You should always have an up-to-date resume on hand (and preferably instantly downloadable from your personal web site). Opportunities are everywhere and you need to be ready to act quickly when they come your way.
Resumes don’t get you the job; their purpose is to market you well enough to get you an interview. They are not dumping grounds for everything you’ve ever done or ever hope to be. Readers should not have to search high and low to find out what they need to know. A good resume is simple, focused and elegant. If yours isn’t ready to rock your role, start fixing it up now. Your objective is to leave them wanting to know more – hence the need interview you!
Here are 5 ways to make it happen:
1. Make white space your best friend
Forget about bold, italics, and underlining. Yes, they are the tools of emphasis. But your presentation layout should be designed so it immediately draws the eye to what you want prospective employers to read. An uncluttered layout suggests an uncluttered mind. That’s very attractive to employers. Use layout to show how well you know what’s important to the reader.
2. Use black space to tell your story at a glance
The experience most relevant to the position you’re after (which will be your most recent experience only if it is directly related to the job you are after or otherwise the most related experience regardless of how recent) should be about 50% of a single page. Then use 30% of the remaining type to note your other experience. (Leave out temp job descriptions (i.e., provide the dates only) unless they are directly relevant to the job you are applying for.)
3. Let verbs do your “show and sell”
Verbs demonstrate the actions that produced results. For example, “reduced hospital equipment loss 50% by restricting and monitoring employee access, installing video camera systems and implementing the use of remote frequency identification tags. Patient satisfaction with critical healthcare services tripled because equipment was quickly made available in emergencies being in the right location or easily retrieved from anywhere in the hospital.”
4. Never use cliché adjectives or fonts smaller than 10 point
Don’t say you’re motivated, dedicated, inspiring, or creative. Everybody says that. It’s boring. And don’t think using smaller font is the best way to get everything crammed in. It’s a clear sign you don’t know what’s most important to say or include. Don’t forget, most hiring managers are of an age where they can barely read small type even with their glasses on and many are overworked and won’t have the patience for reading all the fine print!
5. Don’t provide all the answers
Always write your story so it doesn’t provide all the answers. You want to get the reader to the point where they want to pick up the phone and ask you “how did you solve that problem?” or how did you get that phenomenal increase?” A great resume says “there’s more” in a way that makes the employer want to tune in for the interview and hear stories about how creative, competitive, and collaborative you are in action first hand.
You are the author and editor of your career story. Always keep them wanting more.