I get it, I understand it, and I’ve said it again and again, job search is hard. It’s especially hard to speak highly about ourselves. There’s a checklist below, and it should be the final gold standard before you ever send your cover letter and résumé out. Do not send your documents out without reading, digesting and acting on the following:
1. DON’T GET ARTSY OR CUTESY WITH YOUR FORMATTING.I can’t stress how important this is. You might be the most exceptional candidate to ever apply for a company, but if your résumé looks anything less than completely professional you will be thrown away. No funky colors, weird formats or odd borders.
2. KEEP IT DOWN TO ONE PAGE IF POSIBLE – TWO AS A MAXIMUM. Size is everything.Don’t ever let anyone tell you any different. On a résumé you have very little recruiter-brain-bandwidth allotted to the documents that describe your history, your hopes, and your dreams. Think like a writer or a blogger. Make every single word count. This isn’t Twitter where you are limited to 140 characters per post, but think like Twitter on your sentence structure and your bullet points. Short, concise, quantitative, qualitative, and informative.
3. MEANINGLESS STATEMENTS BEGONE:If you don’t tell someone exactly what you’ve accomplished in your lifetime, they will have NO IDEA about any of it. You can’t say you are good at social media. That means absolutely nothing to me. Explain what you did that made that so powerful—did you rack up 500,000 Twitter followers for your company? How long did it take you to do it? That is what you need to put in a bullet. Think about your value added skills that you’ll add to your future employer’s bottom line. They’ll be thinking about it.
I guarantee you that these are the two most important things to follow for your résumé.
Also, always, always save your resume in this naming format: LastNameFirstNameRésumé:
ie – ToddFolstadRésumé.docx
Best advice in the universe: PDF YOUR RÉSUMÉ. Print it as a PDF. If you send a Word document, you have no control over how it’s going to look when it’s opened. Just a note: it will probably look awful. If you send it in a PDF attachment, your document will look the way you intended it to. We’ve all had horror stories that involve track changes in some way shape or form. A very wise man once said, check everything you’re going to send before you go to bed and upon waking in the morning, you never know when the gremlins will strike.