Warning: I am going to get onto my soapbox. First, I am not that tall and I might need to just so you can hear me. But I really wanted to get something off my chest. Listen, I look at resumes all day. It is not the most exciting thing in the world, but hey, somebody’s got to do it, right? I’ve noticed there’s a common misconception about a resume that people have, and I see it all the time. Most people think they can just put a grocery list of roles and responsibilities on a piece of paper as if they shopping at Wal-Mart and are good to go. That’s all well and good, and definitely part of the equation, but c’mon now—let’s get creative here.
Your resume should highlight what you do, why you did it, what you accomplished and what makes you stand out from all the others. It should be more than just a series of bullet points that have the same job responsibilities as 3,000,000 other people with the same job title. Sometimes I look at so many similar resumes that they seem to magically morph together. That’s not good. Don’t be afraid to get creative, as that’s half the battle in the hiring process.
As far as font is concerned, keep it simple. “Times New Roman” is usually old faithful for me. It’s simple, but yet gets the point across. Also, utilize bullet points to summarize specific responsibilities and accomplishments. Bullet points are a clean way to get the point across, without leaving your resume looking like a jumbled mess.
Though this is implied, please be honest on your resume. My mother always told me that honesty is the best policy and she’s a saint…so I believe her, and you should too. Remember, you will eventually get caught if you lie or modify your resume. I’ve seen it happen to candidates before, and believe me—it’s not pretty.
On the flip side, don’t make your resume into a 15-page document, detailing of you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. And another thing, please don’t talk in the third person. That drives me bananas. Your resume is a reflection of your own experiences; I don’t want to read it as if someone else is narrating it—unless it’s James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman.
Additionally, I hate to say it, but yes, I’m a member of the spelling and grammar police. I know most IT jobs don’t offer AP English classes, but at least put some time and effort into making sure your resume isn’t written in hieroglyphics. Utilize the spelling and grammar check, thesaurus (if you feel like sounding fancy) and have someone proofread your resume before you make a final draft. This all sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many IT professional e-mails and resumes I see that don’t contain complete sentences.
Though most of these dos and don’ts seem like common sense, each and every point is worth repeating. Take it from someone who reads resumes day in and day out: make your resume simple, but also make it sexy. You are what you write, aren’t you? If you think your resume is ready to be sent out to employers, submit your resume to EDI Specialists today.
What resume writing tips do you have? Let us know in the comment section below.
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