The Resume

Resume2HOT TIPS for Both Sides of the Hiring Table

It may seem like a small thing, but a lot of information about the prospect can be gleaned from a resume, and details are important, as you will see below:

Was the resume and cover letter successfully uploaded onto the job site?

I can’t tell you how many people incorrectly upload their resumes to the job sites. Make sure you follow directions carefully when uploading BOTH your cover and resume. Many put their cover letter at the top of their resume. Keep them separate.

Make sure the file names of the resumes and cover letters have your name on them. Please don’t add a date or a year, especially if it’s an older resume. It will look like you’ve been searching for a long while. I have seen a variety of file names but the most common mistake people make is adding a position title on it (i.e. John Doe HR resume). To me, that means he has a few renditions of his resume and has sent the one that matches the job description. It always says to me that they have customized or “spun“ the resume to match the job description. Maybe that’s just me, but I think it is cleaner to have the name only.

Does their resume-cover letter have any grammar, alignment or spelling mistakes?

Please spell check and triple check your alignment and grammar. If you don’t trust yourself on this then ask someone who you know will have a good set of eyes for this, It’s VITAL.

Does their resume stand out? Is it aesthetic?

When scouring dozens and dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes, I will stop and look at those that stick out from the pack. Your resume should be laid out SIMPLY. (There are many awesome templates on Google or other sites, look find something aesthetic, maybe a little color?) Make sure you lay it out chronologically and that the dates of employment are clearly listed. Never lie on your resume, but the greatest turn-off is someone who has jumped from job to job and has no real long run of 3-4 + years at a given job. Do what you can truthfully to help yourself look good. Perhaps address this in your cover letter – explain why (i.e. you were putting yourself through nursing school at the same time, or you never were in the right job and this looks like the right fit for me and here’s why, etc.). I love helping people with their resumes; reach out to me and I will help!

Is their cover letter generic in feel? Does the cover letter feel like a generic corny template they have sent to many job postings? Or does it stand out, and address your specific job posting?

I normally end up skim-reading most cover letters. Why? Because they all are corny and say pretty much the same thing. My tip: Study the job posting carefully and what the company is looking for exactly. Start the cover letter off with confidence (i.e.- I have just read your job description in detail and I am certain that I am the one for you!) Take various functions that they might be looking for and duplicate their posting saying that you have excelled at this exact set of functions at your last jobs, “its what you live to do”. Be creative (i.e. “If I had this job I would run to work each morning, etc.). If your resume jumps around from job-to-job in 1-2 year stints, and there is a good truthful reason for it, then state that on your cover. Get creative and do what you can to get someone to reply to you and get your “foot in the door”!

Did they have a copy of their resume to give you at the in-person meeting?

Make it easy for the hiring manager, who is probably really busy – too busy to stop and print the resume. Have your resume at hand. Many times candidates forget to bring their resumes to the interview…really???

– Andrea Doven

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