Resume Writing – Why It’s Important and How to Shape It Up

When you’re talking about searching for a job, you should be thinking about your resume. For some, they’re always thinking about their resume – keeping it updated and posted on LinkedIn or otherwise is a surefire way to keep your eyes and ears open to new career opportunities as they arise. However, for some, their resumes have begun collecting spider webs. Either way, in today’s ever changing workforce, an employer’s market, it is difficult to stand out among the crowd. So, what can you do to make a lasting impression?

As a recruiter, my suggestion to active job searchers would first and foremost be to fine tune and perfect their resumes with a personal touch. Your resume can sometimes be considered the most important part of your job search. Within roughly six seconds of viewing your resume, an employer decides whether or not to pick up the phone and call you. So, yes job seekers, you should put ample time and attention into writing your resume.

In the words of Elena Bajic, author of “Do Job Seekers Still Need A Resume?:”

“With a scan of your resume, a well-trained recruiter can tell if you pay attention to detail, if you are a good salesperson, if you are analytical, and even if you are a go-getter. From format to word choices to the decisions you’ve made about what to include and exclude, a recruiter can find a great deal of information about who you are and how you might perform in a particular role.”

Resume writing tips, tricks and formats can be found in ample amounts on the web today and the general layout is relatively similar amongst them all. Most importantly, you should list your name and contact information. It is useful to add your location so that employers have an idea of the distance between yourself and where you may be employed in the future, however this choice is at your discretion.

Today, when employers are making their decision in a six minute span, it is preferable to have a one page resume over anything more. Try to keep your past work history present, or within the last ten years. Listing your dates of employment, month and year, is important as well. Education will be another important factor to list. If you’ve graduated college, do not list your high school or anything prior. If you have not received a degree, be sure to mention your high school and whether you graduated with a diploma or a GED.

Keep your format simple. Make sure your style is consistent throughout the entire document and that your font or fonts are legible. Try to use only between ten and fourteen point fonts. You do not want the font to be too large where it is nearing elementary level, but you also do not want it to be too small where you are just trying to fit words onto paper.

Okay, so you’ve got your resume written and the format looks okay… What now? It is a suggestion of many and a popular choice to create a LinkedIn profile and have it reflect your resume entirely. You have the option to delve further into your past work history here and to make yourself more marketable by listing your outside of work activities, volunteerism and by showing off your skill endorsements. But remember, things like a LinkedIn profile are supplemental to a resume. Meaning, the resume should always come first.

Now, get to dusting off your Curriculum Vitae’s everyone. Good luck in your writing, or re-writing, and remember – Optimum is always accepting new resumes!

Written by: Melanie Scherr