Resume writing is an art form, and what one person considers to be a good resume can be considered terrible to another. When writing a new or revised resume in 2013, it will be important for you to include a number of different sections to highlight your background and experience as it relates to the opportunity you are applying for. As a recruiter and account manager, I have been working with candidates for a long time and recommend the following advice to you if you are currently looking and applying for new opportunities.
Resume Best Practices for 2013
When I talk to candidates, whether they are actively or passively looking for new opportunities, I always coach them on resume best practices. Being that I work in the IT Staffing industry and focus on technology and technical positions, the information I will be providing below will be geared more towards IT Professionals. If you belong to another industry, please use your own judgment when putting together your resume and modify it as appropriate.
Break Your Resume Into Various Sections
Sectioning your resume as it relates to your industry will be and continues to be very important. Clearly putting in your contact information, job history, career accomplishments and technical skills/competencies will get you noticed. For those with 10+ years of experience, I recommend having your first page of your resume to include highlighted career accomplishments and measurable/attained goals that you have met over the course of your career. USE SPECIFICS; don’t just put down what you did but put in numbers, percentages or dollar amounts for key accomplishments. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not putting in the nitty gritty details!
Make a Resume 2-3 FULL Pages
In 2013, I recommend brushing up your resume to include the following necessary information, limiting your resume to 2-3 FULL pages – GONE are the days of a 1 page resume, in my humble opinion.
Contact Information on Your Resume
Clear name, contact information and link to professionally done LinkedIn profile with recommendations from colleagues. Use a cellular phone number and a professional sounding voice message. If you do not have a cellular device, I recommend that you use a landline and also have a professional voice message in case you are unavailable to answer at the time. When answering calls that you do not recognize, be polite, friendly and have a little enthusiasm. If you prefer, screen your calls with your voicemail.
Career Accomplishments or Achievements
Summary section of highlighted and measurable career accomplishments. USE QUANTIFIABLE results or actions that you have accomplished. Specifics go a long way, so be sure to include any percentages, dollar figures or measurable results. Showing a long history of accomplishments that are quantifiable show recruiters that you are accomplished and have a steady history.
Employment and Job History
Using reverse-chronological order (your most recent job first), detail each of your last 10 years employment history. Provide specific responsibilities, projects, accomplishments and measurable results. Also include the company name, location and dates of employment. Showing a steady stream of employment or engagements goes a long way. In some industries, consultants jump around on project to project, so some people may have a really lengthly job history sections. Again, use your judgement when completing this section!
Technical Skills and Specialized Skill-Sets
The bread and butter for technical or IT job seemings is the technical skills section. This section offers programmers, developers, engineers, architects, DBA’s, etc… to highlight their technical skills. Have a comprehensive list of technical proficiencies or skill-sets that you posses in a clear format. You may section this part of your resume further by breaking it down into different categories such as Software, Databases, Programming Languages, Tools, etc… Again, depending on your specific career you will have different items in this section.
Education, Training and Certifications
Make sure to clearly indicate your level of education and degrees. This section should be short but include the necessary information such as the institution, the degree you received, graduation year and major. Also makes to list any other industry certifications or training’s relevant to your field.
Get Your Resume Listed and in the Hands of Recruiters
Once you have tweaked your resume, give it to several friends, co-workers and family members to look over for grammatical errors and mistakes. Take their advice and then get your resume out to the market. Do this by creating profiles on the following sites and uploading your resume with your contact information to the following job boards and sites:
Good luck in your career search and please contact me or comment with any questions you may have on resume tips, job searching or any other topics related to this article!