Last month we discussed tips for a good resume. This month I’d like to share some resume guidelines. Suggestions related to the actual document. Hope they are helpful!
- Objective? No. Instead, make sure you have a strong Qualifications Summary!
Your resume should include these 3 sections:
- Qualifications Summary – A qualifications summary is a list of bulleted items that summarize you. Most experts say you have 20-30 seconds to get the reader’s attention. I’ve even heard 8-10 seconds. What’s going to make the reader continue? Want to know more about you?
- Experience – Most people list their experience chronologically – starting with your current position. Include details and numbers. If you have experience related to the job posting include it. Depending on your career journey, a functional resume (by skills and accomplishments might be a better option).
- Education & Training – place your education, training, special skills and certifications here. Make sure the items listed relate to job. I’ve seen too many share way too much – going back to high school awards. Not needed!
Cover letter??? Yes!
Cover letters are still in vogue. It’s a great snapshot of what you bring to the table and you can use it to explain gaps or other items on your resume.
- Speak to the company’s requirements and your qualifications. You could also display this side by side in a table format or bullets.
- The cover letter is also a great place to answer those questions like – work gaps or short work periods (e.g., at home mom, aging parents, medical, military spouse, etc.).
- Close the cover letter with a call to action. Request a meeting, follow-up call, next step, etc.
References available upon request?
- The statement is not needed on your resume. Most organizations will have you list references on the application. However, I always encourage my clients create a references document. It’s a great handout to take to the interview.
If I can help in any way to get your resume and/or cover letter polished up and ready to go out the door, I would be happy to. Let’s review your career documents to make sure you didn’t miss a thing!