Resume Advice & Tips

Ré-su-mé or Re-su-me {noun} is a written documentation that lists your work experience, skills and education background. It is used as a marketing tool for job seekers. The resume is usually one of the first items along with a cover letter, that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants. The resume used in the United States and English Canada, it is comparable to curriculum vitae (CV) used in many other countries. The resume is substantially shorter than a CV.

Ad-vice {noun} Guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative. An opinion that someone gives you about the best thing to do in a particular situation. Recommendation as to appropriate choice of action

Most likely we all know the definition of the word advice, but many of us don’t seek out advice in times of need or if we do, we get advice from the wrong places and wrong people. Whether you’re unemployed, underemployed, re-entering the job market or making a career change, you need to get some serious advice and direction to make your job campaign a successful one with quick results. This is not the time for trial and error, since you only get one shot at each position you apply for, there are no do-overs. Don’t waste time and effort; make sure you get advice from people who have knowledge and experience in the entire hiring process. Our team at Career Thinker provides current real life advice from both ends of this process. The other pages in this section contain information and advice that you need to review to assist in completing a successful job campaign.

There are no rules when it comes to resumes and cover letters, but there are best practices of methods that have proven to be more effective and/or expected. Let’s face it, there are times that just pure luck, timing and a solid referral can be the major factors in landing your next job, but do you really want to risk waiting for the right time to cash in on luck? In today’s job market with so many people looking for new employment you need to take advantage of any techniques that will increase your odds of landing the job/career you desire. Remember you want to get a job/career you really want, due to economic reasons many people have less choices when it comes to job offers and they end up taking a job just for the pay check. You need to do everything you can to increase the number of job offers you can get so you have more choices to reach your goal. Even as the economy recovers and more jobs become available there is going to be a rush of people who are currently working who will be looking for a better job, so this aggressive and competitive job market will be the standard for many years to come.

Please review the other pages in this section as they give a lot of solid information, advice and do’s & don’ts to follow for the resume process for your job campaign. We highly recommend having a professional write your resume such as the team at CareerThinker.com. At least have a professional write your core resume for the field or position you are targeting, and then you can customize/adjust it for specific companies and their job posting. Beware of websites or template programs that state they or you can, write a resume in minutes. Its common sense when it comes to your career/job search you need to put the time, effort, energy, research and the willingness to take advice that this important part of your life deserves. Remember the resume needs to capture the reader’s attention in less than 20 seconds.

Below are some quick tips in addition to the rest of the advice and direction that is given in this resume section of CareerThinker.com

Quick Tips

  • Proofread and then proofread again. Your resume should be perfect with grammar, formatting and punctuation. We recommend having a family member or friend proofread it as well, another set of eyes can definitely help.
  • Read your resume out loud to yourself several times to make sure it sounds fluid; the reader shouldn’t stumble over any sections.
  • When you read your resume out loud keep in mind the salary you are looking for and then ask yourself is this resume worth that salary. This will force you to take a hard look at your entire resume.
  • Use power verbs that stand out, try not to use the same verbs throughout your resume. Refer to a thesaurus to use different verbs provided they keep the flow and the direction needed in the resume.
  • List achievements over responsibilities. The best way to win the reader’s attention is to highlight your achievements.
  • Use as many numbers as possible as long as they help you. If you managed a team (# of team members you managed) if you cut cost (# by how much) if you increased sales (# by how much).
  • No need to include the statement “references available upon request” since this is assumed by hiring managers.
  • Do not include any G.P.A if it’s below a 3.0.
  • Past tense for past jobs/employment and present tense for current job (providing you’re currently at the last job listed on your resume).
  • Use Keywords – they will get you noticed especially when companies use applicant tracking software to sort through their resumes.
  • Show a positive work experience – include a list of accomplishments for each position.
  • In each section of your resume post the most important and impactful information first.
  • Customize/adjust your resume/cover letters to fit the job posting you’re applying. It is more effective to send out 10 highly targeted resume/cover letters than sending out 500 general ones.
  • Stay organized – keep track of what companies you have applied to, how you applied to them and which cover letter and resume you forwarded them. Keep a separate file for each company you applied.
  • Timing – send out your resume/cover letter for positions you desire as soon as you discover them. Hiring managers tend to spend more time reviewing resumes in the beginning of the process than later on.
  • Letters of recommendation – you should have at least 3 non-personal letters of recommendations ready, don’t wait until you are asked. Hopefully you have been collecting them throughout your career; it will surprise you how tough it is to get them when you need them. Get them together and always send the ones that fit with your career goal.
  • Do you trust your references to put your best face forward? We recommend having a friend or relative act as a hiring manager and have them call your references with some basic hiring questions. See how your references respond to the questions to make sure they actually help your cause and not hurt it. Some people just don’t project well over the phone and can come across negatively or they just might tell the hiring manager that they don’t have time for them, which will leave a bad impression of you.
  • The printed versions of your resume that are mailed/faxed to a company or brought to an interview.
  1. Use a high quality printer, a laser printer is recommended since they have high quality with printed text.
  2. High-end resume paper normally has a watermark of the name of the paper company and is slightly heavier in gauge than normal copy paper. This can give a good impression that you pay attention to details, matters of appearance and tradition. If the paper has a watermark you need to make sure it is only visible when held up to a light so it doesn’t distract the reader.
  3. Regular white computer paper is still the most commonly used; it’s readily available, inexpensive and copies/faxes well.