5 Tips to Avoid an Embarrassing Resume

In my line of work, I happen to look at a pretty large number of resumes on a frequent basis. I’ve seen hundreds, learned the ins and outs, and decide almost immediately if someone is worth contacting – solely based on the visual appeal of their resume. However, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to have a great resume! Here are 5 tips that will help you to craft the perfect resume that will leave you unforgettable in employers’ minds.

  1. It’s a numbers game. Make sure you add in examples with specific numbers: how many people you supervised, percentages of increased sales, dollars of costs cut, dollars associated with accounts you handled. This gives your potential employers insight into the scope of your work and will stick in their mind longer than a generic alternative of “I increased sales.”
  2. Short, Sweet, Succinct. These three words should be the holy grail of resume writing. Don’t skimp out on essential details, but always remember that less is more. I try to stick to three or four talking points per experience that cover a range of my responsibilities, but these should be just that: talking points. Allow yourself room for explanation and details during your interview.
  3. Keep length appropriate. I’m sure you’ve heard the rule that you should only have one resume page for every ten years of employment. This is a pretty good guideline, but with LinkedIn or personal websites giving more room for additional details, it should be easy to stick to one to two pages. If employers have to staple your resume, they are less likely to spend time reviewing it… especially if your current title is “coordinator” or “analyst” [read: “entry level”].
  4. Get creative. I’m not worried about the graphic designers out there with this one, but if you are in a non-artistic field, still find a way to make your resume stand out. Make sure your name is big, bold, and legible. Incorporate the link to your website or LinkedIn. Throw in a logo, image, or QR code. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, do not use Times New Roman, at least bump it up to Arial. Make sure everything is cohesive, standard sizing, and flows well.
  5. Ditch the summary/objective. What is the point of this dumb paragraph? Your experience is your summary. Your objective is [quite obviously] attaining the job to which you just applied. I have never understood this phenomenon and feel it is an absolute waste of space on an already cramped one-pager. There’s room for this on LinkedIn.

There you go! A foolproof guide to creating an irresistible resume to help you land your dream job.

xoxo, mcb

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2 thoughts on “5 Tips to Avoid an Embarrassing Resume

  1. Just totally re-did my resume but I will definitely be going back to make sure I’ve got these 5 things down. Thank you!!

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