Ensure Your Resume Commands The Hiring Manager's Attention
By: Jessica Holbrook Hernandez
We all want the coveted call back and no one likes to spend hours sending out hundreds of resumes, only to feel the desperation of no return calls. Before you start feeling hopeless or shred your resume apart for the 20th time just to start over, check out these three strategies to make sure your resume is right on target.
1. SHAKE IT UP! A tip you don't hear every day-spice up your resume with a different font and new format. If your phone isn't ringing, maybe 'same ol', same ol' just isn't cutting it anymore. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Try something new besides the old Times New Roman and Arial fonts. Some personal favorites are Calibri, Cambria, Garamond, Tahoma, and Verdana. Stand out in even the smallest way, but be mindful of font sizes. Some of these fonts look great in size 12; others would look too large and juvenile. If your font is too large you risk being perceived as juvenile so ensure you're projecting the right image.
2. STEER CLEAR OF THE DOLDRUMS More than any other resume issue, I literally loathe the use of these statements. I cringe every time I see them: Duties included; Responsible for; Able to; Skilled in; Successful in; Ability to ...
To hiring managers these sentences are boring, overused, and tell them NOTHING. Try being direct, using action verbs, and create dynamic sentences that follow the 'challenge, action, result' format and are accomplishment-based.
3. KNOW YOUR STYLE As a job seeker you have to be strategic in your choice of resume formats. You know your situation better than anyone; have you job hopped, worked short-term employment, are you returning to work, trying to avoid age discrimination (because we know this never happens)? Whatever the case may be, get educated about the best style for your particular situation and then utilize it. Nothing about your resume should be arbitrary-from the font size and type to the resume design and format.
Make the most of your resume-and remember, if what you're currently doing isn't working, then shake it up! The definition of insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result; and if you've been using the same resume and are still not getting any responses, what makes you think sending the same one out is going to eventually change that?