04 February 2016
When revising your resume, it’s easy to underestimate how difficult the process can be. Unless you have previously worked in recruitment/human resources, or know someone in either of these fields, there is no way for you to know what an individual recruiter is looking for when they read your resume. Recruiting is a subjective art, but there are several key areas on your resume that all recruiters are interested in. Additionally, there are other parts of your resume that recruiters universally see as redundant additions. If you are struggling with updating your resume, consider the following do’s and don’ts to help you through the process: DO: Highlight Your Most Recent, Or Current, Role When a recruiter first receives your resume, their eyes will immediately go to what you are currently or have recently been doing in a professional capacity. Not only will they be looking at what you’ve recently been doing, but they’ll want to see where you have been working. For example, if you have worked at a large company, a recruiter might be able to gauge that you’re comfortable working on large-scale projects, whereas working for a smaller company could demonstrate that you’re comfortable wearing many hats. DON’T: Go Crazy With The Design Of Your Resume Unless you are applying for a job in a creative field where a more visual resume design can be critical, the hiring manager cares more about the content than they do about crazy designs. Stick to a palatable font like Arial or Calibri, and do not feel the need to use a color other than black for the script of your resume; the easier it is to read, the better your chances of making it to the next round of the process. DO: Showcase Career Progression Once a recruiter has seen what you are currently doing, they’ll want to see if it is the last link in a natural chain of progression within your professional career. Seeing that line of progression, such as moving on from an Assistant role to an Associate role, demonstrates a level of trust and confidence another employer had in you. It also shows you are comfortable with being given additional responsibilities with a company you are committed to. DON’T: Include An “Objective” Section Since you’re most likely applying to a specific role, listing an objective is redundant and not something a recruiter necessarily cares about. When you include it in your resume, the person reviewing it is more likely to view it as space you could have used to highlight your skills or go into more detail about specific responsibilities you had in a previous job. DO: Highlight That You Are Technologically Savvy Now that a majority of work is completed digitally, hiring managers want to see that you have a solid grasp on a variety of technical skills. For example, they will look out for specific programs throughout your resume, and it’s a safe bet to say they will want to see advanced-level knowledge of tech-focused programs and applications. DON’T: Overcompensate In The “Education” Section Unless you are a recent graduate, it is rare that a recruiter is going to want to know much about your time in school. In fact, the education portion of your resume almost always takes a back seat to what you have done professionally. Instead of listing every club and event you participated in, just mention where you went, when you graduated and, if asked, your GPA.