Some people say resumes are old school, but they aren’t. Yes, you should have a LinkedIn profile. But that’s in addition to a resume.
There are currently four generations in the workplace:
- Baby Boomers
- Gen Xers
Any of these generations could represent a hiring manager today. But I bet three of these generations still expect and require a traditional resume for open jobs. LinkedIn should be viewed as a supplement to the resume. Besides, LinkedIn is public. You don’t want everyone in the universe to have access to every bit of information on your resume.
As a hiring manager, some resumes cause me to SMH. So, here are some resume tips for those currently in the job search or individuals who just want some advice from someone who hires people.
- Use a professional looking email address. HelloKitty@email.com only works well if you are applying for a job at a veterinarian’s office or pet supply store. Not a corporate position. Most email addresses are free, like Gmail, Yahoo, etc. So if HelloKitty is your username, create a new, free one you can use exclusively during your job search.
- Keep your resume to one page if you are just out of college or have less than five years experience. If you have more than five years+ of experience, it’s acceptable to have a two-page resume. Three pages should be reserved for those at the C-level (CEO, CFO, etc.) Three pages+ is a curriculum vitae (CV) and reserved exclusively for Ph.D. level professionals, medical doctors, and those in the research field.
- Don’t list ‘References Upon Request’ as it is assumed you will and should have references that can be provided when requested. Make sure you have reference information prepared as a separate document, yet matching the same margins, font, and type of paper as your resume and cover letter.
- Cover letter. Yes. You should prepare one. And it should be customized for the specific position you’re considering. You cannot use one cover letter for every position. Do your homework. Try to find the hiring manager’s name and address the cover letter to the specific person, not HR Manager or Sir or Madam. When you show you took initiative, it’s impressive and demonstrates determination. List keywords and skills listed in the job description – only if your qualifications truly match.
- Include a summary of your professional experience at the top of your resume. Don’t make a hiring manager read your entire resume to summarize your career. First of all, a hiring manager won’t read your entire resume if you leave this part out. Second of all, why would you leave your career open to interpretation? The resume is your personal sales tool. Sell yourself.
- Make sure your reputation is clean and professional on social media. Yes, social media should be fun, but you always, always have to consider how your actions will be perceived by an employer. You will be a reflection on your supervisor, and if your reputation is less than professional on social media, you might as well stop your job search. Change your settings to private so any questionable photos or posts are limited to your inner circle, yet I still caution you on posting crazy stuff as it has a way of being found online.
- Proofread your cover letter and resume. Didn’t major in English? Can’t spell for Jack? You still gotta find a way to proofread your resume for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting. Your resume is your sales tool. Resumes are what you get you the interview. Once you get the interview, you have to sell yourself to the hiring manager. So, if you misspell words or can’t format a simple Word document, what kind of indication does that give to the hiring manager regarding your performance?
- Include a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile at the top of your resume. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s feature to edit your profile so it looks like this: www.linkedin.com/JamieDoe
- Font, font size, margins. Should be the same on your cover letter and resume. Don’t use a random font that won’t transfer well if you’re emailing your resume. Just go with Arial, Times New Roman, or Garamond.
Last Tip – Be Serious About Your Resume
If you’re serious about the job search, be serious about your resume. Your resume is the tool that will help you get, or not get, the interview.
Share in the comments any other resume tips that have worked for you.