As an IT recruiter, I review hundreds of resumes a day looking for that perfect match for the job I’m trying to fill. Today, I thought I’d share some resume writing tips that I hope will help anyone who is currently looking for a job avoid some common mistakes.
Customize Your Resume for the Job
When companies ask us to recruit candidates for them, they are looking for someone who will fit into their team and bring specific skills and experience to the job. Keep this in mind when you are “selling” yourself to a company. The first page of your resume should highlight your most relevant accomplishments, skills, and experience for the job you’re applying for.
Remember, your resume is not a life story or a track record of your career. A resume’s purpose is to show how you meet the requirements of a particular job, and to create enough interest so that the company will want to interview you.
Spelling and Grammar Count
If you take one important point out of this blog, I hope it will be that spelling, grammar and capitalization errors will ruin your chances of getting an interview! As soon as I see a spelling mistake, typo, or grammatical error I move onto the next resume. Do not rely on spell check as it does not catch every type of grammatical error. Instead, have someone edit your resume before you send it out.
Keep It Simple
Recruiters and employers are usually very busy and tend to review resumes rapidly. On average, I spend 30 seconds scanning each resume for the key skills and experience I’m looking for.
Follow these 3 tips to stay on top of the resume pile:
- Write a brief intro: Highlight your experience and skills at the beginning of your resume
- Be concise: Stay on point, and keep the content easy to read using bullets and headings
- Keep it short: Resume length is extremely important. Depending on how much experience you have, keeping it to a maximum of three pages is key.
Structuring Your Resume
A few guidelines to remember when writing your resume:
- Avoid First Person: Do not write your resume in first-person to avoid your resume coming off as impersonal. For example, don’t say something like, “John is currently working at RIM”
- List Accurate Employment Dates: List your jobs in chronological order with your most recent job first. Be accurate on the dates of employment.
- Are you Contract or Perm? At Stafflink we recruit both permanent and IT professionals. State whether you were a full time employee or on contract. Be sure to list the technologies that you used at each job.
- Use Keywords: When I search for resumes I am looking for keywords which will make your resume stand out from others.
- Use Action Words: When describing your work experience it is important to use action words such as designed, developed, implemented, accomplished, etc.
- List Your Education: If you are a recent grad, list your education before your work experience. Be sure to list the type of degree that you earned and the area of study. In addition to any degrees that you have attained, it would be a good idea to list courses that you have taken, especially if they are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- Be Honest!: Tell the truth on your resume. It’s a small world, and it will hurt you in the long run if you make things up on your resume.
Do you have any other tips I haven’t listed?