In our line of work, we review hundreds of resumes each week. While no two resumes look the same – there are definitely things that work. And things that don’t.
Does your resume get a passing grade? Here’s a quick checklist before you apply for another job:
TOP 7 RESUME DOs
1. Proofread! There is no quicker way to end up in the “No” pile than a misspelled name, word, or obvious grammatical error in your resume (portfolio or cover letter). Review your resume for grammatical errors both on the computer and in a printed copy. Have at least 1 – 2 other people review it as well.
2. List both your email and phone number. Even if you prefer one method over the other (and note this on your resume) – it is best to offer alternate ways for employers to get ahold of you. Feel free to add your LinkedIn Profile and/or Twitter Handle as well – so long as you check each of these regularly. Nothing annoys employers more than for interview requests to go unanswered for days (without good reason)!
3. List your physical address. Even if you do not list your street address – let employers know in which city you are located. Without this information (and especially if your contact number is not local), you could be easily discounted for positions that require “Local candidates only”
4. Include a Portfolio / Website link of your work. If you are in the creative field, your portfolio is just as powerful as (and in some cases even more powerful than) your resume. Make sure your resume includes a link to your work. And that your link is working! If you’re working is a PDF instead of a site, attach it to the end of the resume so prospective employers are sure to see it!
5. Provide a brief “Overview”. This should be a 3 – 5 line paragraph or 5 – 7 bullet points customized for each job you apply for and summarizing your key skills and specific experience for that position. It should also mention what kinds of opportunities you are currently considering (full time, freelance, on-site, telecommute, etc)
6. Describe your positions in detail. Because job titles vary so much from company to company, it’s important to include a concise description of your role – as well as list your major achievements/successes. As a general rule, this applies to positions in the last 10 years. Any relevant work prior to that can be summarized with just a 1 – 2 line description of your major responsibility and the team/company of which you were apart. *NOTE: If you are a freelancer, you need only describe your position & capabilities once. Then just list your clients.
7. Differentiate Contracts or Freelance work from Full-Time work. This helps employers distinguish between a “job-hopper” and a genuine freelancer.
For more Resume Tips, check out part two next week with our Resume Donts.
Jess Bedford, for Artisan Creative