Here are 10 reasons why this sample resume is perfect for a mid-level employee.
First impressions count, and a resume is often your one and only shot to impress a potential employer. But as someone who’s been in the workforce for several years, how do you condense years' worth of continuing education, experience, certifications, and awards into one streamlined format that tells the story of your career and achievements? To make sure your resume is refined and ready to make a great first impression, take a look at the sample resume below and read through the 10 critical elements that make this a successful sample resume for a mid-level career professional.
1. The job seeker’s credentials are highlighted at the top.
If you have the right credentials, like Alexa, flaunt them. At the top of your resume, after your name, list the acronyms for any advanced degrees or certifications you’ve earned that are considered selling points for your target job position. By highlighting your valuable credentials at the top, you’re ensuring the recruiter doesn’t accidentally miss these qualifications during the initial review of your resume.
2. The resume includes a link to the job seeker’s online profile.
Studies by Jobvite reveal that over 90 percent of employers search for candidates’ social media profiles online before scheduling a job interview. Help recruiters find the right information about you online by including links to your relevant social accounts and sites. For example, Alexa included a custom link to her LinkedIn profile to supplement her professional resume. If you work in a creative field, consider adding the link to your online portfolio, blog, or another social media account, like Instagram, that allows you to show off images of your work. Whichever accounts you decide to add, make sure they are regularly maintained, professional, and support your current job goals.
If you prefer to keep some of your online profiles personal and don’t wish recruiters to find them, increase the security settings or change your account name to a nickname or your first and middle name so they’re harder to track down.
3. The professional title makes the job seeker’s goals clear.
Don’t make the reader guess. Spell out your job goals by including a professional title above your career summary that states your target job title. After one look at the professional title on Alexa’s resume, “Director of Marketing Communications,” the reader knows exactly what type of role Alexa is seeking. Alexa’s career summary, also known as a resume professional summary, takes the place of the usual resume objective statement and goes on to explain why she is qualified to seek such a job position.
4. A list of the job seeker’s core skills are featured in the resume snapshot.
On average, hiring managers spend only six seconds scanning a professional resume before deciding if the candidate is a fit for the role. Most of that time is spent reviewing the information on the top third of the first page. As a job seeker, your goal is to give the reader a snapshot of your goals and qualifications within that first portion of your resume.
Alexa’s resume contains a list of her core skill sets, usually labeled as “Areas of Expertise” or “Core Competencies.” This group of resume keywords gives the reader a quick overview of Alexa’s skills. In addition, these keywords will help Alexa’s resume pass an initial screen conducted by a piece of software known as an applicant tracking system (ATS). Recruiters use ATS software to scan applications and determine how compatible the candidate appears to be with the job description before reviewing the resume themselves.
By identifying the right keywords found in the job descriptions of her target role and incorporating them into her resume, Alexa’s application has a better shot at getting past both the human and electronic gatekeepers.
5. Achievements are quantified where possible.
It’s one thing to say you managed a budget or cut costs in your previous job. However, It’s more impressive when you mention that you managed a $1.2 million budget and were able to cut costs by 21 percent. Numbers add context and attract the attention of recruiters. Whenever possible, quantify the scope of your role, your notable contributions, and your accomplishments to give the reader a better sense of what your position entailed and how you were able to deliver results.
It’s especially important to use numbers in the bulleted section of each job position to add context to your achievements. For instance, if you’re in sales, mention if you achieved 100 percent or more of your quota. In Alexa’s case, the focus is placed on the amount of revenue she generated.
6. The work experience shows progression.
When you’re no longer new to the workforce, recruiters expect your resume to illustrate your career progression. If you’ve taken on greater responsibilities, larger projects, bigger budgets or teams, or earned job title promotions, call out these achievements on your professional resume.
Use a chronological or hybrid resume format like Alexa so your journey up the career ladder is clear. In Alexa’s case, you can see that she’s progressed from a coordinator to a senior manager over the course of her eight-year career. In addition, the bullet points under each of her job role descriptions call out her notable accomplishments.
7. The job seeker uses a two-page resume length.
Don’t believe the common resume myth about resume length. Only college students and entry-level professionals are restricted to a one-page resume. As the length of your work history grows, so does the length of your professional resume. If you are a mid-level professional like Alexa, you’ve earned that second page of resume real estate. Use it to elaborate on the details of your recent roles, assuming they’re relevant to your current job goals. Bump your earliest work experience to the second page of your resume and give it less space. Recruiters are most interested in the work you’ve done recently and how that qualifies you for their open position; they’re less concerned about your first job position after college graduation.
8. The resume format is consistent.
Think of your resume as part of your personal advertising campaign. It’s your calling card, and, in many cases, the first impression you will make with potential employers. Put your best foot forward. In addition to checking for spelling errors and other grammatical mistakes, make sure you use a consistent format for dates and locations throughout the resume. For instance, do you plan to spell out or abbreviate the states within your locations (i.e. “San Diego, California” vs. “San Diego, CA”)? If you decide to include the month with your dates of employment, do you intend to use numerals to represent the month, spell it out entirely or use a three-letter abbreviation (i.e. “12/2015” vs. “December 2015” vs. “Dec. 2015”)?
It doesn’t necessarily matter which format you choose; the key is to make a decision and remain consistent throughout the document. There’s no better way to demonstrate that you’re a detail-oriented professional than to deliver a polished professional resume with a slick, consistent format.
9. The “Education” section is at the end of the resume.
At the beginning of Alexa’s career, her marketing degree was one of her best selling points. As a result, the details of her education were prominently displayed towards the top of her resume. Now that Alexa has a few years of relevant work experience under her belt, she can graduate from an entry-level resume format and move the the “Education” section to the end of her resume.
If you’re a mid-level professional like Alexa, it’s time to shift the focus of your resume to your latest and most impressive selling points to date — your recent experience.
10. Job references are not listed on the resume.
Long gone are the days when job seekers were expected to list their references — or even the phrase, “References available upon request” — on a professional resume. These details aren’t necessary until you’ve made it past the first round of phone screens. Once you make it past this stage of the interview process, hiring managers know you’ll provide references if they ask for them.
Whether you’re actively looking for a new position to advance to the next level of your career or you’re simply keeping your career options open, take the time to update your resume and make it look as polished as possible. That way, when your dream job comes along, you’ll be ready with a resume that’s proven to get the attention of the decision makers that matter most.
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