One Chance to Make a First Impression
The most vital part of any job search is creating a resume that is both clear and distinct. Here we will highlight several ways you can improve on your existing resume to help convey your best skills and assets.
Define your Resume Objective
If you’re looking for a software development job make sure your resume highlights skills mentioned in the job description. When describing your position at past companies use words like Implemented, Improved, Designed and Managed to start each sentence.
Choose a Basic Font
A hiring manager will take an average 30 seconds to review each resume. If the font you choose is difficult to read, your resume may not convey enough information within that brief time period. Using a basic font with 12 point size makes finding important information on your resume easier to find. Basic fonts are Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman are preferred by recruiters and hiring managers. Use bold, underline and capitalize fonts to define job descriptions and skills. Mismatched fonts and headings may leave your resume looking unprofessional.
Organization is key when conveying information on your resume. Most recruiters and hiring managers look for the same information within a resume and finding that information should be easy.
A surprising number of resumes don’t have all the necessary contact information. Required information includes your first name, last name, address, email, and yes your phone number. Often times candidates leave their phone number off the resume, and by the time they respond using email the opportunity may have passed. To avoid disruption during work hours, give out your cell phone number and let your voicemail take messages. Then use personal time later to quickly follow up. Here is an example of the proper information your resume should include:
1234 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92121
Job Objective Paragraph
Do not over-specify your “Job Objective” if you choose to include one. Hiring managers will take this paragraph very literally and a specific job objective may deny you a great number of opportunities. For example, instead of saying, “I am seeking employment with a Fortune 500 company as an IT Director in Los Angeles.” say, “I am currently an IT Director looking for a career within a large company in Southern California.” This will leave you open for more job opportunities that you can later decide to accept or deny.
Recruiters and hiring managers look for three key items in regards to past employment; how long your worked there, your job description, and the technical skills used. Use a bullet point for each area you made a difference at that company. Here is an example of a concise job description:
5555 Third Street
San Diego, CA 92121
Senior Developer Nov. 2009 – Oct. 2013
- Managed a team of developers…
- Designed the…
- Worked with…
- Implemented a…
Skills Used: C++, C#, Java….
Education and Certifications
Old education and skill certifications can still be useful, despite being outdated. Leaving these on your resume will benefit you as some jobs list these as mandatory requirements. Your graduation year may no longer be relevant and isn’t important to add, but the degree you received certainly is. Here is an example of how to list your education and certifications:
ABC University – B.S. Computer Science
Microsoft Certified (logo if you have it)