The Career Coach: Resume Tips

As a recruiter, career coach, and business consultant I have seen literally thousands of resumes. I get three or four a day on a slow day. Here is what bugs me the most...

As a recruiter, career coach, and business consultant I have seen literally thousands of resumes. I get three or four a day on a slow day. Here is what bugs me the most:

Issue #1: No phone number, wrong phone number, wrong area code, hard to find phone number, hard to read phone number

Issue #2: Name missing. Yes it's happened! But if I have a phone number I can call it and leave a message for the person so this gets the #2 position.

Issue #3: Resumes with a type face that is impossible to read--too small or too ornate. Huge blocks of type that are a challenge to read.

Issue #4: Hiding your skills.Don't make anyone read through a big paragraph to find your specialized skills such as knowledge of Maya or Softimage. Highlight your skills under a separate heading.

Issue #5: Resumes with multiple pages. If your resume is more than one page, put your name and phone number on each one.

Issue #6: Resumes that fail to tell me who you are--what you know (skills), what you've done (accomplishments), and what you want to do (objective or goal).If you are changing careers, focus your resume on the job you want rather than the job you have.

Issue #7: Paper that doesn't copy well. Test your resume. Copy it and make a copy of the copy. Surprised? Orange and dark blue paper turns black. Marbleized paper makes your resume look like someone poured coffee over it.

Issue #8: Graphics or artwork on a gray scale behind the type. After doing the copy test you'll find those beautiful graphics in the background are now some of the ugliest stuff you've seen on paper and what's more, you can no longer read your phone number or name which looked so crisp in front of the graphic on the original. If you want someone to get a sample of your graphics include it on a separate page with your name and phone number.

Issue #9: Typos and spelling mistakes. Proofread and ask a friend to proofread.

Here are several tips to make a better resume:

1. List your skills and be specific.

2.Many companies scan resumes into computer databases. Select a font where the lower case l and number 1 are different enough that the computer won't confuse the characters.

3. If you have email, put your email address on your resume.

4. If your resume shows a variety of jobs, make sure you have an objective at the top that indicates what job you're seeking.

5. Review your resume every 6 months to update your skills and accomplishments.

Resources:

"The Perfect Resume" by Tom Jackson is a great guide to creating a resume that will work for you. The library will probably have a copy (650.14 J138p 1990)

Pamela Thompson is a recruiter and career coach who has worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Fox Feature Animation, Dream Quest Images, Digital Domain, and many others. She is currently recruiting for Big Idea Productions, a computer animation company in Chicago.

Copyright 1999 PAMELA KLEIBRINK THOMPSON

randomness