A resume can be a tricky thing. On the one hand, you want to include everything about your professional experiences. Alternatively, you don’t want to add your entire history. Basically, it’s a snapshot of your accomplishments. It can mean the difference between whether or not you get an all-important interview. No pressure, right? Trust us, we get it, which is why we’re talking about resume customization. Scour the Internet, and you are bound to come up with plenty of writing tips, templates, and guidelines such as using reverse chronological order, professional fonts, and healthy margins. But here we dig a little deeper and reveal what hiring managers are really looking for in the all-important document.
Want to skip ahead? Click here to see an example of the types of resumes we send to hiring managers for construction management jobs, manufacturing jobs, and engineering jobs.
The Do’s of Resume Writing
DO keep a pick me up file.
When it comes to writing your resume, there is nothing worse than sitting down to a blank screen. Things will go much smoother if you keep what we like to call a pick me up file. This includes a list of your qualifications, achievements, professional recognitions, affiliations, facts, and dates.
DO include actionable items.
Hiring managers want to see more than lists on your resume. They want actionable items. For example, if you are applying for a recruiting position, include how many outbound calls a day you made in previous jobs. And what was the percentage or number of leads were you able to convert. If you’re applying for a sales position, tell us what your quarterly and annual numbers looked like. Did you meet or exceed your quotas? Did you make President’s club? For engineering, which is what we do a lot of hiring for, include facts and dates in a logical order.
DO send a separate e-mail to the hiring manager, letting them know you applied for the job.
Many websites like Indeed, Monster, and more make it easy to click “apply” and submit your resume for a position. The downside of doing so, however, is that your resume goes into a LONG line of resumes. You are just one in a significant cue of applicants. So, do make sure you stand out from the crowd by dropping a line to the person doing the hiring.
DO include a list of key achievements and skills.
If you are applying for an engineering job and have patents let us know. The same goes for any licenses or certifications. Also, if you are applying for a sales position, list any awards or recognitions you may have. If you work in manufacturing, include information about your capabilities and technologies. Follow up this section with industries, work experience, awards and publications, and education. See a sample resume here.
DO have different versions of your resume.
If a job requires a specific skill set, say in marketing, create a resume that shows off those talents. Doing so is a great way to streamline your resume, so you don’t end up with pages of information that aren’t relevant to the position you are applying for. Whoever is looking at your resume will most likely be skimming through it at first. You don’t want to lose them because your important details are hidden within.
DO show your personality.
If you are applying for an engineering position, use a professional font and direct language. If you are applying for a marketing or sales position, it’s okay to a bit savvier. Showcase your personality through language and sell, sell, sell yourself. Hiring managers want to know you’re not afraid to cold call or think outside the box when it comes to marketing ideas.
The Don’ts of Resume Writing
DON’T drop names of people you know at the company but forget to tell them you did so.
You wouldn’t do so on your resume, but perhaps in the cover letter. You don’t want it to come as a surprise when the hiring manager mentions this to the associate. Researching the company in which you are applying for a position is always a must.
DON’T wait for the person doing the hiring to bring up a gap in experience on your resume.
If it’s been a while since you’ve worked in a particular market segment, that’s okay. Just address it in your notes to the hiring manager. State precisely what you did and what you have been doing in between that time. That way, it won’t be hanging over your head during the job interview.
DON’T be afraid to follow up.
Just as you want to send a separate correspondence, if you have clicked “apply” on a job site, don’t be afraid to send another e-mail following the interview. You can provide a summary of why you are the right fit for the job and ask what the next steps should be.
DON’T include any typos.
Even if you use a spell check, there are bound to be errors on your resume. Be sure to have someone else give it a read before you submit for a job opening.
DON’T include unprofessional contact information.
Sometimes a cheeky e-mail can be cute. But not when you are searching for a job. Avoid getting your resume thrown away by including a simple and professional e-mail address. In other words, skip the joeloverboy@gmail. com
Want more resume tips and tricks? Here are some links to check out:
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