How can you make your resume shine in the stack instead of landing in the “no” pile? In this article, Cox’s talent acquisition experts provide guidance so you can make your resume the best it can be.
Writing a resume can be a tedious task. As you wrangle your accomplishments, job history and academic achievements, you might find yourself frustrated at the tedium of representing yourself in just one document. How do you know if you’re putting your best foot forward? What do recruiters look for in a resume? And what information matters most?
If resume writing has you feeling frustrated, we’ve got good news: Cox’s recruitment experts have whipped up a few dos and don’ts to help guide you through the process. Keep reading to discover their resume recommendations, and explore our blog for more career tips!
Make a good first impression.
Your resume should be a quick, scannable glimpse at your accomplishments and background. You don’t have much space to tell your story, so highlight the most impactful information for the job you want.
Be sure to include your experience, education and skills.
While you’ll hopefully still have room on your resume to list information like awards and professional organizations, demonstrating your job and educational history – and what talents you developed along the way – is first priority. Oh, and be sure to include your contact information on your resume. Adding your email address will ensure that recruiters can easily get in touch with you regarding the position!
Did you know that it’s a good idea to have multiple resumes?
Our recruiters recommend against having one blanket, generic resume for every job you’re interested in. Rather, you should customize a version of your resume for the specific position. This way, you can make sure you’re showcasing the most relevant aspects of your career journey.
For example: imagine you’re a marketing professional who is on the hunt for a new job. You have a diverse background that includes selling radio advertising, as well as working at a web development firm. If you’re applying for a sales job, it makes sense to cast more attention on your radio job in the “Skills” section of your resume; those are likely the proficiencies that will be of most interest to that employer, and the ones that will make you more competitive for that job. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a marketing position at a tech startup, you might be better off highlighting the experience you gained at the web development firm.
Tailor your resume to ensure that you’re always bringing your “A” game to each job application. Just be sure to be truthful on your resume as well!
LTA (lose the acronyms).
Make sure whomever reads your resume can actually – you know – read it. Avoid unnecessary or uncommon abbreviations, as they can clutter your resume and make it difficult to understand.
For example: many companies (yes, including Cox!) have internal acronyms to represent certain businesses or teams. People outside the organization wouldn’t have knowledge of what these internal terms mean, so using them can make your resume confusing to a recruiter.
Ask yourself how you can make your resume easily readable and understandable. It will serve you well in the long-run of the job hunt!
Proofread, proofread, proofread.
There’s a reason why we repeated this advice three times. It really is worth taking the time to re-read your resume and comb through it for errors before you consider it finalized. If your resume is rife with incorrect punctuation, wonky formatting or spelling errors, it won’t reflect well on you as a candidate.
What are a few common resume errors to avoid?
- Being inconsistent with formatting. Ensure that the body of your resume is consistent when it comes to bullets, font, size, color and spacing.
- Using passive voice. At its core, active voice is all about making the subject – aka you, the job-seeker – the centerpiece of the story instead of the action. For example: “Projects were managed by me” vs. “I managed projects.” By using active voice, you’ll be illustrating your background in a clear and confident way.
- Using incorrect capitalization and punctuation. Hearken back to English class, brushing up on best practices for capitalization as well as those pesky commas, periods, ampersands and more. Tools like spellcheck are your friend!
Type less, say more. Try to fit your whole resume on one page; never exceed two. Prioritize your information, get to the point and don’t add fluff. Negative space is easy on the eyes of the reader, so resist the urge to go into unnecessary detail just to fill space.