Your resume is the most critical tool you have when you are searching for work. These days you generally do not know the hiring manager that is considering you for employment. That means that your resume is how they get their first impression. Resumes that are tool long get tossed. Resumes that are too short get tossed. Resumes that have spelling or grammar errors get tossed. Your resume has to make a good impression for you to get a job, period.

Here are some resume DOs:

  • Do include your name, address, email, and phone
  • Do include a LinkedIn profile link
  • Do include an objective tailored to the position and company you’re applying to
  • Do include all work history including volunteering, babysitting, etc
  • Do include your education information
  • Do make a statement that you are happy to provide character references on request

Here are some DON’Ts:

  • Don’t include your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram account (though most employers will google them)
  • Don’t let your friends post silly or unprofessional stuff on your social media accounts
  • Don’t submit one resume to every employer, make one per position
  • Don’t make spelling and grammar errors, have multiple people proof read your resume!
  • Don’t skip any leadership experience you have in clubs, religious groups, or schools
  • Don’t use overly formal or overly playful fonts and styling

Remember, your resume is your first impression. If you make a good first impression then the hiring manager will want to know more about you. That is what leads to a phone call or an in-person interview. So, it is worth spending the time to make a great resume. Also, remember that the hiring manager is actually reading your resume, so everything on there needs to be top notch.

When it comes to editing, a great way to get feedback is to ask people you know who have hired someone to take a look and tell you what they think. Every hiring manager has a different approach to reading a resume too so if you can ask more than one person for resume feedback, all the better.

Jeff’s Resume Screening Process

As we just covered, every hiring manager screens resumes in a different way. Here is my approach:

  1. First I look at your experience. If that is solid, then I move on.
  2. Next I look at your objective to make sure that what I am looking for and what you write that you want are congruent. If they are not, then I move on.
  3. After the objective I quickly scan everything else on the resume to make sure I’m still interested
  4. If anywhere along the way I notice a grammar or spelling problem, you’re getting significant negative points… I might keep going though, if it wasn’t too bad
  5. If your resume makes it this far I go to Google to find your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. I look at each one in turn. If there is anything on one that makes me uncomfortable then the resume goes in the “Pass” pile.
  6. If anywhere along the process I notice anything that contradicts itself then I’ll pass (honesty matters)
  7. If you made it past the social media check the congratulations, you’re being considered for a phone screen so that I can get an understanding for how you communicate

Jessica’s Resume Screening Process

Jessica goes about resumes differently than Jeff. Like I said, everyone is different. Here is her process.

  1. She generally runs top to bottom on your resume
  2. So, first is your name and contact information
  3. Next is your objective
  4. Generally a summary or your experience comes next and she goes straight though
  5. If she finds any spelling or grammar mistakes, you’re out
  6. If after reading the whole thing she is not impressed, you’re out
  7. At this point she decides if she wants to phone screen you
  8. After a phone screen that goes well she’ll research you on the internet

Resume Ideas

Now you know how important resumes are and how important it is that you spend time to make yours a great representation of you. You also know that hiring managers have different styles for screening candidates. So, get out there and work hard to make your resume something that will be noticed.

Subscribe to MFP via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to MyFirstPaycheck and receive notifications of new posts by email.