Your resume is only as good as the information you put on it and while most of us know the basics to include such as work experience, education and some contact information, how many of us put much more thought into it?
Not many. Which is strange as the resume can be the making or breaking of a candidate. The average time an employer spends looking at a resume before deciding whether they like a candidate or not is six seconds.
You can’t afford any mistakes then. With that in mind, here are four important areas of your resume you can’t afford to overlook.
It might be obvious that you need to offer contact information on a resume, but there are a few factors to consider with what you put. If your name is Phillip for example, are you going to list yourself as that or are you going to shorten it to Phil? Whichever one you chose, you need to be consistent with it across the whole application from resume to cover letter to any forms you may have to fill out. Use your personal cell number as that controls who answers the call – there’s nothing worse than a prospective employer having to have a 10-minute chat with your mom because you aren’t in when they phoned. You also need to consider what email address you are using. Make it a professional one rather than your embarrassing high school Hotmail address of “firstname.lastname@example.org”
In 2017 over 70% of companies used social media to screen candidates which means your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles can have a huge bearing in your chance of getting that job. You can save them the time by including the URL of your LinkedIn profile. It shows you have a modern, forward thinking approach.
Most of us have one resume that we fire off to every job application. That can mean that often, the experiences we list on it aren’t that relevant to what we are applying for. While there are standard things that will impress most businesses, such as voluntary or charity work or a scholarship from one of the establishments on this list of USA Scholarships, you aren’t going to impress a company that specializes in computer services with details of your high school swimming certificate. Take a look at the advert, find out what the role entails and adjust your relevant experiences to show that you will be bringing knowledge to the job.
Listing one or two of the right sort of personal references at the bottom of your resume can make a real impression. If you’ve worked for a rival company with a good reputation, always put down your managing director from that role. Chances are that your prospective employer won’t call them, but they’ll be impressed by the fact you’ve obviously worked in the industry before and that they have the opportunity to take a former employee from a rival. It will carry much more weight than your eighth-grade gym teacher. As always, try and make the references as relevant as possible to the job you are going for.