Some characteristics a resume should demonstrate:
- Easy to read fonts. (Not “Old English”, for example)
- If referring to a specific job opening, please refer to it in your cover letter.
- Be specific when listing your expertise. What specific software, operating systems, CAD programs, application versions, etc.
- A cover letter is not a requirement, but it can help a recruiter “read between the lines”.
- If you update our database with a new resume, please indicate that it is an updated resume.
- It is a good idea to update a resume when you have received additional education, certifications or recent employment.
Writing an effective resume:
Your initial contact with future employers is almost always achieved through your resume, and with the high volume of resumes that most hiring managers must review for a given position, it is crucial that your resume clearly show how you will benefit the company. Most hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less reviewing your resume, so the resume must sell yourself quickly in order to be considered for a face-to-face interview. The interview is the real key to getting the job you want, but without an effective resume, your chances of success are greatly reduced. The appearance and content of the resume is a direct reflection on your professionalism, attention to detail and desire. It goes beyond just documenting your education, work history and contact information.
What is an acceptable length of a resume?
While the “old” rule of thumb was one page; two and even three page resumes are becoming more common and, for the most part, acceptable. With many professionals changing employers more often, growing numbers of contract professionals and all the additional software information and upgrades, it has become increasingly more difficult to produce a single page resume. Most employers, however, still prefer a one to two page resume. Much more than that will tend to lose focus and interest of the reader. Remember, you need to sell your value to the employer in 30 seconds or less!
What information belongs on a resume?
- Contact information. (Name, address, phone number(s), email address, etc.)
- Employment / Career objective
- Summary of Qualifications (Optional. Normally placed right beneath your objective.)
- Education – Include name of institution, degree, graduation date. If you are a recent graduate with little or no relevant work history, place your education history near toward the top of your resume. Otherwise, it should be located near the bottom. If you have a college degree, there is no need to list your high school or earlier education. Likewise, if your highest level of education is high school, then list only that information.
- Work History – Start with your most recent or current position at the top and work backwards. List dates, employer name, position, and a brief description of your accomplishments. Do not use the word “I” (I did this; I did that), use action verbs such as initiated, accomplished, successfully completed, designed, reduced, improved, etc. This will show your potential value to a new employer, rather than just documenting your past tasks.
- Additional Skills – This includes any special computer skills such as software packages (including release/version numbers), operating systems, programming languages, etc. Also include skills such as ability to read blueprints, SPC, CMM, calipers, QS9000, etc.
- Additional Training – Relevant courses, seminars, or certifications. This should follow your education section.
- Professional Affiliations – Include only those which support your career objective or which may be of interest to a potential employer.
- Awards – Include relevant awards, special recognition or published works.
- References – Some employers like seeing them included on a separate page and some don’t like them at all. If you do include them, please make sure they are relevant to your work history. If you don’t have any work experience, then they should be people that can attest to your character. Teachers, ministers, counselors, coaches, etc.
The “do nots”!
- Don’t be too wordy. Check your grammar. Use proper punctuation and be sure to use a spell checker or have it proofread thoroughly by others.
- Do not include irrelevant information such as your height, weight, children, marital status or age.
- Do not include activities or hobbies, unless you feel there is a direct benefit or relevance to the position you are seeking.
- Do not include salary history.
- Do not put anything negative on the resume.
- Do not have unexplained gaps of time in your work history.
Remember – if you are successful with the resume and are able to secure an interview, it is very important that you research the company! Hiring managers are impressed with those who show the initiative to do their homework. Show them you want the job! The internet is a wonderful resource for corporate information.