Unfortunately, most of us aren’t Chuck Norris. If you are, there’s no need to continue reading since you don’t need resume tips, you give them.
Resume Tips for the Rest of Us
The resume is your first, and sometimes only chance to make a good impression on a potential employer. If you don’t wow with the resume, chances are you won’t get an interview. Here are some resume tips to give yours a black belt in awesome.
Save the File as Your Name
Don’t save the file as MyResume or Resume. When someone saves your resume to review later, it will be difficult to find if they know your name but your resume isn’t saved with your name. Also, if you have different versions of your resume for specific jobs, use the job title along with your name in the resume doc name. Including a year is also a good way to tell your resume apart from older versions on your resume. Nothing is more embarrassing or a better way to end up in the reject pile than sending a wrong resume. Oops!
Craft a professional headline and sub-headline that sums up your accomplishments right under your name. This may not be appropriate for all resumes (if you’re new from college for example) but for most resumes, it can set you apart from the group.
Martial Artist Guru and Actor
Keeping the world safe, one roundhouse kick at a time.
Ditch the Objective
Unless you craft a different objective for every job you apply for, chances are your objective won’t line up with the job you’re applying for. Instead, include a section in your Professional Profile Summary with 3-5 specific accomplishments in your field.
Actor: Known for roles in The Wrecking Crew, Code of Silence, The Delta Force and Walker, Texas Ranger.
Martial Artist: Inducted into the Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame in 1999 for achievements in the sport.
Visionary: Creator of the martial art Chun Kuk Do which includes various elements from a wide range of combat styles and a personal code of conduct.
Remove the Photo
Although I’ve seen a trend to including a profile picture on resumes for those in creative fields (graphic designer, web designer, artist, author) which is fine, it’s not a great idea to include a photo on every resume, especially if, well, the photo isn’t really professional (I’ve seen several Borat lookalikes). You could actually reduce your chance of getting an interview. If you want people to see how cool you look, include a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Fill out Your LinkedIn Profile
If you’re seriously looking for a job, take the time to fill out a LinkedIn profile, making it just as detailed (if not more detailed) than your resume. You can include links to your portfolio and even projects you’ve worked on, making LinkedIn an interactive resource for anyone thinking about hiring you. Plus, if you include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume, make sure your profile impresses (and you have more than 2 connections). Most importantly, make sure the photo on your LinkedIn is appropriate.
Get Custom Social Media Links.
If you include any social media links on your resume, make sure you get a custom URL. Usually from your profile you can edit the URL from generic numbers and letters to your name.
Note: Visit this link and it will tell you Chuck Norris could not be found. That’s because you don’t find Chuck Norris on LinkedIn, he finds you.
Set up a Google Voice Number and Job Seeking Email
It’s nice getting a resume from a candidate for a position but some fail to include their phone and email address. Many want to maintain their privacy, which is understandable, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a free Google Voice number and a free email account to include when you send out resumes. This way, you know that any emails or phone calls you get to those accounts are about job opportunities and you can review at your leisure.
Include the City You’re in AND the City You’re Seeking a Job in
If you’re looking for a job out of state, include either a statement in the application or a line in your resume letting the person reading your resume know you’re looking in that area (and it wasn’t a mistake). It’s amazing how many people apply for jobs in other states by mistake and really aren’t looking to relocate. You’ll avoid being filtered out if you make it clear you’re ready to move.
Watch your POV!
Use a professional, 3rd person tone and concise sentences when possible.
The Expendables 2 2012
– Bitten by a snake, snake died.
Don’t just include a list of skills in your resume, include them into the bullets in your resume. Remember, the first person (typically) to review your resume is someone in HR. In order for them to pass your resume to the hiring manager, they need to see if you have the skills in the job description. So add in those keywords, don’t be shy.Developed a new web program using C# on a .Net platform will catch the eye of the person filling a C# developer position better than Developed a new web program.
Walker, Texas Ranger 2005
Ranger Cordell Walker
– Used martial arts and roundhouse kicks to take down criminals.
Make Contracts and Short-Term Projects Clear
Employers like to see candidates that have longevity at past positions. Short term positions can look bad unless you add Contract or Project in the job title or description.
Drop those Outdated Skills and Positions
You can run a fax? You worked in a mailroom sorting mail ten years ago (and are now a VP)? You don’t have much space on a resume and your skills change with time. Make sure the most important info is taking up valuable resume space.
Don’t State the Obvious
If you’re taking up space with the phrase References available on request, remove it. If there are any other obvious statements, drop them and use the space for higher priority information.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Have at least one other person review your resume for mistakes. Most resumes I see have at least one typo on it. Some are obvious, some not as much. Out of all the resume tips in this article, this could be the most important! Make sure you proofread as well as ask a friend to read through it.
Don’t Be Generic
Tailor your resume AND cover letter for the position you’re applying for. We all have a wide range of skills and might be a good fit for several job types. I know it might be tedious to tailor your resume for each job you apply for but it increases your chances of getting noticed by HR. Keep in mind that most resumes go through an automated system so if you don’t have the keywords for the job, you’ll likely be rejected without a person even looking at your resume. If someone does look at your resume, it’s usually someone in HR that may not know much about the job other than the job description. If you resume isn’t an obvious match (ie has the right keywords), you won’t be passed to the Hiring Manager that is more knowledgeable about the position. A quick tip is to just add in keywords from the job description (if you have those skills).
Include your Education and Certifications
Unless you’re new out of school and don’t have much relevant work experience, don’t put your education at the top. It belongs at the bottom. There are exceptions, of course. If you have an impressive degree (doctorate or masters) or certifications in your field and want it to be noticed first, go ahead and put it on top where it will be noticed first thing. However, if your education is in an unrelated field than what you are in now (like you have a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry but are now in tech) it might be better to let your experience outside your degree.
Chuck Norris doesn’t need an education, he gives one.
What are your tips for creating a kickin’ resume? Share your resume tips in the comments below.