Careers at The Resource Group | The 'Why' Behind Resumes
On average, employers look at resumes for six to seven seconds. To get past this initial review you want to ensure your resume is pleasing to the eye with a simple layout that easily distinguished between sections. This allows the employer to be motivated to look deeper at your resume which, will hopefully, reveal your personal attributes, values, and motivators. For example, candidates who highlight their passion or purpose on the resume may be an indicator of someone who is inspired by mission or invigorated by serving others. If a candidate highlights involvement in their role or company it may lead hiring managers to see the candidate as a team player. There is a lot more to the art of a resume so keep scrolling for our Resource Group dos, don'ts, and general resume advice.
Common Error: Listing skills without demonstrable application
Some candidates may chose to include a 'Skills' section on their resume. This can be beneficial when it comes to job functions or roles that require specific competencies or certifications but can also open a candidate up to additional questioning and scrutiny. If 'team oriented' is listed as a skill, yet every accomplishment is self-focused, it can give hiring managers conflicting ideas of you. Ideally, if you outline a set of skills, make sure to highlight how you have utilized them successfully.
— Update your resume regularly. This is not limited to your last role but also to skills, certifications, recent accomplishments, volunteerism, etc.
— Make sure you proofread every section, every line, every word, every date. Ask a colleague, friend, or mentor to review your resume before submitting.
— Make sure every line highlights a measure of success or accomplishment you realized in a role. When in doubt, do the 'so what?' test. You did xyz...so what? Your goal should be for the reader to understand how you applied yourself in the role and prompt them to want to learn more about you, the candidate.
— Don't include information you cannot easily speak to. If you don't remember why something is on your resume, remove it. You don't want to be asked a leading question about something that you can't elaborate on.
— If you have the option, don't submit a resume in any other format than PDF. Microsoft Word and Google Doc documents don't always upload and download correctly which can lead to inconsistent formatting and a hard to read resume.
— Don't waste space with unnecessary or outdated information. If you are a recent college graduate, it may be beneficial to highlight extracurricular activities (especially mission-based or volunteerism). If you have been in the workforce for more than a few years begin replacing this type of information with more professional accomplishments.
— Don't include too much industry jargon or acronyms many would not be familiar with. Tailor your resume to be easily read and understood by anyone who may read it.