Resumes – Get them Right!

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Resumes - Get them Right!
Crafting a résumé that will get you noticed is very time-consuming ; one that will usually, at some point, have you pulling your hair and screaming in frustration.

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Understanding that your résumé is being digitally uploaded to a system that searches for key words and match parameters before a human being ever looks at it is an important step to crafting a résumé that will get through the electronic hurdle.

As a Human Resources Manager, I see hundreds of resumes a day. Some of them are good; some of them are not so great. The following list is by no means the end-all of resume tips; however, they are some good tips that, at least from what I see day-to-day, people need to follow.

Write Your Resume for the Job you are Applying For

Often, I see resumes uploaded for Sales Associate positions where the objectives say something completely different, such as: “I am seeking a position in the EMT field …”, or “I wish to use my photography skills..”.

Unless the job posting says anything about EMT or photography, you are wasting valuable real estate on your résumé. Your objectives need to line up with what the job posting is asking for; emphasize the skills that you have to bring to the table in that specific area. This may mean that you have to write MANY versions of your résumé – and that is okay. Having multiple versions of your résumé allows you to apply for many positions that may be similar, but within different aspects of a business.

Do Not Put Anything on Your Resume That Dates You

Yes, age discrimination is illegal, but why put anything on your résumé that could lead to prospective employers unconsciously dating you? This goes for, shall we say, more experienced applicants as well as less experienced applicants. The year you graduated college is not as important as the fact that you graduated. I prefer to see something like this:
BA – Communications – Cameron University – Lawton, Oklahoma

Now, you have to put the dates of past employment – or do you? I have seen it both ways, but if the last time you worked in a certain industry or used a specific skill set was 20 years ago, you might not want to share the date. Remember, you are trying to get your résumé into the hands of a hiring manager!

Work History

Do not go back 20-30 years. Keep it to the past 10 years, max. This is for many reasons, one being that multiple page resumes do not get looked at as often as their one page counterparts.

Don’t waste your valuable resume real estate by writing your daily duties. Give quantifiable example of how you accomplished organizational needs. “Managed ten accounts” doesn’t really say anything. “Increased Direct Operating Profits by 15%” attracts more attention, doesn’t it? Get your numbers together and really think about what you did to increase efficiency, profits, sales, and other things important to businesses and frame your work history to highlight those measurable examples of your work.

Momma O blogs at www.thehouseofo.com when she isn't busy with her full time HR career, finishing up her Master's degree and running after three children and a husband.