You have seconds—that’s right seconds—to capture the attention of a potential employer. A good first impression is a MUST. You often can’t make that impression in person, so you have to gain your prospective employer’s favor—and the chance for an interview—with a well-written resume. Think of your resume as a teaser; this is a chance to impress the employer and make them want to find out more. We’re not going to lie to you; creating a resume employers want to read isn’t easy, but it’s not that complicated if you follow these resume tips:
- Include your contact information. If you want to receive a phone call or email about your job interview, include contact information on your resume. Contact information such as your full name, address (street, city and zip code), phone number and email should be at the top of your resume, easy for employers to see and use. You may also want to include a link to your professional social media sites, like LinkedIn. Always be sure that if you are including links to your professional social media, that the information is up to date and that there is nothing on your pages that you don’t want an employer to see.
- Appearance does matter. Just like you painstakingly choose your outfit for your job interview, use the same care when writing your resume. Pay attention to formatting and create a clear, well-written resume without typos or grammatical errors. Make sure you proof, proof and proof again. Ask friends or family to double-check your resume before you send your resume out.
- Be honest. Don’t exaggerate on your resume, or write anything that isn’t 100% honest. Honesty is one of the traits that employers want in a good employee. Your resume is your first impression; a lie or exaggeration on your resume will surely eliminate you from the candidate pool.
- Don’t over generalize. Saying ‘worked in an office’ does not explain what you did, what you accomplished, and what experience you can draw on for your new employer. Be specific about what you did and accomplished at your previous employer. For example, ‘created documentation and processed orders for customers’ or ‘answered customer calls and solved common customer problems with a customer satisfaction rating of 9/10’ tells your future employers what you did and accomplished for your previous employer, and what you could do for them. Remember to use resume tip #3 when compiling this list: be honest.
- Customize for your potential employer. ‘One size fits all’ does not apply to resumes. If you are applying for an administrative position at a manufacturer, customize your resume to highlight your training and administrative experience that makes you the best possible candidate for the job. For a managerial position in a manufacturing setting, write a list of positions that show your leadership skills and experience at past employers in production, assembly and shipping.
- Use it. Network as much as possible. Keep in mind that “networking” is not a desperate plea, or should include any negative comments about your past co-workers, company or boss. Think of networking as a strategic advocacy—on your behalf. Identify the kind of position you want, and who to contact to make that happen. Then, make a list of points that you want to make about your goals and strengths and start networking. Submit your application to a staffing agency with direct hire or temp-to-hire positions (which have their own set of advantages). Attend job fairs and professional networking groups. Reach out to other associates in your industry via social media (such as LinkedIn) and at industry association meetings. This is where the Nissen Staffing Continuum “It’s not who you know, it’s who we know together” comes into play—and gets you, and your perfect resume in front of your next potential employer.