Social media continues to transform the way we make impressions from LinkedIn profiles to YouTube videos to Facebook walls.  Yet at the end of the day, everybody still enjoys looking good on paper, and the traditional resume is still the first impression made to a recruiter when it comes to finding a job.  Who doesn’t want to look good on paper?

WomanManConductingInterviewSo make it easy for recruiters to see why you’d be a good fit, before they even pick up the phone to speak with you.  Here are a couple of guidelines to help you ensure maximum optimization of the time recruiters and hiring authorities spend analyzing your resume to see if you have the skills and background they are seeking.

  1. Format:

    Pay attention to flow and avoid making your resume difficult to follow.  Assume that the individual reviewing your resume has 30 seconds to look it over.  Make it easy for them to quickly pick up your employers, job title/positions and duration at each firm.  If you’re a consultant, include your clients or at least the type of clients you’ve worked with.  Within that framework provide a couple of bullet points on what your role and responsibilities were.  If you would like to include a line or two that highlights the overall purpose of the project—that is fine, but make sure the bulk of the text highlights your skills and experiences.

  2. Be Concise:

    Aim to succinctly describe the skills and experiences you have acquired in each position and that you want to leverage in your next role.  Keep your resume to 1-2 pages.  Boxes, lines, wide margins and open space do not maximize relevant information that can be provided in a 1-2 page resume.  Your recent experiences are most relevant and should have the most detail.  Positions 10 years ago should be noted but the level of detail should be 25% or less of your current role. No one likes to receive a resume over 4 pages.

  3. Personalize Your Resume:

    Objective – it’s helpful to provide a couple of lines at the top of your resume explaining your career objective and goals.  It is our mission to find the right match from both the client and candidate perspective. Help steer us in the right direction.  Personal Interests – a couple of bullets highlighting your own interests/activities at the end of a resume shares information about you as a person and not just a candidate.  Interesting hobbies can be good conversation starters and can open the door for a personal connection.

These are aspects of a resume that I appreciate and following them can help improve your resume.  Though the resume is just you on paper and not an entirely accurate portrayal of your full potential, it’s the initial insight a potential employer uses to then decide whether or not to bring you in for an interview.  Incorporate the above tips as you see fit, and best of luck.