Let’s be real, it’s easy to find resume templates. It’s simple to locate profile header generators and programs that automate resume content. While it might be tempting to use these tools to craft your resume, staffing agencies aren’t looking for catchy buzz words and superficial jargon. What we are looking for is an authentic version of you – on paper.
Start off with Personal Contact Details.
It is surprising how many people submit their resume without their basic contact information. In the header include your name, email address and phone number. In the footer, number your pages.
Catchy Profiles generate Interest.
Write your profile in the 3rdperson. Your sentences should be short and summarize the number of years of experience you have, along with your education and any formal training that is relevant. The key here is short sentences. The recommendation for overall length is one or two small paragraphs maximum. Remember, the profile needs to highlight your unique experience at a very high level.
Example: Mr. John Doe is a Senior Project Manager with over 20 years of experience managing high profile projects for the public and private sector. He gained his PMP at the Project Management Institute (1994) and was ITIL Certified in 1999. Etc.
Structure your Projects in Reverse.
Organize your projects in reverse. As a contractor with multiple projects, this tip will make updating your resume easier. Start with the most recent experience (at the beginning of your resume), and work your way backwards numbering your projects in reverse. For example, the first project from 1998 would be Project 1 and your most recent project (that just wrapped up in May 2014) would be Project 32.
Include more detail than you think you should.
Key Words: Throw away the belief that your resume needs to be short and sweet. This is just simply not true. Your resume needs to be long and detailed. When we upload your resume into our database and run a key word search, your resume will jump to the top of the list if you have enough of the key words we are looking for.
Technology Environments: Always include the technologies you used and dig deep to list them all. If you used MS Office Suite in your last Finance and Accounting position, include Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, etc. and list everything down to Windows 2008. This is the best way to get a lot of hits in our database.
Project Description: Give us lots of details. How many people were on the team? What was the overall project budget/value? What was the business need driving the project forward? What were the challenges? List the critical success factors. Did you deliver the project on time? Was the project within budget?
Project Deliverables: What were your specific tasks? How did you contribute? What soft skills did you use? Were you responsible for more than you signed up for? Was your contract extended? Try to answer the Journalism questions: Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?
Education/Certification and Training – they all need dates too!
Close your resume with your professional qualifications and provide the dates you graduated along with the Institution. No need to provide the city and province unless your education was gained outside of Canada. Include any specific and relevant courses completed.
These five techniques will help bring your resume from good to great, but they are by no means exhaustive. We’d love to hear from you – what do you include in your resume to bring it from good to great? Please leave us a comment below and share your expertise!