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If you’ve been thinking about switching jobs or are even trying to get a promotion within your current company, having an outstanding resume can help get you where you need to be. But what you should you include in your resume? It can be confusing, with lots of tips and tricks being publicized across the Internet. These are tips compiled from surveying a wide range of hiring managers and finding out what they prefer to see when looking at resumes:
Make sure that your resume is well organized. Start with the most important information first, like your address and phone number, followed by your education (hiring managers want to know what kind of degree you have), and move directly into your work experience. While your list of skills, your goals, your awards and your references are important, they are not as important as your work experience in a hiring managers eyes. Also, keep everything in distinct sections with their own headers to make things easily scannable for the hiring manager. If you need help organizing, you can check out a resume expert site like ResumeEdge.
Most hiring managers get a slew of resumes when they are looking for candidates, so they don’t have time to pour over every detail of a resume. That’s what the phone interview is for. Keep things brief. There is generally an argument over whether a resume should be one page or more. It doesn’t matter how many jobs you’ve had, you should be able to fit everything on one page. Anything else is over-sharing.
Use most of your words in your work experience section, but even then, stick to bulleted lists of your accomplishments. Focus on your most recent job and go down from there. Your experience from five jobs ago is not of great interest to a hiring manager, unless it is something unique. Your goals, skills and awards can all be short one-to-two work lists. Make your resume as scannable as possible, since this is what the hiring manager will likely be doing with your resume.
Don’t generalize when you are describing your skills and job experience. Give specific examples of what you did. Don’t say “Managed the sales team for the state of Ohio.” Say “Managed a 20-person commercial sales team that ran major accounts within Ohio.” Cram as many details as you can into a one sentence explanation of your skills. This will give the hiring manager a clearer picture of what specifically you did at your job. Also avoid unimpressive feats that don’t speak to the job requirements. If you are in IT and planned the company picnic last year, it’s probably better to leave that off the resume.
It is extra work, but tailoring each resume to the company you are applying to can definitely help you land your dream job. More times than not, you have many different aspects to your job. While you might list them all, reorder them to list the most pertinent job skills first. Do the same with both your awards and your list of technical skills. Refocusing your resume can help you stand out when hiring managers are flipping through hundreds of candidates.