Job seekers often agonize over how to create a resume that will gain attention. Would you take one sales pitch out to every client? I don't think so!
First and foremost, keep in mind that the majority of hires are made through word of mouth. However, there are also several layers to go through when interviewing for a job, so it is crucial to have a targeted resume that focuses on the particular job for which you are applying!
The first step is to research the job by reviewing the job description; talking to current staff to probe what the needs are for the company; any special hot buttons, etc. Do you best know how to position yourself?
Think about is who is receiving the resume? Employers primarily read resumes when they have a need to hire to fill a specific position. Does your resume address the needs of the employer for that particular job?
Keep in mind, a resume cannot get someone a job, but can only get an open door to begin conversations about a particular position. Resumes should not read like a novel, but be a snapshot of why you are a match for a particular position. One resume cannot be all things to all jobs so tailor it to the hiring manager for a particular job. If you have certain experience or skills that don't fit with the open job, leave it off!
Don't forget the vitals - name, phone (where you can best be reached) and email (a physical address does not have to be included) Use professional email addresses with your name in it, stay away from cutesy ones!
KISS - readers skim, the average time is 5-7 seconds - keep it simple but full of impact - drop unnecessary words and repetition, include information pertinent to the open job and by all means, include numbers, accomplishments, and what you did to make the changes
WIFT - what's in it for them? What did you do, how did you do it and how did it benefit your employer? Include measureable facts that show how you are unique
Lose the ‘references upon request' too trite and a waste of space
An objective? Not my favorite, it should be personalized to a job and handled in a cover email or letter
No fancy fonts, logos, pictures or formatting, don't even include ‘Page 2' as they often end up in the middle of the page, with different systems reading resumes, it is best to save in a PDF if acceptable
Never in first or third person (I or he)
Tell a story in order of occurrence - most recent at top, education goes at the bottom!
If you have several positions that are similar but at different companies, definitely choose a ‘functional' vs. a ‘chronological' format
Consider leaving off graduation dates - could show you are too young or too old
Think about who will read your resume. If you only have 5-7 seconds to get their attention, put the key information non the top. Education goes at the bottom of the resume
Use words to paint a pic –share how you got a job or internship; show what you did and how it helped the company on each statement made
Lose the creative approach. Many people today want to use a resume that has little boxes spaced around the page. Guess what happens to most when they go into a resume system? It all gets knocked out of alignment! Stick with traditional, easy to read formats that can show why someone should interview you