Lewis Careers Offers Resume Tips That Really Work
The resume is the first marketing tool used in a job search. The purpose of the resume is to highlight your skills, experience and education in relation to the position for which you are applying. The resume should pique the interest of a recruiter or employer. With recent record breaking unemployment rates, our Lewis Careers candidate pool is filled with talented individuals. When we post a job opening on a job board, we receive an overwhelming response. As we weed through hundreds of resumes, we immediately pass on those with too many holes. We are going to pick up the phone and make that call to the candidate who took the time to represent themselves precisely. THAT is the candidate we recruit at Lewis Careers!
Simple Practice Exercise
Here’s a good exercise to practice. After completing your resume, read it to yourself word by word and pose the following question, “Would I want to meet with this candidate?”
Suggestions for How to Setup a Resume
Have you ever wondered how you to setup your resume? There are certainly a wide variety of approaches and standards for how a resume could be structured based on the job and/or the industry. Here we will share our preference at Lewis Careers for the style of resume that seems to best grab our attention.
Chronological, Functional vs. Combination Resume Formats:
The Chronological Format:
The most common format is the chronological resume. It presents your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your current position and working its way backwards. Chronological resumes are most appropriate for candidates with stable, solid career progression. This format highlights growth and maturity throughout an organization or career. It is the format Lewis Careers sees most often and provides an easy-to-follow structure for interviews.
The Functional Format:
Functional resumes allow candidates to showcase the skills of their choice and the experiences of which they are the proudest. This format gives candidates the luxury of focusing attention on skills and achievements, rather than place of employment, which makes it ideal for mid-career changers or recent graduates. If you think this is the perfect format for you, beware! Many employers, including recruiters for Lewis Careers, find these resumes suspicious since they may be used to hide gaps in employment records.
The Combination Format:
Candidates who want the advantages provided by both the chronological and the functional resumes – much like restaurant patrons who don’t know what to order – opt for the combination platter. But, much like ordering the combination platter in a restaurant, we at Lewis Careers often feel we have received more than we asked for and end up with indigestion. Use this format at your own risk! While some candidates find it to be the perfect marriage of form and function, recruiters often feel frustrated when they have to dig for information. These longer resumes tend to be overly repetitious and confusing.
For Lewis Careers, we typically prefer “The Chronological Format”. To learn more about how to write a chronological resume check out this example.
Lewis Careers Hot Buttons to Avoid
Now that you have an idea of how to structure your resume, here’s a few recruiter hot buttons to avoid.
- Avoid an outdated resume – Argh! Update your resume, and be sure your recent employer information is accurate.
- Avoid listing only the year of employment and omitting the month. We like to see your employment history. When people just state the year, we are not sure if they worked starting in January of that year or in November. We wonder whether there is a gap in your employment history.
- Avoid stating a career objective that has nothing to do with the job you are applying for. This one is a no brainer, but we see it all the time. For example, don’t say you want to be a teacher of fine art if you are applying for a sales job.
- Avoid typos and grammatical errors! Have a couple friends or family review your resume for mistakes.
Should You List Hobbies?
Opinions vary on how to treat this question. We feel that listing hobbies reflects a short coming of experience. We suggest this tactic for a fresh college graduate who is a “light and bright” candidate.
Last But Not Least
Make sure you have your correct phone and email on your resume. When we say a correct phone and email, we mean you should list the phone number and email that YOU ACTUALLY ANSWER. Nothing frustrates a recruiter more than loving your resume, loving your experience, reaching out to you and getting a voicemail box that’s full, a kicked-back undeliverable email message, or a returned call days later.
You are ready. Write a strong resume, avoid the common recruiter hot buttons, and present yourself with confidence.
We at Lewis Careers wish you success in your career pursuits.