This past weekend I came across an article from Mashable that Target shared on LinkedIn about how to get your resume through the computer screening process and actually into a recruiters hands. It was interesting to read their take on the best practices for getting a resume to its final destination. So, I decided to do a little cross-analysis on our office opinions and the article’s!
The first thing they mentioned was to keep formatting simple. In our office, we couldn’t agree more. We feel that the more simplistic a resume format looks, the easier it is for someone to read. Always remember, a resume is all about content in the end. Your crazy fonts, sizes, and colors will only take away from the quality experiences you have on your resume. A simple format may look boring, but we always receive positive feedback from recruiters about the simpler formats. I personally experienced a recruiter saying she almost always ignored the over the top formats. So, keep it simple and follow our guidelines in the Career Handbook.
Secondly they said, state the right keywords. As I did with the first one, I could not agree more with this one! When creating a resume it is important to remember that you are describing what you did at your jobs or in projects. One common issue I see on resumes is that students and alumni do not take enough credit for what they did in past experiences, because the keywords (AKA, descriptors) were too simple and far too generic. Of course, don’t stretch your words beyond the truth, but be aware that you may not be giving yourself the credit you deserve and earned.
Third, they said to get rid of the career objective. On this one, we would disagree in our office. It is important to have a career objective because it gives a recruiter a chance to remember why you came to them applying in the first place. They will not remember everyone and they may be hiring for different positions, so don’t just expect them to know where your resume should be in a grouping of 100 of them. It also helps you focus what you put on your resume. For instance, if I am applying for a management position I will speak to leadership experiences more. On the other hand, if I were applying for a finance position I would want to highlight any work with numbers, money, or possibly data analysis. These situations above are only some of the reasons to keep a career objective, but when in doubt, keep it on.
Lastly, we have a no brainer. Don’t make spelling errors! It is very telling when there are glaring spelling or grammatical errors on a resume, because it shows that you did not take the time to proofread your work fully. It can be easy to miss a spelling error, so get an extra set of eyes looking over your resume. Again, a simple thing that will keep your resume in the mix.
I encourage you to use our Career Handbook or come down to Career & Internship Services in the Wedge. We always have a Peer Educator, such as myself, ready to help review and critique resumes.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!