Make sure your resume is sending employers all the right signals.
Your resume is your primary marketing tool and it speaks volumes about you, whether you want it to or not. Many times it will be the first thing your future employer sees about you. Here are some things your resume tells a savvy hiring manager:
- How well you have educated yourself about current job searching practices. If your resume starts off with an objective statement, or lists extraneous personal information, it is telling your employer that you have not bothered to do your homework on acceptable contemporary resume protocol. On the other hand, a powerful career statement and professional information only tells your employer you are interested in making the best possible first impression. This speaks volumes about your EQ (emotional intelligence) regardless of your level of expertise.
- Your ability to concisely summarize information. It can be daunting to summarize two decades of accomplishments in one or two pages, but summarize you must! The current expectation for resumes is no longer than two pages, regardless of the length of your career. Exceptions may be made for curriculum vitaes if you are in the medical or academic profession, but the rest of us have to keep it brief. Concisely communicating information is a critical component of many jobs, so it is your best interest to showcase this ability in your resume.
- Your business writing skills. Confusing to, too and two or your and you're is increasingly common in today's autocorrect society but your resume is one place to make sure you are perfect. Typos in your resume are nearly always a death knell to your chances of landing an interview. Don't just rely on your spell check, read it, re-read it, have a friend read it and then read it backwards to make sure there are no mistakes on your resume.
- Your attention to detail. Inaccurate dates or missing information on your resume can indicate that you do not pay close attention to details. This is important enough for most jobs that incorrect details on a resume can stop your candidacy in its tracks. Again, proof and double proof.
- How seriously you take yourself and this potential job. If your resume looks slapped together, with little forethought, it sends the message that this job isn't that important to you, whether that's true or not. No matter what the time pressure, take the time to create a professional-looking, contemporary, accurate and up-to-date resume. If your most recent position is not on your current resume, update it before you send it in.
In conclusion, your resume tells a story about you and whether that story is a good one or not is completely up to you. Make it a good one!