It’s the beginning of Fall, which means that along with a chill in the air and an ever lingering smell of pumpkin spice, comes a return of companies and hiring managers from summer vacations. And guess what? They are ready and motivated to hire before year end!
We’ve seen firsthand how stressful the application and interviewing process can be on candidates, and want to do our part to help make it a bit easier! We asked our recruiting staff for what they look for in a great resume. Let us know if there is anything you would add.
1 – Quality Content
“Content. Brevity in your job accomplishments and highlight skills. Avoid a laundry list of classes, complete job descriptions and skill stuffing.” – Gary Kane, CEO and President
Content is king. Don’t spend all of your time and effort getting the formatting of your resume right and avoid focusing on the actual content. That’s a HUGE mistake. Bottom line, make sure you accurately and concisely can describe your experience that is a truthful representation of you.
2 – Relevant Skills
“A good resume offers relevant and concise content clearly describing duties and accomplishments. Relevant technical skills associated with each role description included throughout the document.”- Chris Gormley, Partner
Relevant skills should be listed on your resume. You can either list them within the description you give for each position that you’ve held, and/or you can have a separate Skills section listed on your resume. Either way make sure you are explaining where you utilized each skill. Only list the skills you are proficient in and would feel confident in explaining your experience and knowledge of.
3 – Clarity
“Facts and clarity. I often look to see if the individual writes with clarity when describing his/her duties and responsibilities. Does he/she provide supporting facts about those duties? Is there evidence of a stable work history…showing that the individual brought value to each role/position.” – Len Lasek, Partner
A resume should summarize your career and explain your experience and job duties thoroughly and simply enough that someone outside your industry would be able to understand what you do. Often times the first person on the receiving end of a resume is not a direct hiring manager, it could be a recruiter or HR representative. They need to be able to understand what you do.
4 – Consistent Formatting
“Details about actual duties, dates with consistent formatting. A clear understanding about what one does/their strengths, skills and accomplishments.” – Michael Lazrus, Executive Vice President
As a recruiter, there are few things that are more frustrating than someone’s resume whose formatting is all over the place. It makes it extremely difficult for a recruiter to read, and might make them stop reading all together if it is really bad. Consistent formatting speaks to a candidate’s intelligence and ability to see the bigger picture.
5 – English
“I highly prefer when resumes are written in English. “ – Mark Francis, Account Executive
Our class clown of the office made the above remark when asked about what he looks for in a resume. After a few laughs we realized that he isn’t that far off though. In today’s increasingly mobile and technology focused world, grammar and English language rules have gone out the window in a lot of instances. When writing a resume you want to make sure that everything is as clear, especially when it comes to spelling (see Attention to Detail) notes below.
6 – Personality
“I look for stability and of course experience and skills. Reputable name jobs, also I look for personality in their resume. Let’s say you find a resume and it’s just plain… that person is just explaining their job duties. You want to find a resume of someone who takes pride in their work. Names their awards and certifications pertaining to their career.” – Jonesha ‘JoJo’ Lanier, Recruiter
As mentioned before your resume should have good content, relevant skills, clarity, and consistent formatting, but it should also have a bit of personality. Try to stay away from getting too creative with the formatting or color scheme, as bright colors and funky design patterns, which deter a lot of recruiters and hiring managers, unless of course applying for design or creative positions.
Bottom line, be yourself in your writing, talk about your experiences, interests, likes, dislikes. Your resume will share who you are with potential employers, don’t pretend to be something you aren’t.
7 – Attention to Detail
“Attention to detail is one of the top qualities that hiring managers are looking for in today’s market. If a resume has a lot of inconsistencies and errors then you’re telling employers and recruiters a lot about yourself you might not intend. Always review your document and have a second person review it as well. You may be the best at what you do, but too many errors in a resume can overshadow your skill set.”- Megan Bonnell, Account Executive
It’s all in the details. We see it daily, make sure you double, and triple check your resume for spelling, grammar, and chronological errors. Don’t self-edit, rather send it to multiple people and have them check as well. Your resume should be the best possible representation of you as possible!
There you go, 7 resume tips from our recruiting staff about what they look for in resumes to get you started on revamping yours! As you may have picked up it’s about consistency, brevity, highlights and all of our team members are looking for that wow in your resume.
Good luck telling your story. We can’t wait to see how it turns out!