Go it alone, or get some help? We hope you chose the latter!
Step Up Recruiting helps job candidates and companies. In part 1 of this series, we want to discuss a proactive start to your job search by pulling great resumes out of your jobseekers toolbox.
There are many do’s and don’t do’s here when it comes to resumes! Let’s get started.
First, your résumé should be up to date. Just finished a course, just left an employer, have a new accomplishment or milestone? Fire up that word processor and update your résumé!
A fact-based and concise résumé will probably hold sway over its appearance (more on that below). A no-brainer: Do not lie or inflate the details because it’s the quickest path to potentially serious trouble. Not so obvious: the order or sequence of resume information and its format. If you don’t have a lot of job experience or have noticeable gaps in your work history, it might be better to list your education first or consider creating a functional résumé instead. The following article from Indeed.com called Functional Resume Tips and Examples may be an excellent place to start.
Use action verbs in the description of any task or duty. For example, instead of writing ‘Look after support staff,’ consider starting the sentence with the more action-oriented word ‘Manage support staff.’
Don’t tense up; get your tenses right! Related to the above, consider what you’ve done to what you do. Using the above example, if you’re no longer in a job, you’re going to say, ‘Managed support staff.’ You would be amazed at how many job applicants get this part wrong!
You may be uploading your résumé to job boards (e.g., Monster.com), recruiting websites, or you may even upload it to an employer’s site. Pay close attention to how they have asked for the file format. Some organizations and employers are good with Microsoft Word documents. Others will want portable document format files (PDFs). And periodically, someone will want you to upload a plain text file. All recent versions of Microsoft Word will allow you to save a document as a PDF. If, and you may need to do a little homework here, someone wants a plain text file, we highly recommend that you do not merely re-save a Word document in that way. Plain text file uploads may be rare, but to handle them properly, we suggest you entirely re-format your résumé, using things like more line breaks and, periodically, all caps for headings.
We spoke about formatting, and we should look at it in a little more detail. The primary purpose of tables is in how they organize your information, and not in how pretty they are. If you use a table to present all or critical parts of your résumé, try not to leave it ‘as is.’ If you do, it may look a bit clunky or busy. But then again, do not over-format a table with fancy grid lines, too much color, or too complicated a layout.
Tip: Some Word templates work out of the box. In most versions of Word, click on File, then New, to discover a format you can work with (and, of course, change).
Accessibility is a hot topic these days, and affects our lives in everything from physical accessibility, like ramps instead of stairs, to document accessibility. Cursive or fancy fonts, while attractive, may be hard to read. The same goes for the overuse of uppercase text or fonts that are too small. Our suggestion is to use a sans serif 12-point font, like Arial, and to avoid overusing uppercase, italics, and color.
Questions? Need some expert advice? Please give one of our experts at a call at (248) 421-7360, or fill out our easy to use Webform.