When it comes to submitting your resume to a recruiter, you have to keep in mind that we receive literally hundreds of resumes in a given month. That’s a lot of reading material! So keeping your submissions concise and engaging will get the attention you’re seeking.
With that said, there is no silver bullet when it comes to resume writing. Much of it is subjective, however there are a few keys that will get your resume noticed… for both the right and wrong reasons.
- Forget to attach your resume to your e-mail/submission. You’d be surprised how often this happens!
- Address the reader incorrectly. When you address me as “Dear Sir” and then proceed to tell me that you have a high attention to detail, it doesn’t reflect well.
- Apply for a job that you are clearly not qualified for. This often demonstrates:
- Your attention to detail is low.
- You have not done your research about the role you are applying for.
- You don’t know how to sell yourself on roles you are underqualified for. Your e-mail must explain to the reader why you want to get into that field, what transferable skills you have etc. A reason to consider you for the job, because your resume on its own will not do the trick.
- Overuse pictures and graphics. Perhaps for a graphic design role this may gain some traction, but in general, overcomplicating your resume with design elements is unnecessary.
- Use an illegible/unprofessional font.
- Include your High School graduation date, especially when you have a degree.
- Include too many hobbies and personal information. A few relevant tidbits can add personality but this shouldn’t be long.
- Make your resume too short or too long. 2-3 pages is ideal.
- It’s difficult to include impressive accomplishments, along with everything else on 1 page.
- More than 4 pages indicates that you may struggle with being concise. You will lose the reader much sooner than page 5 anyway if your resume is not engaging. There is no need to include exhaustive details for jobs over 10 years old.
- List too many “duties and responsibilities”. Try to focus more on actual accomplishments instead. One line describing the company is plenty.
- Send an e-mail with your resume attached, and no note in your e-mail.
- Use clean formatting – regular size font that I can read with the naked eye.
- Include accomplishments. Load it up with relevant awards, accomplishments include tangible/measureable impacts on the team, customer, organization, etc.
- Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Key competencies and accomplishments that help the reader imagine you in the role, and doing well are sure fire ways to get a telephone call!
Keep in mind that you are trying to move the process along, essentially selling the reader on the fact that you will be a great candidate for the job. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader, keep it relevant and don’t forget to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pile!