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Foundations for Resume Building

June 11, 2015 • Adulting

There are so many different ways to format a resume and so many different opinions of how the “ideal resume” should look, but there are definitely a few foundations that everyone should follow. I’ve asked our HR Director, Megan, to provide some of the things she looks for in a resume when considering future employees:

  • Use key words from the job posting in your resume.  This is especially helpful if you’re completing an online application as many Applicant Tracking Systems will rank your resume by these matches.

  • Consider your audience.  Is the person reading your resume the recruiter that may or may not know the “tech-y” terminology in your resume or the hiring manager that will know exactly what your acronyms mean?

  • Make it easy to navigate.  The average hiring manager will spend an average of 6 seconds scanning your resume to determine if it makes it to the “yes” pile or not.   Format with headings, job titles and bullet points that make it easy for the reader to find the most relevant information to up the odds of your resume making it into the yes pile.

  • Don’t worry about sticking to one page if you have a lot of relevant experience, achievements or education related to the job you are seeking.  If you do go to 2 pages, make sure you can fill that second page instead of just having a few lines spill over onto page two.

  • You can provide references with your initial application or wait.  Both options are acceptable.  Some applications request them upfront but if a recruiter wants to check your references and they aren’t included in the initial application, they will likely ask you to provide them.

  • If you include a reference page, identify your references and/or how they know you.  If the Mayor of Whoville is a reference, listing that they are the Mayor will give them added credibility when they talk about how talented you are.  If they are a current or former supervisor, that will be good info for the recruiter or hiring manager to know when they contact that person.
    Side note:  If the Mayor of Whoville is your mom or your best friend, I’d suggest using a different reference that can speak to your professional.

  • Let your references know that they are your references so they are prepared to speak on your behalf.

  • Don’t be afraid to follow up.  If it’s been a few days and you haven’t heard anything, a phone call or email just letting the recruiter or hiring manager know that you submitted a resume for XYZ position and are inquiring about the status of the position or wanting to reaffirm your interest is a great way to keep your name and resume top of mind.  You might also gain insight as to where the company is at in the hiring process so you’ll know what the next step will be.

I thought I’d end with a reminder that LinkedIn is super important in getting your name out there in the professional world. There are also many job opportunities displayed on LinkedIn. If you update your profile and your resume to be a dynamic duo, including putting your resume ON your LinkedIn profile, it’s a recipe for success.

Good luck, my friends!

megan and i working on resume

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