Getting Your Resume To One Page

With increasing frequency, employers are asking for one page resumes.  In reality, even if they don’t ask, many will only read the first page.  You have great experience you want to share, short of using a ridiculously small font, how do you condense it to one page without losing all the value?

You can easily gain some usable space by trimming your margins.  There is no need to use the default one inch margins all the way around.  Do not reduce your margins to less than one-half inch.  It is important to have white space for readability.

Don’t go crazy adding new sections.  Each section requires a header which uses a line.  It can be ok to combine relevant sections into one such as Volunteer Experience and Community Involvement or Skills and Interests.

Not everything has to be on a separate line.  Think about where information can be reasonably combined on the same line.

Be careful of using the default spacing between lines.  This can cost you several lines per page.  Set the spacing for single spaced and add lines only where needed.

Monitor your bullets.  It should not take three lines of text to summarize your accomplishment.  Bullets should never exceed two lines and try to eliminate as many unnecessary words as possible.  Do not let one word carry over to a new line.  Rework it to fit to a single line.

Your resume is not intended to be detailed summary of your work history.  While you need to list each position you do not have to provide significant detail on older or less relevant positions.  Focus on what is clearly most relevant to the position you are considering.  Focus on the few key things that are most relevant and will make you stand out.

If you think this only applies for recent graduates or employees with minimal experience, think again.  Employers are expecting one page resumes for all but executive level hires.  Time to start editing for success.

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2016 Resume Considerations for Career Changers

Resume Considerations for Career Changers

So, you have decided to make a career change.  Your first challenge is how to structure your resume to fit the career you desire when your work history fits your previous career.  If you don’t put the effort into carefully focusing your resume, you will be lost in the pile of resumes from candidates who already have the relevant prior work experience.

Here are some considerations to ensure that your resume is noticed for those positions in your new career field.

Research and Networking

Don’t overlook the importance of research and networking to gain insight into the critical skills in your desired new role and the industry terminology to support it.  Understand what skills are expected or even desirable in the new field so you can objectively evaluation your transferrable skills.

Summary

Be sure to make your career objective clear in your summary.   Without stating a specific goal in your summary, think about how you describe yourself and your skills.  You are rebranding yourself with this resume so be sure you have a strong summary to capture the reader’s attention by clearly focusing on your most valuable transferable skills for the positions you aspire to hold in the future.  Remember, you are selling yourself.

Professional Experience

Your prior work experience is what it is.  You have to accurately reflect employer names, job titles and dates of employment since that will all be verified later in the process.  Instead of focusing on all past accomplishments, highlight the most relevant accomplishments for your new career direction.  Focus on the skills most critical in the new position.  Quantify your results whenever possible.  Avoid the temptation to include extraneous, irrelevant information.  Focus on your major achievements.

Other Skills and Activities

Employers want to hire a complete person.  Remember to include technical skills as well as language proficiency as relevant.  Also include volunteer activities or unique interests.  If you list an interest such as reading, be prepared to talk about the last book you read and what you found most interesting.  Often it is a unique interest that captures an interviewer’s attention.

Throughout the resume be use to accurately describe your experience and accomplishments but wherever possible use terminology that is relevant to the new career direction you have identified.

 

 

 

Resume Considerations for Career Changers

So, you have decided to make a career change.  Your first challenge is how to structure your resume to fit the career you desire when your work history fits your previous career.  If you don’t put the effort into carefully focusing your resume, you will be lost in the pile of resumes from candidates who already have the relevant prior work experience.

Here are some considerations to ensure that your resume is noticed for those positions in your new career field.

Research and Networking

Don’t overlook the importance of research and networking to gain insight into the critical skills in your desired new role and the industry terminology to support it.  Understand what skills are expected or even desirable in the new field so you can objectively evaluation your transferrable skills.

Summary

Be sure to make your career objective clear in your summary.   Without stating a specific goal in your summary, think about how you describe yourself and your skills.  You are rebranding yourself with this resume so be sure you have a strong summary to capture the reader’s attention by clearly focusing on your most valuable transferable skills for the positions you aspire to hold in the future.  Remember, you are selling yourself.

Professional Experience

Your prior work experience is what it is.  You have to accurately reflect employer names, job titles and dates of employment since that will all be verified later in the process.  Instead of focusing on all past accomplishments, highlight the most relevant accomplishments for your new career direction.  Focus on the skills most critical in the new position.  Quantify your results whenever possible.  Avoid the temptation to include extraneous, irrelevant information.  Focus on your major achievements.

Other Skills and Activities

Employers want to hire a complete person.  Remember to include technical skills as well as language proficiency as relevant.  Also include volunteer activities or unique interests.  If you list an interest such as reading, be prepared to talk about the last book you read and what you found most interesting.  Often it is a unique interest that captures an interviewer’s attention.

Throughout the resume be use to accurately describe your experience and accomplishments but wherever possible use terminology that is relevant to the new career direction you have identified.

 

 

 

2015 Resume Tips #1

A resume is not likely to land you a job, but it is a critical step in being considered.  Flawless execution is expected.  Don’t give the hiring manager any reason to move your resume immediately to the “reject” pile.

What a Resume Is and Isn’t – A resume is a summary of your professional experience, education and skills.  It should focus on accomplishments.  A resume is not a summary of your job responsibilities for each position you’ve held.

Formatting Matters – For an initial resume review it is likely that someone will spend less than a minute reviewing your resume.  If you want them to spend more time and really see what you have to offer, it needs to be concise, easy to read and the key information must be easy to find.  Your resume should not exceed one page unless you have more than seven years of experience.  Be sure you use white space to keep it visually appealing.  You must have your contact information – address, email and telephone – so they can easily reach you if they are interested.  You should always use a professional looking email address with just your name – avoid cute nicknames etc. when job searching.  Quickest path to the reject pile is typos or grammatical errors.  Be sure to proof your resume and carefully and have someone else proof it as well.

Open Strong – They first thing they read should give them a quick sense of who you are and what you could do for them.  I strongly recommend starting with a summary statement focused on your key transferable skills and core competencies.  Whenever possible, focus on key words from the job description.  The summary gives the reader a lens through which they read the rest of your resume.  Catch their attention from their first glance.  Employers I work with find a summary statement preferable to an objective.  Often job seekers have specific objectives that do not relate to the job they are applying for.

Core Competencies – Highlight the key transferrable skills you bring to the table.  Where possible, focus on your core competencies that tie to the employer needs in the job description.  Focus on the strengths you bring to the position.  Make them want to read more.

Honesty is the best and only policy – A resume is the factual history of your work experience.  Do not embellish or over-state your accomplishments or responsibilities.  Employers value integrity and you demonstrate that by being honest and forthright in all your interactions, starting with your resume.  Many companies will use outside firms to perform verifications with prior employers and schools.

 

In the early stages of the recruiting the process, your resume is you.  It needs to represent you professionally and accurately so they will want to know more about you.  While you resume will not likely land you the job, it needs to catch their attention so you will advance in the process.

Watch future postings for additional resume tips.

Resumes – what’s hot, what’s not

Are you frustrated with your job search?  Concerned that you are submitting resumes and not getting responses?  While networking is an important part of the process, maybe your resume is looking tired and not making a positive impressive on employers.

What’s In:

  • Social media – if you have experience with a blog or other social media experience be sure to include it.  This is currently a hot skill in many organizations.
  • If you have relevant current technology skills be sure to highlight that
  • Linked In – if you have a strong profile set up, consider adding your Linked In link, some search firms have moved to eliminate resumes and rely solely on Linked In.  Make it easy for interested employers to find you.

What’s Out

  • Get rid of email addresses that look dated – aol.com for example.
  • Get rid of cute email address and have first name and last name as your email address
  • Long resumes are definitely not read by employers, try to keep it to one page, maximum two, let them ask for more information if they want it.  You need to get them interested first.
  • Eliminate long lists of job responsibilities – they don’t want to see everything on your job description but rather want to see what your key accomplishments were
  • Objective – employers don’t necessarily care what you want, use a summary instead to focus on what you can do for them

Learn more about current resume trends!

Image Courtesy of Cartoon Bank

How to Get Your Resume to the Top of the Recruiters Pile

Photo Via Matt Glover, mattglover.com

More often than not in the current job market, companies are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of applicants that come to them online. While systems that track applicants and pull applications based on key words are helpful for managing the influx, the odds of your resume coming to the attention of the hiring manager can be very slim. So what is a talented, well-qualified applicant to do? Below are a few of my favorite tips for catching the eye of your next employer:

Network. The single most important thing any job seeker can do is network. Start by identifying your target companies and industries, then identify friends, family members, former colleagues, alumni etc. at those organizations and request an informational interview. The trick is not to ask the contact for a job, but to take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the company, the culture, the hiring process, the department that interests you, etc. By doing this, you build a network of connections in the companies you are most interested in pursuing for employment.

 Leverage Your Network. When a position does appear online, reach out to your networking contact at that company. Let them know you applied online, and ask them if they would forward your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. Busy managers are much more likely to review resumes forwarded by a trusted colleague rather than digging through the mountain of online applications. And throughout the process, be sure to keep your contact posted on your progress, and always remember to say thank you.

Focus on Key Words. Be sure your resume and cover letter use key words from the job posting, as systems will often search based on those key words. Try to have as many key words early in your resume such as the summary and core competencies sections to increase your visibility within the system.

Beware of formatting. Ensure that there is no formatting, such as underlining, that will cause the system to reject your resume. As a general rule, companies will never tell you that your resume fails to make it into their system. Keep the formatting very basic to ensure that it is accepted, and remember that you can have a different format for when you share it in person.

Above all, it’s good to keep in mind that it is still people who make the hiring decisions – not job application systems. You need to be proactive and use your network to get your resume into the hands of the hiring manager. Don’t just sit back and expect the system to do the work for you. As with most things, you get out of them what you put in, so approach the process thoughtfully for the best results.