Building a Rad Resume

team breakfastYour resume needs to make it past numerous gatekeepers, including Internet filters, HR specialists and recruiters. Before it gets to a hiring manager or a director, you have been vetted multiple times. Follow these rules to make it past the masses and to the interview.

Link it in
Your contact bar should be simple, easy to read and even easier to navigate. Update your information, making it clickable. Use a hyperlink for your email address, so it’s one fewer steps for a hiring manager. Also, include links to relevant and fitting social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. There is no need to include your full address – city and state is enough.

Spice it up
Move “Times New Roman” to your trash can, and replace it with an updated (yet still standard) typeface. Modern examples include Cambria, Calibri or Georgia. Monster expands on the list offering Verdana, Garamond, Book Antiqua, Arial Narrow, Didot and Trebuchet MS as alternatives. You can use stylized typefaces in moderation, if the job allows for more creativity. Show your personality and style by using a script or decorative font style. Keeping your profession and industry standards in mind, consider adding a pop of color. A gender-neutral orange, blue or green is a great option for your name and title bars.

Delete the objective
You’re applying for a job. The objective is implied. Get rid of the objective statement or section; it’s just a waste of space, and it will make you look outdated. If you have the extra space, add a two-sentence description of yourself. This summary can include years of experience, major achievements or impressive titles. Think of this as a teaser to your bio, and remember brevity is key.

Remove the obvious (or not so obvious)
The Ladders gives a list of 16 things you should delete from a modern day resume, besides the objective statement. Be sure not to include: a head shot, inappropriate email addresses, multiple phone numbers, personal details (like nationality, political affiliation or spiritual beliefs), current employer’s contact info, references or salary history.

Give specifics
Include examples of the work you did at each position, not just the title. What were your responsibilities and how did you make an impact on your company? If you achieved specific goals or results, mention them. Did you manage or participate in any special projects?

Write for the future, not the past
Forbes says, “a resume is a marketing document, not a historical record. Your current career goals should always determine which parts of your story to highlight and which to minimize.”

Channel your inner fourth-grade grammar teacher

  • Do not make spelling mistakes. Just don’t do it. Use spell check. Ask someone to proof your finished document. Use Google to check the context, definition and spelling of a word. There is no excuse.
  • Check your grammar. Read your resume out loud, slowly … twice. Make sure it is coherent and your commas and periods are in the right place. Speaking of periods, make sure you have a complete sentence before you add one to the end. Write complete thoughts and avoid any slangs or shortened, texting-style words.
  • Don’t write your resume in first person. Do a document search, and make sure the words I, me, us or we have not been found. To maintain professionalism, resumes should always be written in third person. Try to keep it neutral. If you are struggling, just use an “implied I,” or begin your sentence with a gerund. Check out Grammar Girl for a few more tips on writing.

Format for the maximized space

  • Keep your resume as short as possible. This can be accomplished with columns, text boxes and careful use of all white space. Be intentional with paragraph breaks and spacing. Your page is precious real estate. Don’t ignore the rest of the page.
  • Format with bold words, small caps or all caps to make sections stand out from the main body. Guide the reader’s eye, by highlighting key specifics.
  • Also, don’t make formatting mistakes. Check spaces and tabs. Make sure typefaces are a consistent size. Money and Career CheatSheet says, “make sure everything is properly aligned and the spacing is consistent. Try to avoid “orphans” – those one or two straggler words that spill over into a new line of text, since they take up valuable space.”

Beat the robots
Money Magazine says, “many medium and large companies use software to weed out candidates. Your resume will need the right keywords to get through, so mirror the language of the job posting and pay attention to detail. Changing something as simple as ‘customer service’ to ‘client relations’ can get your resume approved or rejected.” Check out Next Avenue’s “24 Best Resume Key Words” for more to include.

Read and learn more
Money Magazine offers these tips to modernize your resume.

And if you have questions, contact us. We are here to help connect you with the right job and the right employer.