Having a great resume won’t get you the job, but having a bad one will prevent you from getting an interview at all. The purpose of your resume is to quickly tell a story about your career, who you are, and what you’re looking for next. It helps potential employers determine if you’re a fit, and your network to scope out new opportunities.
If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, updating your resume is the first place you should start. Ideally, keep your resume up to date even when you’re NOT looking, so that you’re prepared when something great comes along.
Many clients that I work with are unsure of where to begin. Compiling your life’s work on one or two pages is stressful and can cause many people to avoid creating a resume altogether. The good news is that once you have a solid resume, maintaining it is fairly simple. Think of the initial painful setup as an investment (in your future!).
Here are five tips to get you started:
- Look at other resumes for samples, and then create your own. Stuffing your career history into a ready made template can often look awkward, and can be hard to update with your details.
- Include your objective or profile statement. Many candidates forget this section (or avoid it). The objective communicates what kind of job you’re looking for to potential employers. It’s essential.
- Keep your resume to one or two pages max. Beyond two pages, nobody will read it and you will look unfocused. If you’ve been working less than three years, keep it to one page. Beyond that, you can go with one or two pages.
- Do not use fonts smaller than 9 point. Employers don’t want to strain to read your resume. Cut the details down to what’s really important and you won’t need to squeeze so much onto the page.
- Include measurable results. Explain your impact in terms of quantifiable numbers. How many people did you manage? How much money did you save? How many campaigns did you work on? How much did you exceed your goals? Putting numbers alongside your experience magnifies your impact.
I hope these tips have helped you. Check back at CopelandCoaching.com for more resume tips.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.