Key Considerations In Your Resume

Key Considerations In Your Resume

There are many formats and styles to resumes and candidates commonly ask what makes a good resume stand out.  Surely, many of you have heard that people who review many resumes as part of their job spend 15 to 20 seconds on each resume before deciding to move on or take a more thorough look.  When I started my recruiting practice, I did not understand how one could review a resume and determine the quality of a candidate that quickly.  The secret is that resume reviewers look for key considerations in your resume, if you have them, make them stand out on your resume.

Position titles and companies – Relevant Positions from recognized solid companies – make them stand out.  Show a brief description of company size in revenue, what the company does – Aero, Automotive…… Manufacturer, Service co. Etc. 

Duration in companies – Nobody wants a job hopper, especially for key positions.  If candidates have a history of job hopping, they will likely do it on their next job as well.  A series of positions less than three years with each company can be a red flag.

Multiple positions of increasing responsibility – Good candidates will have several positions of increasing responsibility over a period of time with the same company.  Great candidates will have that profile at each company they have worked.  Make sure your resume clearly shows this if applicable. 

All dates right justified – Total time at a company should be in bold text.  Incremental positions should be regular font, showing duration in each position.  All right justified.  The justification is typical for most resume’s and helps reviewers quickly see relevant dates.  Recommend showing month/year – month/year rather than year – year, not showing the months leads reviewers to consider that you may be trying to hide a gap.

Participation in Leadership Development Programs (LDP) – The investment associated with sending a candidate through a company’s LDP is significant.  That experience attracts attention and should be prominently noted.

Education – Solid degrees from good schools are always a positive to a hiring manager.

Certifications – Certifications convey that the candidate has been trained and tested by the certifying agency in the noted area of expertise.  Certifications from industry leaders are always the best.

Time in the Military – Show rank and significant accomplishments.  Much like positions in a civilian company, however final rank is sufficient.

One to two pages preferred – three pages Max – If you cannot get your relevant experience on three pages, you probably won’t be efficient in the workplace either.

Mis-spelled words, poor grammar, inconsistent format – Enough said!

Show all relevant positions – I hear too often that, “A resume writer told me to only show the last 10 years of experience, some people discriminate on age.”  My philosophy is to show all your relevant positions, even going back to 30 years ago.  A General Manager with a start as a journeyman, machinist or technician is many times considered to be of higher value than one without, as they have been in the trenches and understand the employee issues from their perspective.

So now that you understand what we look for, highlight the key considerations in your resume and improve your chances of getting noticed!