A horror story is what you’ll become if you insist on adding inappropriate stuff to your resume.
The time has come for you to look for a job and finally act like a grown up. But you have to stand out amongst a sea of unemployed professionals!
Just don’t go overboard. Tell your story in a way that’s compelling, not laughable.
You are not rich or famous. Actually, no one really knows who you are, except your friends. And their situation is no different from yours. It’s time to toot your own horn and get ready to explain why anyone should hire you at all.
What does a potential employer need to know about you? Hint: it’s not a selfie—that’s what Facebook is for. And it’s not your phobias, either (true story, I am not exaggerating!).
As I recruiter, what I need to know about you is what types of tools, and programming languages you’ve used. What skills, and experience you have. Everything else is meaningless when I am reading your resume.
An experienced recruiter usually knows at first glance if a resume is of any interest. Screening candidates is not an exact science, sometimes we are wrong. Mainly because there are a lot of folks out there who are very skilled at what they do, but totally useless to craft a decent resume.
You can do better: you can compose a great resume that tells a compelling story about yourself.
Here are a few tips!
How Can I Reach You?
Seems like a dumb question, but you would be amazed at the amount of resumes that do not include an email or even a phone number. These folks might be wondering “… well, if I am sending this from my email, that should be enough, right?” Well, guess again!
If you are submitting your resume via an online form, it won’t include your email. Even if you email your resume to a robot, it oftentimes won’t pass your email along. Besides, your resume could be shared among several people and they won’t know how to contact you, even if they are truly interested in you.
By the way, do pay close attention to the email address you choose. If you have an email address such as [email protected], do not expect to be presented with tons of offers (at least not work-related ones). Create an email address that is more appropriate to your purpose.
Selfies: it’s a SIN!
A pic is totally unnecessary. Unless you’re an actor, your physical appearance is not important. But, alas, if your ego demands it or you feel that it will benefit you somehow, go ahead and use one that speaks well of you.
Try to avoid being the laughing stock of recruiters. Avoid full-bodied pictures, laying on a bed, in a group photo with an arrow pointing at you. Most of all, avoid any type of going-crazy-with-a-bunch-of-drunken-friends selfie.
Yada, Yada… Nada
There are lots of way of saying nothing at all.
“To grow with a company to which I can add value through my work.”
Do you really think that this will make you stand out? Writing generic statements like this won’t get you anything. It will definitely not entice me to read the rest of your resume.
Also, I don’t recommend gimmicky phrases,
… I am aware I am not a match for the position, but I am easily motivated and a quick learner”.
It’s not that companies do not plan on training the right folks. Many do. But when they advertise a position it’s almost always because it’s hot and they require someone with the necessary experience to start working right away. Good intentions, in this case, it’s not enough to land you a gig.
List your work history from the most recent to the oldest. Your reader is most interested in the last thing you’ve been hammering away at. If I find your most recent experience interesting enough, I’ll keep reading. If not, that’s as far as you’ll get before I file your resume away.
Mention the date on which you worked on each project, the company name, its location, your position, and a brief description of your responsibilities. Not the team’s responsibilities, or what the company accomplished. What did you do?
If you are a developer, include the technologies and tools you’ve used. Be as specific as possible. Be short and to the point. Do not ramble or use filler mumbo-jumbo.
I helped create a technology that the company will use in the future when they realize how important it is.
Short on Experience?
You lack experience because you are fresh out of college? We’ve all been there, done that.
This is the only way you will be able to stand out against the other zillion graduates.
If you just finished your major and don’t have a lot to write about, just be sincere and upfront. Find the way to be truthful to who you are and to what you know.
Honesty will get you through the front door.
Jack of all Trades …
Have you ever met someone who ‘knows it all’ and is an expert in absolutely everything? That’s because that person simply doesn’t exist.
When someone tells me that he’s an expert in all programming languages, but fails at describing a framework, or versions of a language, or any such, that’s a huge red flag. This is most likely a guy who knows about many technologies, but doesn’t really know any one of them well. Well read, but incompetent. At least, that’s the impression I will walk away with.
From Kindergarten to College Diplomas
If you went to college, or pursued a master’s or doctorate degree, do include them in your resume. No need to talk about your kindergarten, elementary, junior high, and even high school (i.e., unless you’re applying for a position there).
It’s not necessary, either, to scan your diplomas from elementary school to the most recent certifications you have obtained. Please do not send us a stack of documents heavier than a sack of potatoes.
If you are a graphics designer, go ahead, feast on your resume! Be creative. Otherwise, please do not decorate it like a Sweet Sixteen birthday cake. Particularly if your notion of aesthetics implies images of fruit and random typefaces. Stop it!
When it comes to resumes, more is not always better, one or two pages does it. You can make a better impression with direct, simple, and to-the-point information. Otherwise, there is such thing as TMI.
Last, but not least, do not even attempt to score with a recruiter. You want to build rapport, but don’t cross the line. Also, do not send them WhatsApp messages, when they haven’t even given you their number. You might come through as a stalker, instead of “very interested.”
Happy job hunting!
Contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions.