Ask a Recruiter: Resume Advice
Having a good resume is important when trying to land the job you want. Your resume is the first thing a hiring manager will see and will either make or break your chance of landing the interview. As a leading staffing agency in South Carolina, we see a lot of resumes come through. We’ve asked a team member for advice!
How can you make your resume stand out?
Use key words in the job description if it is relevant to your job experience. When a recruiter reviews your resume, they are looking for exact words and or phrases that let them know that you have experience in that particular subject. Also, tailor your resume to your industry. For instance, a lot of pictures colors, fonts, and a lot of personality on a resume would be fitting for a position in the creative industry (ex. web design, graphic design, media, and communication.) Those things featured on a resume type of resume wouldn’t necessarily be suited for an IT or Sales position.
What are some of the first things you look at when looking at a resume?
The first thing that I look for when reviewing a resume is relevant experience and job stability. Some recruiters look at format. If you are applying for a technical position, then it is important to represent that in the formatting of your resume. Relevant experience is so important to a recruiter. We like to see examples of work related experience that will translate well to the job you applied. A history of job stability is a key sign that the candidate is committed to fulfilling their role with a company.
What are some of the common mistakes you see on a resume?
Recruiters see a lot of resumes in a day and it is really easy to spot mistakes and/or useless information. The top 4 mistakes that I see on a resume are:
- Incorrect contact information
- Too wordy/Not enough detail – I know these can be contradictory but having too many details that are not relevant can lose the attention of the recruiter. Not enough detail is just as ineffective. If you put on your resume that you are a Team Lead but don’t list any leadership responsibilities, it will not give the recruiter full confidence that you are qualified for a job.
- Unprofessional email address – Email addresses are free! It is important that you do not have an inappropriate or unprofessional email address. Most recruiters will be contacting applicants via email so it is important that you have a simple and professional email address.
- Spelling and grammatical errors – This can be a representation of the applicant as an employee. If we are identifying for a quality role and the resume has grammatical errors, the recruiter may pass on them because the first impression is not having an eye for detail.
What are some common skill-sets that you’d like to see on a resume that people often forget to add?
- Critical Thinking – Being able to think rationally and thoughtfully is the basis of critical thinking. Employers want workers who can think through a problem or a project and determine the best steps needed. Critical thinkers come up with new and better ways to work, making it an invaluable skill to put on a resume.
- Organization – This is not just about having a neat desk, but organizing tasks and projects for your coworkers, management, and at the very least, yourself! If you want to show off your organization skills, having a tightly structured resume certainly helps.
- Leadership – Leadership skills are skills you use when organizing other people to reach a shared goal. Whether you’re in a management position or leading a project, leadership skills require you to motivate others to complete a series of tasks, often according to a schedule.
How would you describe the perfect resume?
My ideal resume would include your name and contact information (professional email address, phone number, LinkedIn profile). The work experience should be listed in descending chronological order. That means the most recent position is the first listed. It should have to date the applicant started the position and the date employment ended. I prefer the format 8/2016 – 12/2019 but other recruiters may like the month written out.
The job responsibilities should be short and direct with a high level overview of day-to-day accomplishments. I love to see quantitative data that shows impacts that the applicant has made in the business. (For example: Increased retention of employees by 56% year over year). I like to see the highest level of education listed at the end. Depending on the position, professional and personal skills are a great point of reference to determine an individual’s strengths.
To see recommended resume templates, click here.
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