Last Friday, June 7th, we held the first ever Groundswell Open House - a conference-style, all-day event featuring talks from HR professionals, sales and marketing mentors and recruiters on topics for startups and job-seekers alike. Didn't make it? No problem - all of this week, we'll be sharing our notes on the talks that we went to.
Today, we’ll be talking about Sue Holland’s session on Resumes that Lead to Phone Calls. We’ll explain how you can best craft your resume to stand out to recruiters - and get that interview.
Here are some of the areas of resume-writing that we covered in the session:
- Content: What should you include in your resume?
- Length: Does a resume really have to be 1 page long?
- Format: What should your resume look like?
Why worry about your resume? Recruiters only spend 15 to 30 seconds looking through a resume in your job application. It has to catch their eye, otherwise you may not be noticed. The following tips can help you write that resume that’ll get noticed by employers. So, jot some of them down!
Content: What should I include in my resume?
- Match the language of your resume with that of the job posting. Carefully read through the job description, take certain keywords, and mirror them in your resume. Recruiters are only zoned in on looking for one or two keywords in their search, so if you include them in your resume, you increase your chances of being selected.
- Tweak your resume for each job application. The content of your resume must align well with the job description and highlight relevant work or classroom experience.
- Explain each resume item’s importance and value. Recruiters want to see how you would be valuable to their business.
- Don’t have relevant work experience for the job? That’s okay! Highlight other experience in the classroom or the workforce, and explain how it demonstrates essential transferable skills needed for the job.
Length: Does my resume really have to be under 1 page long?
- It just has to be enough to reveal your value to the organization. According to Sue, going over 1 page is okay. However, going over 2 pages is not recommended.
Format: What should my resume look like?
- Write a functional resume if you have a lot of prior experience. A functional resume groups items based on skills and abilities instead of keeping them in chronological order. Here is an example of a functional resume to give you an idea of the format. This format makes your resume more condensed and easier to read. It’s also easier for recruiters to locate important skills you have for the job. When tweaking your resume for job applications, it’s also easier to move relevant skills up to the top to emphasize them.
- Check for gaps in time in your resume! Recruiters will question any large gaps they see. If there are gaps between jobs, either explain by writing a small note, like “another opportunity,” in your resume or clarify in a cover letter.
How can I review my resume?
Run it by someone else and ask if they can figure out what you’re looking for in a job. If they can’t figure it out, it’s time to edit your resume. Consult the following questions:
- Does your resume match the language of the job description?
- Does it highlight all relevant work experience?
- Is it under 2 pages?
- Does it show how you brought value to previous organizations?
- Does it underline important transferable skills?
Other Resume Resources
Keep in mind that a “good resume” is highly subjective to the person reading it, so these tips may differ from the ones found in the article.