Friday, October 7, 2011

Tiny Resume Tips: Bullets & Spaces

I review a lot of resumes in my job and as a third-party recruiter, I format, un-format and reformat resumes all day long. There's nothing that makes me growl with irritation more than a highly formatted resume where I have to untangle all the MS Word geegaws and shimshams added to a resume in order to get it to slide through a client database without becoming scrambled.

I'm not saying scrambling happens 100% of the time, but I don't want to take a chance.

There are two things I do to every resume and I want to share them with you today.

First, I delete the summary bullet point that says you have good/great/excellent verbal and written skills. If you are looking for a job that requires these skills in abundance, it will show in your resume.

  • Do you facilitate meetings? Please say so. 
  • Do you speak to groups or make presentations? Please say so.
  • Do you create content and instruct others in training sessions of any kind? Please say so. 

If you don't mind my saying this, most of you fall in the category called, "Everyone thinks they have good verbal and written skills, but not everyone does." Hiring managers and HR folks already know this. The best way to show that you have these skills is by listing them as work-related bullet points and in the interview itself.

Second, on my PC keyboard, I hit Ctrl-H and type in two spaces for 'find' and one space for 'replace.' Double spaces, the sort you used back in the typewriter days, are unnecessary on today's computers. Whether the double spaces are intentional or accidental, I often find hundreds of them in a 2-page+ resume.

If you want to separate information across an entire line such as the employer name and dates of employment, use the tab key. It's much more stable and predictable when someone else opens up your resume.


Lauren said... your email or cover letter address the correct person. I cannot tell you how many times we're been sent a resume for someone else...careless will not get the job.

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That is probably the best interview advice I have have ever received!!! ~Neal C.

I wanted to talk to you again before this interview because you really geek interview tips. ~Chad T.

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