As a recruiter, to say I see a lot of resumes is an understatement. I have seen impressive resumes, unmemorable resumes and resumes that have made me stop and go “Huh?” It is very easy to tell the difference between those candidates who have put thought and effort into their resume, and those who have not. Candidates need to remember that your resume IS your first interview and should make a great first impression. Here are the three most important parts of your resume:
1. Appearance – Both HR and the hiring manager get a first impression of you when they look at your resume, the same way they may get a first impression of you at a face-to-face. Is your resume neat? Does it clearly establish a relevant work history? Is it easy to navigate? We have all seen and maybe even been guilty of bad clothing choices at some point in our lives – your resume is no different. Whether looking at that coworker who showed up with two different shoes, or that night club dress that was present at a wedding, your resume’s appearance makes that same impact in less than 3 seconds.
2. Personality – Yes, your resume, like you, can have a personality, but in a different manner. You want to portray your personality through your resume. Does the position require a detail oriented personality? Have you crossed your “T’s” and dotted your “I’s”? Resumes can contain a lot of data. Making sure you have no spelling mistakes and typos is crucial. You can guarantee that the HR Manager or Hiring Manager has a mental picture of a personality trait flaw that could disqualify you from your dream job. Yes, you want a sexy, exciting and intriguing resume to catch the eye – just don’t make it too sexy, exciting or intriguing.
3. Attitude – You may think you are “all that”, but if you share that attitude at a face-to-face, the meeting will probably not last long. There is a fine line between humble and obnoxious, and ideally you want to be middle of the road. By all means, you need to share your accomplishments, mile stones and accolades, but they need to be presented so they stand on their own. How you word things can transfer your “attitude” to the paper. You want whoever is reading your resume to get a good impression of you. Bragging can be a big turnoff. You wouldn’t brag in person, so why are you bragging on paper?
When writing your resume, think how you would present yourself in appearance, personality and attitude in a face to face interview and try to translate traits onto paper. You will be glad you did!