Perfect resume

Your Name Here
Your address
Your phone number(s)
and e-mail here*

You can start with an "Objective" statement, but keep it short, two to three lines max. Make it interesting and entertaining and not the same thing on every other resume your reader will see.

XYZ Widgets

Vice President of Do-Dads 20ZZ-Present
Use this space to provide a brief synopsis of your responsibilities. This could include size of your staff, dollar volume of responsibility, territory, etc. Your objective is to give the reader a quick look at the breadth and scope of your responsibilities. Remember, less is more.

  • Use bullet points to outline your accomplishments, your results, what you did. These can include sales increases, people you recruited/promoted, projects you designed and their impact on the business. 
  • Numbers and percentages are great as long as they make sense. You'll probably want at least three but no more than five of these, complete sentences aren't as important as the facts. 
  • Avoid industry buzz words, acronyms or phrases unique to your company. 
  • Creating something new is a result, but only half the story unless you describe final results. This is your chance to brag, check your modesty with the valet at the door

Director of What's Its 19ZZ-19YY
Another, possibly shorter list of responsibilities for your job within the same company. Be sure to double check the chronology of this and other positions. Start with your most recent assignment first and work backwards 

  • More bullets of results-- be sure they're tied to responsibilities you describe. 
  • You can be creative and cover some of the less tangible/quantifiable results as long as they're concise and easily understood. 
  • Don't forget to wave your flag-- hopefully you've been keeping a record of results all along. If not pull out your last performance review and start logging your accomplishments in the future.

ABC Thingamajigs

Director of What's It's 19XX-19YY
Here we go again with responsibilities. Try not to write your epitaph or doctoral thesis. You don't want to tell the whole story, but enough to inspire the reader to ask questions and learn more. Your resume is the bait, you're the hook. 

  • Accomplishments have active verbs like: achieved, created, implemented, executed, designed.
  •  Look for opportunities to show a demonstrated ability to color outside the lines, things you discovered and produced solutions for over and above those that were assigned to you. Talk about your initiative. 
  • Proof read for more than typo's. Double check the dates and progression and fill in the blanks and make sure it's chronological. Show it to a friend and be opened minded for all suggestions. Don't leave any holes. 
  • If you were on sabbatical hunting albino tse tse fly's in Rwanda or "consulting", include it. Omitting it looks like you're hiding something.

Graduate degree, dates, name of institution Undergraduate degree, dates, name of institution Certifications: CPA, JD's, or relevant association accolades

Computer stuff, languages, licenses, bullet points of trained or technical skills you have that are applicable to your career

Hobbies, leisure time activities that show how you might interact socially at the officeAvoid religious affiliations, social clubs, politics and that Alligator Wrasslin' trophy.

A few resume road rules*:
You've got about 8 seconds to get the reader's attention. Avoid three-syllable words and try to write on an eighth grade level (most headhunters couldn't learn everything they needed to know in Kindergarten and quit trying after the eighth grade). A paragraph before the Experience headline stating your objective is acceptable, but passe, if you've read one you've read a hundred. If you've just got to have one, make it stand for something and make it separate you from the rest of the pack.

Use one font and one font only, differentiate with point sizes and bold face. Italics are good for one word or phrases, not entire sentences. Fonts without serifs are easier to read and be sure you use at least 11 point (Arial is the best.)  Avoid clip art, photographs or fancy bullets. Make sure your name, e-mail and phone number are on every page.

At all costs avoid photographs and descriptions of your physical attributes, such as height weight and shoe size. I also recommend avoiding any details about your family, save that for the second or third interview. Never, ever divulge anything about your compensation on a resume. An addendum of salary history can be attached separately if requested, but be sure you know who's going to see it.

It's o.k. to provide references once you're near the offer stage, but don't list them and their phone numbers on your resume. A recruiter may ask for them prior to accepting your candidacy, but ask that contact only be made when an offer appears imminent. You should contact the reference prior to anyone calling to give them a heads up for the call and what points, need to be discussed.

Two pages is the minimum, three is the maximum. If you haven't done enough to put on two pages narrow the margins, double space, increase the font size and get to work. Your resume should include the last 10-15 years of your career or the last three to four companies you've worked for, whichever is less.

Less is more when it comes to resumes. The responsibilities and bullet points should inspire questions and make the reader compelled to call you and ask to learn more. If you tell your entire career history, there won't be anything to talk about during the meeting.

Of course this is only my opinion, but it’s one I value highly.

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