Resume writing is not fun. It is a long and sometimes painful process that requires many reviews, many drafts, and trying out different formats. As someone who works in HR, many of my non-HR friends will send me their resume and ask me to give them a tip or two: I’ll do better and give you my tips as well as links to posts where my colleagues have given theirs. (Disclaimer: My background is in recruitment marketing, but I’ve picked up a thing or two. My colleagues, on the other hand, are rock star recruiters.)
Tell me your name and say it loud. Your resume should have your name and contact information at the top and it should be EASY to find. Use bold, make it a bigger font, emphasize this somehow! If your resume has a lot of information in it or it extends to two pages, use the footer section to remind me who you are and how to contact you (email and phone number). By having this at the bottom of each page, it helps if pages get separated or by the time a recruiter reads through your awesome resume, your contact information is right there. Bonus: try to do footers in lighter/gray font so it doesn’t distract from your content but is still there.
2. Objective statements: all or nothing
If you are going to put an objective statement on your resume, commit and go all out or don’t include one at all. Here’s an example of a weak objective statement: To apply strong academic background and professional experience to a full-time position. Here’s an example of a strong objective statement: To obtain job number 12345 at XYZ Co. I have a strong academic record, have had several internships in the field that required project management skills, strong presentation skills and strategic planning.
3. Use action words
Look at the bullets you have on your resume: if the first word is not a verb, rewrite that bullet. Try not to use the same verb twice and be succinct with your language. A thesaurus can be helpful here, but if you don’t know the definition of the word yourself, don’t put it on your resume. Also, make sure that your tenses match–if it’s a present position, use the present tense, if this was a past experience, use past tense. Sounds simple but you’d be surprised…
4. A fine balance between full and flimsy
If you have lots of experience, be proud and fill the page! Adjust the margins as the default often gives you TONS of white space. With that said, look out for the recruiter and don’t make your resume an eye chart. It’s a fine balance and this is where having people review your resume (hard and soft copies) will be a benefit. As a rule of thumb, keep at least 0.5 inch margins.
5. Who’s got skills?
We all have skills but sometimes it’s not clear on a resume. Put in a skills section that goes over any other key skills you have that may not be reflected in your resume or if they’re appropriate for the position. For example, if you’re applying for a position that’s looking for a candidate that’s proficient with Social Media and you’re a prolific blogger with tons of followers and blog views, you could (and SHOULD) include that in the Skills section. Languages, computer skills, programming, and leadership roles also often show up in the skills section.
Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit intel.com/jobs, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!