Resume Roulette – Is Yours Ready for 2011?

Kelly Dingee Job Seeker Advice, Kelly Dingee, Resumes

There have been lots of blog posts in 2010 about resumes. What recruiters like, what they don’t like. What should be on it, what shouldn’t  be.  Building a resume is the initial freak-out moment of a job search for almost everyone.  They have to document their career… succinctly and with the right words… to garner the attention of a future employer.

And while FOT isn’t normally focused on job seeker advice, heck, it’s almost the new year, and some of you out there may be thinking about what’s in store for you career wise in 2011, so let me talk to you from the front lines of resume reviewing as a sourcer.  You don’t want to know how many profiles and resumes I review on a daily basis, it’s obscene… but what you need to know is:

  • Use a good font.  Calibri, Arial – something clean that will scan or upload well and not convert into wingdings.  Sounds silly, but you wouldn’t believe how many people try to use some odd or archaic font.
  • Structure? Use something organized.  If you’ve been out of school for a while, say three years, move your education to the bottom.  If you’ve got a security clearance, like a full-scope poly? Keep it at the top and prominent.  Bullets are good.  Objectives are old news.
  • Document what you’ve done that is significant at your previous employers.  If you’re in a results/number driven arena, please show me the numbers.  I want to see your success.  I want to know if you’ve been working for an $80 million versus a $150 million company.  I want to know if the department you supervised was 15 people versus 5.
  • Assume recruiters are stupid.  If the job description asks for experience X, Y or Z, make sure that experience is documented on your resume.  Don’t expect me to imply that you have that experience because you applied to the job and it’s not on your resume.  This is your first step into my world, make it count and show me the experience you have in words.
  • Tweak your resume.  20 years ago, it was a pain to tweak a resume.  But these days? It’s easy. If you have the experience written in the job post, then tweak your resume to reflect it so it’s obvious to the recruiter reviewing it.  But as I write this, know that I do not want you to lie.  Do not embellish.  If you don’t have the experience, don’t say you do.  I will catch you on that in the screening.  And if you make it to the hiring manager and they catch you? You’re done at my company.
  • Put your resume online.  I don’t care where or how you do it.  A Google profile is a great idea and, of course, a public LinkedIn profile will definitely get you into the top of most search engine results.  Let me find you.  Many, many companies have strayed away from posting on the big boards and those that still do are so flooded with results that they may miss yours.  Want to see if you come up in my results?  Search Google for yourself.  Or Bing.
  • And lastly, spell check and proof read.  Please use spell check.  So many resumes get tossed out by hiring managers because they have typos.  But after you spell check, print your resume and read it aloud.  Does it make sense? Did you miss anything?  Now send it to someone to proof. If you’ve got a recruiter friend like me, of course I’ll look at it.  But send it to someone who will give you honest feedback and really read it.

Whatever you do, don’t agonize over your resume.  Think of it as a work in progress.  Sure you want to be as close to perfect as possible, but be ready to finesse it and correct it as you need to.  And get it online!