How long should my resume be? Should I specialize my resume or keep it general? Where should I leave things off my resume? What resume format is best to use? What are resume keywords?
All of these questions are often thrown our way when it comes down to our candidates’ resumes. We do not edit or create resumes, but we love giving our clients advice and want to provide a resume guide. As recruiters, we know there are lots of myths out there on the best practices for resume building, and know it can be a tricky task with lots of different opinions. We want to calm some of the worries and answer some of those burning questions. We have also created a video format of this blog which you can watch on our YouTube channel here.
As recruiters, we understand that information on a resume is looked over quickly. However, we believe it is reasonable to have a two-page resume. Your resume needs to be comprehensive and contain the information the recruiters or hiring authorities are looking for. Nonetheless, your resume also needs to be easy to read and obtainable. Lots of information does not have to look unorganized. Be sure to include bold font, titles, and bullet points, and keep the material concise and clean.
Are addresses and zip codes still relevant?
This is a very controversial question, but we at MRT encourage including your zip code. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your street address on your resume, we still encourage including your city, state, and zip code. This allows for the company to see if you need to be relocated, allows us to keep you updated with new job opportunities that may be relevant to you in the future, and allows the company to do the same. Read more on the importance of zip codes and when it is appropriate to leave it off your resume.
There are many different types of formatting options when it comes to resumes. We provide a great example resume and downloadable template on our website. Under your name and zip code, we recommend having a section that lists your core competencies. This is a short comprehensive summary of your work experiences. Following that, list your job titles and responsibilities along with start dates and employers.
Do I include information on my company?
We as recruiters love to see on your resume a short blurb on the company you worked for. What services or products did they offer? Who is their audience? What processes did they use? It is a great way for hiring authorities to learn more about what you know and generate more questions they can ask in an interview.
What achievements and accomplishments matter?
This may be the most important part of your resume. It is critical throughout your career to keep a running track record of all your accomplishments. Once it is time to write or edit your resume, you can reference this list. On your resume, rank your top 10 accomplishments, starting with the best one.
What is the deal with keywords?
“Buzzword Bingo” is what our recruiter, Jerry Jones, likes to call it. If you have your resume filled with keywords, make sure you can talk to it. The worst first impression is having something on your resume that you cannot talk about. If you put it on your resume make sure you are knowledgeable and can answer questions in an interview about it.
Do not be afraid to talk about yourself. Your resume is about YOU. Do not view your resume as bragging about yourself, but rather showing your value. You want to show your accomplishments and capabilities. Be sure to reference when you worked on a team, including the “we”, but include what YOU did personally with “I”. Balance is key.
If you need resume advice or would like questions answered about your resume or any career advice in general, reach out to us here or connect directly with our recruiters. We love guiding individuals and helping build careers and companies whenever we can.