Your résumé is your own personal marketing tool. Use it to differentiate yourself and show the person you’re sending it to that you’re worth their consideration. Here are a few tips to help you build a résumé that gets noticed – and gets results!
We strongly recommend that you refrain from including a picture, your date of birth, gender, marital/family status, weight, religious affiliation and other details of a personal nature in your résumé. This ensures that all candidates receive equal treatment.
Take a page from Goldilocks...
You don’t want your résumé to be too short – if you cram your entire profile onto a single page, you’re bound to leave something important out. But you don’t want it to be too long either, because then you’ll probably be going on and on about things that aren’t relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Somewhere in the middle is a solution that’s “just right” – one that excludes extraneous details and focuses on your work, academic and other achievements that match the posted criteria as closely as possible.
The importance of structure
A résumé presents information in a given order, and this order has an impact on how the content is perceived. If you feel a chronological format is the best way to structure your résumé, be sure to make a clear distinction between duties and achievements.
Go easy on the eyes
The layout, presentation and content of your résumé must be highly readable. Keep your page margins reasonable. Avoid double-sided printing. And do not submit photocopies of photocopies. The rule of thumb: the neater and crisper, the better.
To err is human, but…
Not on a résumé! Read, reread and re-reread before you send it out to anyone. It might be helpful to ask a friend or a colleague with an eye for detail to look it over and critique it first.
Up-to-date contact information
Include your phone numbers and email address on your résumé, but make sure the information is accurate – and don’t forget to check your messages from time to time!
Do not put professional or personal references in the body of your résumé. You can include a line that says “References available on request,” although this is not strictly necessary. If you are called in for an interview, prepare a list, complete with names, positions and contact information, and take it with you in case you’re asked for it.
Remember: a résumé is more than a point-by-point list of your past accomplishments. It’s your first (and sometimes only) opportunity to get your foot in the door.
Adapt the content to the position you are applying for. Try to incorporate some of the key words that appear in the posting itself. And choose your phrasing carefully to set yourself apart and show that YOU are the right person for the job.