Today’s job market is very competitive, and your resume is almost always the first thing hiring managers and recruiters use to decide if they would like to speak with you. Having a well-organized, professional and to the point resume is going to ensure that you will stand out in today’s heavy crowd of job seekers. Your ultimate goal as a candidate should be to provide a recruiter with the most efficient summary of your experience and providing them a resume that easily integrates with their systems.
Here’s a few tips from the recruitment team at Palo Alto Staffing that we believe everyone should implement into their resume!
There is such a thing as too personal
The first thing that will be noted on your resume is your contact information, and it needs to remain basic. Keep your contact information to what the recruiter needs:
- Address (or just City, State if you would prefer)
- Cell Phone Number
If you have a profile you would like to share, such as LinkedIn, list it as –
Keep your resume design as simple as possible. In today’s recruiting world, when you apply to a job, your resume is typically uploaded to an Applicant Tracking System. If your resume format is overly complicated, it might parse into the database incorrectly. That said, if your resume reads incorrectly it might be skipped over by the recruiter screening or it will come out funky looking creating a poor impression. The days of spraying your resume with perfume or using fancy paper are gone.
Consistent spacing and fonts are a must
A common error we see is inconsistent fonts or spacing between headings and sections. If you are cutting and pasting from one document to the next you are most likely pasting different fonts and styling into your resume. This not only makes your resume hard to read, but it comes off as unorganized and careless. That is the last impression you want to make on recruiters and hiring managers. Make sure you review your resume before submitting to anyone to ensure that everything is coherent.
Ask a friend or two to proof read
It seems like it goes without saying to check for spelling errors, however this is still a big issue for many candidates. Use spell check and have a friend or TWO review your resume thoroughly to make sure there are no errors. Tools like are extremely helpful when it comes to catching spelling, structure and grammatical mistakes.
There is a reason keyword starts with KEY – Use appropriately and don’t abuse them
We often hear that you need to list every keyword under the sun in order to appear in searches made in resume databases. While it is key to list appropriate skills and technologies, remember you are trying to represent your best skills. Jamming the same keyword into your resume 15 times won’t help you rank better in the search and the redundancy is more likely to be off-putting to a recruiter. The recruiters and hiring managers know exactly what you are doing, and they are not impressed. Keep it concise and to the point.
Keep your job titles relevant
Make sure your job titles accurately represent the work you have done and fit into the normal corporate hierarchy. For example, if you worked at Subway, chances are the role of “Sandwich Artist” doesn’t exist at the company you are applying to. Instead, think of a job title that includes Customer Service and Food Service experience. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see that your past experience has given you the skills necessary to fit the job that you are applying for. Read your resume as if you are a recruiter screening hundreds of resumes. Make it easy for the recruiter to effectively see what you have done through your job titles.
To PDF or not to PDF – Remember the source (file)
The rule of thumb is to always save your resume as a Word Document. You will be updating your resume for the rest of your career and it is much easier to edit and make changes to a Word Document than a PDF. However, when you go to submit your resume, submit it in PDF format. A PDF file is able to be read by any operating system and is universally readable on most computers.
Don’t drag it on, get to the point
Your resume is the first time you are able to showcase your abilities to your potential future employer. A hiring manager will be much more impressed with a candidate that can get to the point in a concise and meaningful way compared to someone who writes a novel for a resume. Remember that in most situations, less is more. Keep your resume full but to the point. No one likes a rambler, especially not the person sitting at a computer scanning through copious amounts of resumes every day.
We hope that you are able to use this advice to improve upon your resume and land that job that you have been dreaming of. Always remember that not hearing back from a job that you applied for does not mean that you aren’t qualified or can’t perform the job, so don’t let that discourage you! Keep your head up and trust that the perfect position is out there waiting for you.
On that note! Good luck in your job search and reach out to the team at Palo Alto Staffing should there be anything we can do to assist.