This week, we wrap up our series on resumes. I offer advice for the best thing you can do to ensure that someone actually reads your resume in this short clip. This is a good time to hear from employers, as well. I’m delighted to share feedback from five employers who offer resume writing advice, including what they look for on a resume. Consider what will help your resume stand out from the pile.
Resumes should show a person’s full interests in addition to work experience and accomplishments. Participation within one’s community is extremely beneficial. This shows a well-rounded individual who is dedicated not only to the job but also to society.
As an employer, I look for loyalty – time on the job. If someone has held numerous positions over a short period of time it appears that they may be unable to commit to the job at hand.
Probably what is most important on a resume is to be real and don’t overstate information. It is easy to see through a resume written by a person who only worked for three months yet accomplished a lifetime of activities. This is an easy pitched resume. Also, if the person does actually get past the interviewer, the future employer will discover the truth when expectations are not met.
References from former employers are much more valuable than from co-workers and acquaintances. A cover letter from someone who personalizes it specifically with relevant information pertaining to the prospective employer is eye catching. It shows that the person took time to research the company and that the applicant has initiative.
I look at tenure of previous employment. If there are a lot of jobs with little tenure, then I want to find out why. Does the candidate jump from different job industries? Is there a gap between jobs?
I also look for the format and style of the resume, as it is a direct reflection of the person seeking a job.
Finally, I look for skillsets that match the job opportunity. If the job opportunity is for a Help Desk Technician and the skillsets on the resume are for an auto mechanic, the resume goes in the shredder.
General Sales Manager, Ciocca Honda
I look for an accurate objective and work history in the same industry within the last three to five years. The resume that goes into file 13 demonstrates no employer loyalty, no objective and skill set, and misspellings/lack of organization.
With more and more resumes being submitted electronically, there’s no opportunity to stand out by printing resumes on good quality paper or a different color. That being said, there are opportunities to stand out with your organization of information, the formatting and the typefaces you use. Make your resume clean and concise. Don’t use one of the pre-set formats or wizards – you’ll look like everyone else. Most importantly, if you’re submitting a resume electronically, be sure to submit it in a PDF format so that all of your hard work around formatting isn’t lost.
My thinking is that a resume is the one piece of communication that an individual is going to be the most invested in — moreso than anything that we’re ever going to request on the job. So it’s a real glimpse into what drives the person and makes him/her tick.
For me, it’s not just the information per se. . . how someone presents information gives me a glimpse into the following.
1. How he or she writes
2. How he or she organizes information (consistent, concise)
3. His or her attention to detail
4. His or her ability to handle grammar and punctuation (I love resumes that extol “attention to detail” yet have typos in them!)
I like resumes that talk about both skills and results (what he or she actually accomplished with the skills).
When I talk to kids in college, I tell them that, if they worked their way through college, be sure to include that on the resume. It speaks to passion and commitment.