This week’s resume news included several helpful stories with specific advice people can use to improve their resumes.
In this blog post for The Daily Muse, Dr. Suzanne Gelb talks about the way people come across in their resumes. “Everything from the tone you use to the accomplishments you choose to include gives hints about your confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness.” She goes through four things people commonly do on their resumes, and explains what they convey. As a psychologist with hiring experience, here are the four things she has seen:
- Dry, generic language
- Responsibilities instead of accomplishments
- 10-page resumes
- Resentment instead of enthusiasm
After explaining each of these mistakes, she recommends solutions and changes to resolve them.
In this article for Business Insider, Jacquelyn Smith looks at a sample resume and gives eight reasons why it’s ideal for an executive-level professional. According to Smith, the eight traits an experienced professional’s resume should have are:
- Link to professional profile (LinkedIn, portfolio website, etc.)
- Emphasis on recent accomplishments and experience
- Selected Achievements section
- Restricted experience included
- Snapshot of core competencies
- Two-page limit
- No mention of references
- No dates listed beyond 15 years ago
While a curriculum vitae is meant to show everything that someone has accomplished in their career, a resume instead highlights the most relevant and impressive experience and accomplishments. Hiring managers only spend six seconds reviewing each resume; by following the advice above, even the most experienced of executives can put together an informative two-page resume.
This USA Today blog post via The Muse identifies five areas that almost always look the same from resume to resume. They are:
- Generic experience section title
- Focus on responsibilities instead of accomplishments
- Use of clichés and buzzwords
- Including job-related experience only
- Not writing a cover letter
While most of the points here are worth considering, think twice before creating a personalized name for the experience section of your resume. When we reviewed the applicant tracking system SmartRecruiters, we found that the system did not recognize sections given non-standard names. The result was that candidates who used unique section headers had ATS profiles with misplaced or missing information.
The recommendation to include information about your community involvement or volunteer experience is especially good. According to The Guardian, 75 percent of employers say volunteer work increases a candidate’s chances of getting the job.