A well-written resume not only illustrates your work history, it also highlights your skills and accomplishments, distinctive characteristics, and is a powerful marketing tool for the job seeker. Successful placement in a position that suits your goals and needs depends on the quality and presentation of your resume.
A professionally written resume can significantly increase your response rate. Candidates with attractive and well-presented resumes often get the desired interviews, even if they are not the most qualified applicants.
Hiring professionals are tasked with sorting through and screening hundreds – and sometimes thousands - of resumes. It is estimated that over 50% of companies use Applicant Tracking Systems and other software to help them manage recruiting. The resumes that make it through this initial, automated process are then carefully scrutinized to ensure the candidates are worthy of further consideration.
The resume writing professionals at Newtown International Family of Companies will assist you with tools and training allowing you to write and format a high quality resume. Your credentials will be optimized to attract the attention of hiring professionals and HR managers. Your result: an appealing and effective resume that will help you win the interviews for the job placements for which you are aiming.
Your resume is like your drivers license. It tells a great deal about you and it must be updated every so often. It is one of the keys to get your interview. It needs to be clear, concise, well developed and needs to be perfect.
Resume Writing: Tips/Best Practices
Design & Layout:
- Choose a simple, easy to read font. Make sure the font size is large enough to be legible, but not so large that it appears cartoonish. Stick with one font, using bold and italics to add emphasis, rather than using a second font for emphasis. If you must use a second font, make sure it is also easy to read and not too flamboyant. Arial, Georgia and Times New Roman are default fonts often used for resumes.
- Make use of Microsoft Word templates to ensure you hit all the “key points” expected in a resume.
- Make sure your contact information is easily found and up to date, allowing interested employers to readily get in touch with you. This includes your home and cell phone numbers, email address and even your mailing address.
- Though resumes are getting longer, and it is now acceptable to go beyond the one page resume, keeping it smart, concise and to the point is still standard.
- Customize your objective to match the position for which you are applying. Many hiring professionals decide whether to continue reading your resume based on these first few sentences. Make them count.
- Prioritize your content to work with your customized objective. Showcase the job experience, skills and education that best focuses on that objective.
- Have someone you trust proof your resume for correct spelling and proper grammar. Typos and word choice errors are a red flag to hiring professionals. Use a professional voice and tone while avoiding the use of too much jargon or industry slang.
- Avoid first-person pronoun use (I, my, we), as the hiring professional already knows the resume is detailing your skills and accomplishments.
- Avoid unnecessary repetition and irrelevant information. Hobbies and interests should be limited to those that are relevant to the position for which you are applying.
- Be completely honest and transparent with all your information. Background checks are standard these days and will uncover any inconsistencies.
- Include keywords that appear in the job descriptions for which you are applying. This helps increase the chances of your resume matching available positions - and of you being selected for an interview.
- Don’t forget the cover letter! A well-written cover letter will highlight the details outlined in your resume without simply regurgitating your resume content.
Here’s a great reference article: 6 Secrets To Writing A Great Cover Letter
Keep the following in mind when creating your resume.
- Create a customized resume for each position you're applying for.
- Outline the last 10 years of work history. Make sure that you detail the job description and responsibilities.
- Any skills that relate to the position should be noted regardless if those skills were learned on the job or though education.
- Any licenses, certifications, and security clearance.
- Volunteer experience that is in the same field.
Know the purpose of your resume.
- The purpose of your resume is to get you the interview, and the interview will land you the job.
- Highlight your strengths, qualifications, and achievements.
- What strengths, qualifications, and achievements of yours need to be on your resume? Remember that you should create one customized resume for each job you are applying to so the strengths and qualifications could be different for each resume.
- Don’t include irrelevant information.
- You don’t need to list all your experience; simply ask yourself “is it relevant?
- Many people who like to include statements like “Available for interview” or “References available upon request.” If you are sending a resume to a company, it should be a given that you are available for an interview and that you will provide references if requested. Just avoid items that will make the employer think “no kidding!"
- DO NOT write anything that will reveal your religous or political affiliation.
- Use bullet points.
- No employer will have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.
Attention to the typography.
- Make sure that your fonts are big enough. Do not use stylized fonts such as script or block. Arial, Helvetica, Times or Garamond are decent font examples.
- Errors can cost you the potential interview. Have multiple people review your resume for grammar, typos and punctuation. Avoid asking friends or family unless you trust them to provide realistic feedback.
- Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews. You don’t need to include things that you hated about your last company.
No lies, please
- Seems like a no brainer, but there are many people who lie on their resume. Apart from being wrong, most HR departments do background checks, and if you are busted it might ruin your credibility for good.
Use a good printer
- There is nothing worse than a resume printed on bad paper or smudged from an inkjet printer. Spend the money and get your resume printed on high quality paper and on laser printers.