire as to whether there are any openings you may be able to interview for. You are more likely to get the job if the company knows they don't have additional relocation expenses if they hire you. Right now, new jobs are opening up in Chicago. If you enjoy the four seasons, then there is a good chance you will enjoy Chicago. Find a recruiter in Chicago to help you write your resume.