There's not just one way to write a resume. Now, there's certainly a wrong way - things like misspelling, cookie cutter templates or not including a cover letter. And then, there's the resume that makes you shine and opens the door to your next job and career growth.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Having a solid and effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job. So, what's the number one resume rule?
Toby Chabon-Berger, M. Ed, NCCC
Certified Career Life Coach
TELL THE TRUTH - lower reveal
"The first thing you have to do is always tell the truth. Never fudge anything ... avoid puffery or grandiose kinds of statements, but include your achievements, and skills and toot your own horn appropriately."
Continue VO: Aside from the obvious don'ts ... there are new resume do's. For instance, keywords play a huge part in catching the attention of not only the hiring manager, but also the automated resume screening systems that many large companies utilize to cut the cost of manually reviewing thousands of resumes submitted online. Use the same keywords and phrases in the job description ... and repeat them frequently when appropriate.
KEYWORDS - lower reveal
Just as mailing in a resume has become almost obsolete, so has the resume objective.
NO OBECTIVE - lower reveal
"The objective is to get the job you're applying for. However, we have a short summary at the beginning of where people used to have the objective, which indicates why you are qualified for the position. Just a short statement; and again would include some of the keywords."
It's a tough job market out there and many career coaches recommend having several versions of your resume that showcase your skill set. Tailor your resume and address items in the job description and relate them to your experience and skills.
A couple of other quick tips to keep in mind: full page bullets
- Unless you're a new college grad - one page resumes are a thing of the past. If you have more than five years of working experience, two page resumes preferred.
- Save your resume in various formats: Word file, Text, PDF and HTML to insure the best delivery.
- Don't leave gaps in your resume. If you've been unemployed for a couple of weeks, months or years - make sure you fill that space in with what you did at that time - whether you volunteered, went back to school or maintained a survival job.
- Keep your fonts and outline simple - Times New Roman, Calibri, Verdana, Arial.
So here you've spent so much time crafting the perfect resume, but you're missing the critical companion ... the cover letter!
"The cover letter is very important. When I was recruiting I never interviewing anyone who did not include a cover letter ... and a lot of HR or managers feel the same way. It's the thing to do ... it's standard operating procedure ... it's business etiquette."
TAG: There's no such thing as the perfect resume. Just make certain your resume is clear, concise and showcases your experience and skills. To learn more about resumes, visit our jobs & career special feature at Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.