Shannon Smedstad | ,| By
A friend of mine once said, “Everyone should know a good lawyer, accountant, and resume writer.” And, amidst my group, I have been anointed the go-to person for all things resumes … which I love. When a dear friend’s husband was recently laid off, she quickly emailed me with a request to review it.
For those of us in the recruiting or career services industry, we keep up on all the resume dos and don’ts. But for typical job seekers — no matter how much information is posted online, how smart they are, or what industry they are in — they are probably going to need some level of help improving their resumes.
8 QUICK AND EASY TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR RESUME
1. Fix typos: When you are staring at your resume, hour after hour, often you start to glance over words and can miss a typo or two. Be sure to double and triple check each heading, sentence, and word.
2. Retitle your resume: As an HR pro, I like seeing someone who has saved his or her resume with context. Instead of simply Jennifer Resume.doc, try something like Jennifer Smith PR Executive.doc.
3. Save a PDF version: A PDF version can help eliminate formatting issues that may occur when emailing your resume to someone using a different operating system. And, to me, the PDF just seems a bit more professional.
4. Add your LinkedIn profile: In today’s online world, having a digital presence is important. LinkedIn profiles — that are well written and include recommendations — can help enhance your flat, “paper” resume.
5. Give some context: Personally — and there is some debate about this — I like a hybrid summary-objective statement at the top of a resume. This allows the reader (recruiter, HR rep, department manager) to quickly see who you are and want you want. It should help encourage people to continue reading your resume.
6. Add links where applicable: Including links to your online portfolios, articles you’ve written, blog posts you’re quoted in, sites you’ve developed, and/or campaigns that you’ve supported can help make you stand out from other potential candidates.
7. Add certifications: If you have an MBA, PHR, PhD, LPN, PMP … include those accomplishments after your name in your heading. Don’t bury them at the bottom of page two.
AND A BONUS RESUME TIP
Ask someone to review: Another pair of eyes may be just what you need to put a little more polish on your resume. Don’t be afraid to reach out a friend in HR, post a question in an online forum, make an appointment with your campus career center, or reach out to a professional resume writer. There are many people, with eyes trained to review resumes, who can be of valuable assistance to you.
What other quick and easy resume tips do you have? What do you think about the idea of including a hybrid objective-summary statement on your resume?