Stand out from the field. We get tons of resumes every day and many candidates report finding it difficult to stand out. That said, there are a few things you can do to stand out from the crowd. Start off with a clean design that’s both easy-to-follow and visually appealing. That’s one way to get a recruiter’s attention. Always include your current contact information with email, telephone number and your LinkedIn profile (if applicable) near the top of the page for easy reference.
Keep it short. Another good rule of thumb is to keep the document brief, keeping it one to two pages tops. Be forthcoming with the basic dates (month/year) and information but don’t go overboard. Briefly describe your responsibilities for each role in one or two short sentences. It’s tempting to tell us your whole life story but save something for a potential interview!
Strut your stuff. If possible, provide a snapshot with numbers that quantify your success and experience. We suggest you briefly descibe each role followed by your key achievements in four or five key bullet points. Focus on results, including an example like “Increased sales by X percent in nine months by using a new lead generation system.” This helps us understand your accomplishments and envision job performance better than accolades out of context. “Proven track record” doesn’t mean much without knowing that the record shows. After that, it’s onto the meat and potatoes.
Make it pop. As you describe previous jobs and relevant skills, use strong, action verbs to showcase your responsibilities within each organization. Words like developed, achieved, produced, delivered, generated and so on. Don’t feel like you need to account for everything you did, again, we want to know what you’re like as an employee, not what you did day-to-day. Make sure you tweak your resume to add key skills, keywords, technologies and terminologies that are searchable for recruiters for the job you've submitted an application. As an example, for those candidates transitioning from military to civilian life, we recommend you convert military-specific job titles into terminology that recruiters and hiring managers would understand in the corporate workplace. That should hold true for any industry where your job title may be longer or more complex.
Proof thyself. Once complete, double check your spelling and grammar before sharing with a friend, family member or mentor for input. It’s always helpful to get a second set of eyes. Also, as you apply for different jobs in various industries, make sure you tweak your resume for each job you apply to based on the job requirements. Finished document in hand, ensure this content matches up with your LinkedIn profile (if you have one) and what you enter into the online application. Consistency is important for follow up and future conversations. Until then, update as needed and always have a copy handy.
Please note that this Q&A is not intended to answer individualized questions or to provide information about a particular job opening.