In the past, we’ve discussed the interview process at length: how to present yourself well, speak with confidence, and project the most professional, capable image possible. However, all of these skills are moot unless you can land the interview in the first place. Which is why this week, we will discuss the ever-so-important pre-interview step: submitting your resume.
Keep in mind, each person who is hiring is reviewing a huge number of resumes. In order for your resume to be one of the few that doesn’t end up in the shredder, you need to make sure it stands out from the rest. Today, we’ll discuss some of the basics of resume style and format.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: This cannot be emphasized enough. Your future employer only has this one sheet of paper on which to base his or her opinion of you. If it’s riddled with errors, it is almost certainly bound for the recycling pile without a second glance. Go over your resume with a fine-toothed comb for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If possible, have a trusted friend, family member, or colleague read it over as well.
Avoid Pronouns: Job descriptions and other information in a resume are presented with an unspoken, implicit subject. The use of “I” or any other personal pronouns should be avoided. For example, rather than writing, “I presented our products at trade shows,” you would write, “Presented products at trade shows”.
Keep it Short: Unless you are in academia, one page is the preferred length for a resume. If it is absolutely necessary in order to include all of your relevant information, a two-pages resume is generally accepted as well. However, as a rule, shorter is better, provided you’ve included all necessary information.
Keep it Clean: The visual presentation of your resume is important. Try not to cram too much on to the page. Make the format cleaner and easier to understand visually by using different formats to delineate between information (e.g. bold, italics, bullet-points, etc.)
Stay tuned: Next week we’ll continue our resume discussion with tips for winning resume content.
Have you had to review resumes for job candidates during the hiring process? Share your stories of the best and worst resumes you’ve seen or provide additional tips in our Comments section!
Want more great tips for professional business communication? Want to improve the way you speak and interact with others in the workplace? A corporate speech-language pathologist can help! Visit us at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com or call us at 917-841-2965 to find a professional business communication coach who is right for you!