Been a minute since you had to worry about that, huh?

Pro Tip: Résumé literally means "summary."

Formatting speaks volumes

  • If CEOs can have a one-page resume, you sure as hell can
  • Get rid of the objective statement
    • Objective statements are all about what you want, and they don't yet care
    • If you feel you need it, put your goals in a cover letter and use the space as a "Career Summary" - - an elevator pitch highlighting your experience
    • There's even research showing objective statements could make you less hireable.
  • Design for skim-ability:
    • Put the best stuff in each section at the top: space = importance, so put more important things first and spend more time on them
    • Try to keep the length of individual bullets at 2 lines or under
    • Experience first, Education second, relevant Key Skills and Credentials last
    • Put work experience in reverse-chronological order; limit it to 10-15 years
    • Use digits when writing about numbers (e.g. 25, not twenty-five)
    • Make your contact information reasonably prominent
    • Add some color in (your name, headers, line separation) to break it up
  • Remember simplicity: not too busy with attractive formatting
    • Don't try to center or justify your text, stick to left-alignment (except dates and locations: right-align those to their matching content)
    • Once you've decided on a formatting style, keep it consistent
    • Don't run off the end of the page, try to leave some whitespace at the bottom
    • Pick a font that's easy on the eyes
  • Save and distribute your resume as a PDF (with your name in the filename)
  • If you don't know where to start with formatting, you can try the LinkedIn Resume Assistant (requries an MS Office365 subscription)

Content: with no such thing as a perfect resume, it's okay not to be content

  • Proofread, then print it out and proofread it again
    • Then have someone else proofread it
    • Typos and grammitacl errors make you look lazy (or an idiot)
    • See what I mean?      ↖ That looks dumb as hell: it's screaming proof that you are, in fact, not detail oriented
  • Highlight your accomplishments, not your day-to-day responsibilities
    • Here's what I accomplished
    • Here's how I accomplished it
    • Here's how it was measured (which leads us to...)
  • Quantify and give specifics (numbers of people, projects, users, dollars, time)
  • Use action verbs: "Resolved challenges" rather than "Responsible for resolving..."
      See this great worksheet of Action Verbs for Resumes and Cover Letters
        ...from The Damn Good Resume Guide by Yana Parker, Berkeley: Ten Speed Press
  • Save the space: cut empty words and phrases like "hard worker," "team oriented," "detail focused," "great leadership skills," and "creative innovator"
  • Ditch hobbies, personal interests, and "References Available Upon Request"
  • You're though college and a first job, there is no reason to list your high school-specific achievements
  • Omit salary history or you compromise any negotiating power you might have held
  • Leave off the photo unless you're applying for a modeling or acting gig
  • If you had a short-term job, consider whether its inclusion helps or hurts
    • The obvious time to include a short-term job is when the job was designed that way: contract work or temporary endeavors
    • Else, hiring managers might wonder if you were fired, had trouble with co-workers, or couldn't meet the challenges
    • A few months on a job won't typically deepen a skill set or show real accomplishments
  • Customize it: do not presume to use the same resume for every job or role

5 biggest résumé mistakes

Laszlo Bock, once SVP of People Operations at Google for more than a decade (now Founder & CEO of Humu), published a LinkedIn article detailing the biggest mistakes he sees on resumes... Mind you that Google receives more than 50,000 resumes a week.
This reinforces some of the above, and while you're smarter than most, it doesn't hurt to use his points as a checklist.

  • Typos
    Seriously. MS Word won't catch everything and sometimes your eyes see what you expect to read. Often, it's going back to tweak and fine tune that creates the issues
  • Length
    A focused resume demonstrates the ability to synthesize, prioritize, and convey the most important information. Plus, if it's too long people won't read it or assume you think too much of yourself. A resume's one purpose is to secure an interview
  • Formatting
    Except for applying to be an artist or designer, your format should be clean and legible
  • Confidential Information
    Some things you might be under agreement not to share. If you break confidentiality in a resume, why would you assume any future employer would be pleased to know you're loose with secrets?
  • Lies
    Even CEOs get fired for lying on their resumes. The internet reveals all

Still doing good, working hard, having fun, and making money... just my own way.

© 2019 LifeAfterEpic.com