your resume |
Employment Authority Need Help? Call 1-800-283-3860.
Already a Member? Sign In
  Click For Instant Help
Career Resources
Get On Track 

your resume

Hiring managers have to go through an extremely large number of resumes every day; therefore, do not bore them to death by simply listing everything you've done since high school. You resume must capture the interest of an employer in less than ten seconds. This can be achieved by keeping your resume as concise as possible while still containing the necessary content, editing it thoroughly to make sure there are no spelling and grammar mistakes, and using a clean and simple formatting to make it attractive in appearance. Taking the time to make it as professional and clean as you can will be worth it when it catches the attention of a potential employer.

Hiring managers are daily besieged with resumes. Don't bore them to death or present a laundry list of every job you've held since high school. To make a great impression, your resume should quickly and highlight your specific business and professional experience, plus your career accomplishments, training and education.

The Sales Pitch

Your resume should capture the interest of an employer in less than ten seconds.

As shallow as it sounds, it is absolutely true.

Because resumes are quickly skimmed during the first pass, it is crucial your resume gets right to work selling your credentials.

Hiring managers typically receive hundreds of resume submissions each week and must quickly ''weed out'' the bad from the good. At Employment Authority, we have reviewed thousands of resumes and the ones that are successful - the ones that land people jobs - are the ones that quickly capture the interest of the employer and make a lasting impression. Dust your resume off and ask yourself: Will the hiring manager see my key qualifications within 10-15 seconds? If the answer is no, you can bet your resume will be in the trash within 10-15 seconds.

Imagine you are a hiring manager with a stack of 200+ resumes sitting on your desk. How much time are you going to spend on each one?

And be specific. A vague description of your duties will make only a vague impression.

Your Resume Is Not An Autobiography

Is it necessary to limit your resume to just one page? Are three or even four pages too much? A common sense approach should prevail. As a general rule, if you are just graduating, have fewer than five years of work experience or are contemplating a complete career change, a one-page resume will probably do. Executive and some technical candidates may require multiple-page resumes. If you have more than five years of experience and a track-record of accomplishments, you will probably need at least two pages. Typically, you wan to include only the last five years of relevant work or the last five employers (within the last five years), whichever shows the most work accomplished.

Use An Editor's Eye

Your resume must be perfect.

Your resume will be scrutinized against hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants. Accordingly, it is essential it contains no flaws, no inconsistencies, no imperfections. After all, the employer has to narrow the field of applicants to a more manageable number. Would you hire someone who's resume contains typos or grammatical errors? Unfortunately, typos and grammatical errors are the precise reason many highly qualified individuals find themselves unemployed, underemployed, or in a dead-end job with no opportunities for advancement.

Clean, Simple Formatting and Appearance

A resume must always be easy to read and have a flawless appearance. Don't use cutesy paper, or casual fonts for your resume. Use a neutral paper color and a professional looking font such as Times Roman, Arial, or Helvetica. The font should not be too large. Generally, keep the font size within 11-12 points.

Margins, tabs and other formatting must be consistent. In addition, you should emphasize the names of your current and past employers so that the person reviewing your resume will know at a glance where you have worked. Below are some important formatting considerations to keep in mind:

Contact Information
Never get cute with your contact information. Simply list the information below at the top of the page:

City, State Zip
Email Address

Preferably, your name should be in bold and a larger font so that it stands out. You should also use your private email address because you want to appear discrete.

Objective/Goals Section
Avoid writing an ''objective'' section. Saying ''My objective is...'' is the same as saying, ''I want.'' And who cares about what you want? Employers are looking for attributes that define you as a product capable of meeting the company's needs and priorities. With the oversupply of talent available in the current job market, do you really believe employers are thinking about what they can do for you?

Summary/Profile Section
The summary is like the thesis statement for a term paper. In it, you're trying to prove your knowledge of a particular area. By custom, the summary is written in a third-party voice with tight, carefully crafted words and phrases. It is designed to capture the reader's attention - a thumbnail sketch to provide a brief rationale of why the resume is worth reading and why you are worth interviewing.

Most employers like to see some kind summary statement - the more specific, the better. Always substantiate the claims in your summary with facts elsewhere in the resume.

Unless you have been out of school longer than three or four years, your education should precede your experience on your resume. At minimum, the education section should include your most recent degree, followed by your undergraduate degree, when they were earned or are expected, and what school you attended or are attending. Many job seekers also include their GPA. Unless you are applying for positions in a very narrow geographic area where you grew up (e.g. Cedar Rapids, IA), you should not include your high school.

It is also important to list significant academic or non-academic honors and activities on your resume. Most job-seekers incorporate this into their education section. The honors section should list anything of importance such as Dean's List, cum laude, or magna cum laude. If you have received any unusual honors or distinctions, it is useful to include brief explanations.

List your work experience in reverse chronological order (i.e. your most recent job at the top). It is important to describe specific accomplishments, not simply list your job responsibilities. You should create a dynamic and exciting picture of what you have done. For example, instead of ''Drafted letters and correspondence,'' use, ''Wrote prospect letter that generated more than $500,000 in donations.''

The descriptions should highlight the experience, accomplishments, training and education most relevant to your current job search - so the bartending job you had after college shouldn't be in there. Finally, never exaggerate or lie about your experience or accomplishments - the employer will find out, and you can kiss your job goodbye.

Final Points To Remember:

  • Proofread!
  • Don't try to save money by printing your resume on cheap copy paper instead of good quality stock. Check for typos, grammatical errors and coffee stains.
  • Personal information does not belong on a resume in the United States. Don't include information on your marital status, age, race, or family.
  • Remove ''References Available Upon Request''. Employers will request references when they are ready for them. It's only taking up space.
  • '' If you speak more than one language, include that information. You never know when a company might want to expand its target market.

Related Articles

Investment Management

Investment management is a low-risk, high-reward industry, as managers are generally rewarded a percentage of the entire amount they handle. Especially in a failing economy, investment management can ...

Executive Jobs are Within Your Reach

Is executive employment something you can obtain? Executive jobs, by all means, are within the reach of many people. If you believe your job has a glass ceiling and you just cannot get higher than y...

Resume Distribution For Your Job Search

If you're stuck in the rut of job searching, we know how you can get out. The two major things you need to do are preparing a great resume and cover letter, and getting them sent out to as many employ...

State of the Market Report

Many Americans are optimistic that the economy will soon start thriving again. At the beginning of 2007, President George Bush announced that the growth of the U.S. economy was 3.5% and that the econo...

Real Estate

The real estate industry is an extremely competitive and complex field. It is high-risk and high-reward, requiring analytical abilities, financial skills, and a great personality. It's not always easy...

5 Biggest Attorney Job Search Mistakes

With a fluctuating economy, the job search is becoming more difficult and competitive. In order to understand the dos and donts of job searching, there are a few misconceptions you must avoid and impo...

Marketing/Brand MGT

Roughly 30% of all jobs offered in industrialized nations like the United States are related to marketing. A good marketer is persuasive, knowledgeable, aggressive, and have excellent communication sk...

Resume Distribution Services Can Work for You

A resume distribution service can be your most valuable tool when searching for a job. This is because the more potential employers your resume is sent to, the more choices you will have when deciding...

your cover letter

A cover letter is also known as a letter of introduction, letter of application, transmittal letter, or broadcast letter, and tells your potential employer the type of position you're seeking and high...

Common Mistakes in Cover Letter and Resume Writing

The cover letter and resume provide crucial first impressions for potential employers and will play a crucial role in helping to decide whether or not an applicant gets an interview. Common writing m...

"Show us you are alive! We want to hear your thoughts. Please comment on this article (below)!"

Article ID:  430014

Article Title:  your resume

Be the first to comment on this article!

Add Comment

Facebook comments:

  • Share this story:

  • BlinkList
  • blogmarks
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Sphinn
  • MySpace
  • NewsVine
  • Simpy
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Print this article!
  • Faves
  • Furl
  • Netvouz
  • Slashdot
  • Spurl
  • Yahoo! Buzz

Sign up for a "Free, No Obligation Resume Critique" and "Free Market Evaluation". Let us tell you how much potential you have!


Forbes Reports 151,352 Layoffs for January Itself; Employment Authority Proposes Alternative Job Search Approach

This column is sponsored by Granted, America’s top job search engine. The Career Resources column is presented by Granted, America's leading job search engine dedicated to getting people jobs.

Forbes Reports 151,352 Layoffs for January Itself; Employment Authority Proposes Alternative Job Search Approach

Pasadena, CA — According to a compilation by Forbes recently, there were 151,352 layoffs at America’s 500 largest public companies in the month of January. MORE

"There are always vacancies. Organizations are born, organizations expand, workers become restless, quit, change jobs, move, become ill long-term, or become handicapped, retire, or die. There are always jobs out there waiting to be filled. The fact that you can't find those jobs only means the vacancy hasn't been advertised, or you're not using the right method to find it. When the Internet or job-postings, or agencies, or ads, or resumes, don't work, there are other ways of turning up the job you want. So, if you're coming up 'empty,' you need to change the search method you've been using. ... To speed up your search for one of the jobs that are out there, go after many different organizations, instead of just one or two."

- Richard N. Bolles
  What Color is Your Parachute?

$1,000 Guarantee
Resume Preparation
Capture the interest of senior-level executives in less than 10 seconds. Stimulate their desire to read your resume. MORE
What Our Clients Are Saying
I had to write again and tell you that 3 months after the mailing, I'm still getting interview requests!
- R.B.

Some people said that because I went to a top 10 school I didn't need any extra help outside of the Career Services Office (actually I think those people worked for the Career Services Office). But th...
- Cara

I just wanted to email you and let you know what's been happening. The job market down here in San Diego has been brutal, and most of my friends (other 2000 grads) are either unhappy at their current ...
- Kerry

For Employers
Employment Authority's Comprehensive Executive Outplacement Program
Give your executives the most opportunities. MORE

Deduct Our Services

You may be able to claim all of your expenses in your job search, including costs related... MORE

Do You Have Questions?

We welcome all of your comments and questions. EMAIL US


Employment Research Institute

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.