As the summer winds down, we begin to think about our year and how we want to spend our time. For some of us, that means looking for a new position or career. This year especially, coming off a pandemic when many didn't want to make a move or start a new role remotely, we anticipate an influx in candidates ready to take the next step.
If you're thinking about your next move or preparing to apply, consider these top 3 Dos and Don'ts for your resume.
Number 1: Quantify Your Impact
One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make is to simply list out their job responsibilities on their resume. These passive resumes are OVER – we are now looking for active, or high score, resumes. Think about it this way, recruiters and hiring managers already know what is involved in job roles. We wrote the job description, after all.
So instead of telling us what you did in your role, tell us what you accomplished in each area of responsibility within your role to make an impact.
For example, if you are an events manager, I already know that you are going to be responsible for managing the organization’s events. I also know what is involved in planning an event. What I really want to know is:
- Were you any good at doing what you were tasked to do?
- What have you done to reduce costs and/or increase funds raised?
- How have you increased attendance at the event?
The list goes on...
Show me, don’t tell me, why you are awesome. A good way of checking you are doing so is to ensure each bullet point has a success verb and a number. Check out our freebie for some success verbs to get you started.
Number 2: Maximize the Use of Social Platforms
In the 2010s we saw social media launch, flourish and boom. Social media is now so much a part of my work life that before even opening an applicant’s resume, I have looked them up on LinkedIn. I cross check LinkedIn with the resume to make sure the person is telling the truth. I look for endorsements from colleagues, extracurricular interests, and articles posted and engaged with. I use LinkedIn in conjunction with the resume and cover letter to decide if I interview the candidate. Make sure your LinkedIn and resume align – think about dates, job titles, and responsibilities. Have a professional profile picture. Ask for some endorsements. Update your key skills.
And, for better or worse, it doesn’t stop at LinkedIn. Be prepared for recruiters and hiring managers to look you up on Facebook, Instagram, and even Google you! If you are going through a job search, either make these more social/less business accounts private, or ensure that you are projecting a professional image of yourself at all times on all platforms. Everything you do online has a footprint, make sure yours presents the best you, at all times.
Number 3: Make Your Resume Easy to Read
I have a couple of points to make here.
- There will be at least three (if not more) people who read your resume. Not all of those will actually know about your industry. One of these might even be an applicant tracking software (ATS) or a robot! It’s important to avoid jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations as much as possible.
- I have recently started seeing resumes with a subheading under the company name which briefly explains what the company does. I can’t recommend this enough! It saves me a task in searching for the company if I have not heard of it, and it shows that you want to make life as easy as possible for me. (Thanks for that!)
- Finally I want to talk about gaps on your resume. We’ve all had them, don’t worry about it. What I’d like to know is: what did you do during the gap? Maybe you took time off to raise your family, maybe you traveled, maybe you left a job and it simply took you awhile to get a new one. Life happens and that’s okay, but I always appreciate when people include a bit more information about those times.
Here are some examples of ‘filler lines’ for the examples I shared:
- Stay-at-home parent, for a family of four, energized to return to work. 2011- 2021
- Fortunate to travel to 13 countries before returning to focus on professional career. 2015 – 2020
- Returning to work after a period of personal exploration and growth. 2018 – 2019
Bottom line, recruiters may read 100+ resumes in a day, so we get pretty good at skimming. Make it easy for us and you’ll reap the benefits.
If you’re thinking about sprucing up your resume and LinkedIn for 2021, whether embarking on a job search or just to get things up-to-date, Evolve is here to help. Contact Jamie Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can be your partner.