Back to Basics – Your Resume

When was the last time you gave your resume a once-over? Are you one to update it every few months, or do you let it sit for years at a time?

It’s good to brush up on your skills and add to your work experience and responsibilities,

but going too far overboard and micromanaging every last detail can hurt you in the long run.

First, a few things to avoid having on your resume:

Grammatical errors, typos, and other mistakes. This seems like an obvious point, but it can’t be stressed enough. Take the time to spell-check and grammar check, then have someone else read your resume before sending it out. Then read it one more time just to be safe. These preventable mistakes could be the difference between getting an interview and getting left behind.

Inconsistent information. Make sure that your dates of employment, their location, and duties, are presented in the same manner for each entry. Otherwise, your resume can have a choppy feel to it and could look less attractive.

Long, dense paragraphs with lots of bullet points. Be concise, be clear, be specific. Your resume is the appetizer to entice a potential employer to call you in for an interview. That’s when you can provide more in-depth information on your experience.

Experiences that don’t match the position. While it’s wonderful to have outside work interests, if it doesn’t contribute or relate to the position for which you’re applying, leave it out. This might mean having different resumes for different positions, which could take a little extra work but shows that you’re paying attention to the details of the job posting.

When reviewing your resume, make sure to include:

Highlight your skills and achievements. Always use quantifiable details when possible: Has your portfolio grown? Can you divulge the size of the accounts you oversee? How many clients do you manage? How many people do you oversee? Be specific.

Put your work history in reverse-chronological order. Start with your current job and work backward. This allows potential employers to see how you’ve grown and the steps you’ve taken to get where you are today, along with understanding the potential for where you want to grow.

Include a headline or career summary. Tell the hiring manager or HR representative who you are and why you’re here in a few sentences. Keep it brief and keep them interested.

Use action verbs. Tell people what you’ve done directly with an active sentence. Relying on “responsible” — as in, “Responsible for overseeing a growing team” — instead of “Managed ten people” is an old way of phrasing things and takes more words to get to the point.

Keep it clean. Use one font, minimal visual effects, and extras and let your work shine. If you use bullets or arrows, use the same ones throughout.

When you’re ready to put that resume to use, think of IFG Global, a leader in recruiting in Toronto, Canada. We’ve got a long list of opportunities across North America with employers looking for someone just like you. Check out our jobs database today to get started, then give us a call to see how we can help you find positions where you’ll be a great match.