Jade here – administrative assistant and author of the Kiy HR Perspective at Kiy HR Services Inc! Part of my job here is to screen resumes to shortlist candidates for our clients. Seeing as I’ve been through an enormous amount of resumes for various clients and diverse positions, I have acquired a few tips on how to craft the perfect (or at the very least – impressive) resume. I talked with Shelly Hemmerling, our Business Development Representative, and laid out aspects of a resume that would catch a recruiter’s eye based on my experience in the role, and you can watch that [here]. Below, I will outline the basics of crafting professional and captivating resumes in more detail, from the eye of someone who sifts through many a day.
One of the most important things you need to consider when constructing a resume is to know what and what not to include in your resume. Make sure you cover all the basics – work experience (not just the relevant careers – all of them), volunteer experience in the field, education, and your skills. Having these basics on your resume outlines your working life and instantly lets the recruiter know if you are qualified for the job that you are applying for. On the other end of the spectrum, there are many aspects you should consciously avoid. Any personal information that could outline a potential for discrimination or bias should not make it on to your resume. This includes birthdays, religious affiliation, and definitely not a photo of yourself. This does not send the right message – it only makes the process too personal for the recruiter.
That being said, you are allowed to personalize your resume to some extent. In other words, make sure you know who you are applying to. This is where a cover letter comes in. Cover letters help the recruiter understand a little bit more about what you have learned from past experience in the field, and what you tend to accomplish at their company. Many times, I have received vague cover letters, or no cover letter at all, and it sends a message that the candidate’s heart is not fully committed to the job they are applying for. There have even been times where a submitted cover letter is addressed to the wrong company/position. Personalizing your resume to the company/position you are applying to with a cover letter is a great way to show that you are willing to work and want the position.
Many recruiters seen an abundance of different resumes everyday, and if a resume looks like a four-page college essay, it is very difficult to find your relevant experience and nothing stands out. Make it snappy! It is much easier for the recruiter who is looking at your resume to find what makes you stand out above the rest of the candidates when it is formatted correctly. This means having your important details – responsibilities of your experience, skills, etc. – but keep it short. We don’t need to see more than two or three sentence of your duties; this is where the resumes becomes long and recruiters get bogged down.
Finally, proof read and look at your finished resume! This is very important. Spelling and grammatical errors are lazy. It is very professional to have well-crafted points about yourself and work experience. This also means to make it look professional, but do not forget to add white space. White space helps minimize the overwhelming aspect of all the information in a resume, and is easier to read. Have your family members, friends, or anybody else you can think of read your resume. It helps to have a third-party take a look, since you may have some bias towards yourself (don’t worry – we all have this). A general rule of thumb is if you or anyone else have trouble finishing reading your resume without skimming it, a recruiter will too.
Good luck with your career endeavours and get to crafting that resume!
Best of luck,
Jade, The Kiy HR Perspective