Resume Review & Updates

Is your professional marketing tool (aka résumé) failing to secure interviews? One reason why a résumé does not get attention can be due to missing or poor content. A targeted résumé is effective when it includes the following information:  

1.     Contact

Start the résumé with your first and last name, telephone number, and an email address. Some professional résumés also include additional contact information such as a location (city and state), LinkedIn URL, or other social media profile details. 

Avoid incomplete, hard to read contact information. Another issue is placing contact information in a header section of the document because some applicant tracking systems (ATS) are unable to scan header and footer content, which means the document could be denied due to lack of contact information.

Avoid using text boxes. Many ATS can not read content within a text box.

2.    Job Goal, Introduction, and Keywords

Under the contact information, include the job name of the position you are trying to secure to create an ATS match. 

Modern introduction sections provide a few bulleted career achievements proving your valuable contributions. Be sure to include the organization name with the achievement, so readers understand how and where you contributed.

Keywords aligned with specific knowledge are great to include, again for ATS matching. For example, “Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification” for some job opportunities will be a differentiator and key information. 

Avoid general phrases such as “successful leader” or “strong work ethic” because these phrases say nothing unique about the professional and are overused. Objective statements are outdated and self-serving.

3.    Experience 

Work history is usually the most robust résumé section, listing relevant work in chronological order. Not all work needs to be included in the résumé. Previous career contributions that are irrelevant to a job goal can be deemphasized or omitted. 

Avoid a job obituary listing general responsibilities.   

4.    Education & Training

The education section within a résumé depends on the education relevance to the job goal. For recent graduates, the education section is usually listed higher on the résumé - under the introduction section. Career changers who have continued their education or training to support a new job aim may also list education and training under the introduction section to highlight new knowledge and credentials.

Professionals who have two or more years of experience related to the job aim should place the education section after the experience section because hiring managers are more interested in learning about the applicant’s experience and accomplishments rather than the education. That is why seasoned professional résumés typically have an education and training section toward the end of the document.  

Only attended college for a few classes? Include the education information and the number of credits completed, even if a degree was not awarded. Training and certifications relevant to the job goal are also good to include.

Avoid education disclaimers or statements explaining why a degree was abandoned or not earned. Personal education philosophy statements do not need to be included. Employers will ask you if they want to know more about your education philosophy. 

5.    Volunteer, Board Member, and Other Interests

This section can be a differentiator from other qualified applicants. Serving the community as a volunteer or board member can be included in a résumé to showcase leadership skills and contributions. Providing one to two sentences about hobbies and interests can spur discussions with future employers.

Avoid religious, political, or other controversial statements and views. 

If you need help writing your resume, contact me to discuss your project