As an executive resume writer for nearly 20 years, I have worked with incredibly savvy, experienced and growth-focused professionals and leaders. With competition for great talent at an all-time high you need to make your resume stand. Here are 11 easy fixes you can do today to make your resume go from good to great.
1. Unnecessary Titles. You don’t need to title your resume “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” at the top. We know what it is and can recognize it right away. Keep this important real estate for attention-grabbing information to engage your reader.
2. References Available Upon Request. Instead of using this overdone phrase, why not add an actual reference? Try something like:
“Meghan was an amazing Sales Director who grew revenue 127%”– CEO of Company ABC
3. Key Achievements. There is an old MS Word template going around that has this sub-header under each position title. The purpose of your resume is to feature your “key achievements.” This sub-header takes up space and serves little purpose.
4. Multiple phone numbers. Don’t make hiring managers choose which phone number to use. Pick one and stick with it.
5. Multiple email addresses. Same as above. Choose one. Check it regularly.
6. Your home address. This is much more of a safety tip than anything. A quick Google search will reveal images of your home address. If you’re sharing your resume with strangers, or online, be careful. Keep this information private.
7. Your photo. There are countries that expect a photo on your resume. North American resumes do not. In fact, photos on your resume can introduce bias. Keep your photos on your mantels.
8. The words “phone” “email” and “LinkedIn” before your phone, email and LinkedIn information.
Go from something like this:
phone:(613) 702.2122 | email:email@example.com | LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/in/promotion
To something simpler and cleaner:
613.702.2122 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.linkedin.com/in/promotion
9. Etc. This is a perfect example of how you might expect someone else to read your mind. Be mindful of the words you choose on your resume. It is not the hiring manager’s job to figure out what you mean. It’s your job to clearly communicate precisely why you’re the best candidate for the job.
10. Vague language: Be specific. You want to add as much context as you can to your resume so people have a clear appreciation for what you’re capable of doing. Please use numbers! If you’re stuck, read this.
Your resume is a marketing tool. Think like a marketer and get to the point – focus on the value you bring to your target audience in a clear and concise manner.
Related Categories: Featured, Job Search, Resumes & ATS
About The Author
Maureen McCann is an award-winning career coach, master resume writer, and master certified interview, employment, and career strategist whose clients include C-level executives, managers, and professionals in all industries including the Canadian banking, oil and gas, healthcare, IT, and government sectors.