How important is it to make a great first impression? When it comes to the job search, it’s everything. And the best way to knock a hiring manager’s socks off is by submitting a fantastic resume.
I talked to Peter Giaimo, Peter Dull and Brendan Bradley of Robert Half’s Chicago office for their resume tips. They started by pointing out the mistakes they see most often. Here are the biggest offenders:
- Falsely claiming to have a certain skill
- Grammatical errors such as misusing your and you’re
- Inaccurate dates
- Including personal photos (unless the employer specifically requests one)
- Adding too much personal information (Noting that you enjoy soccer, traveling and hiking is fine, but stating that you knit sweaters for your dog in your spare time is TMI.)
“Resume writing is a skill, and it has to be perfected,” said Giaimo. “Including a list of hard skills and solid examples of how you put those skills to use in previous positions is a great way to stand out from the crowd.”
Victor Stevning, recruiting manager for Robert Half Technology in Chicago, added, “We have many skilled recruiters whose resume tips can help refine your document before it’s sent to a hiring manager.”
Here are some additional resume tips from the Chicago team:
- Tell the truth. Simply put, don’t fluff your resume with skills you don’t have and make sure your dates of employment are accurate. Sure, it’s easy to fudge your start or end date by a month or two to make it appear you held a job for longer than you did. But it’s just as easy for a hiring manager to uncover the lie during a routine reference check.
- Understand the current market. Research the job market in your area and highlight the skills you possess that employers are currently looking for. Talk to a recruiter for insight into employment trends.
- Put your best foot forward. No list of resume tips would be complete without noting how important it is to highlight specific accomplishments. Employers want to see evidence of concrete results — for example, cost-saving projects where you played an integral role or efficiencies you helped create.
- Lead with your experience. Showcase how you can apply your previous work experience to benefit a potential employer.
- Start with your skills. On your resume, list the skills you possess that are most relevant to the job you’re targeting before your employment history. And make sure you’re comfortable speaking to them in the interview.
The bottom line? Be honest but don’t be afraid to brag. This is your time to shine. Show the employer what you will bring to the table. Once you think your resume is perfect, proofread, then proofread again, then have someone else proofread. Hopefully, these resume tips will help you make that great first impression and, ultimately, land your dream job.