Creating a Winning Resume - 8 Essentials
By Theo Gilbert-Jamison
The state of the global economy has caused many to rethink their job stability and start to proactively make plans in the event they have to transition into new jobs or maybe even new careers. If you don't have an updated resume ready to print and send out at a moments notice, quickly pulling one together can be daunting.
Prior to launching my consulting firm in 2003, I worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in several HR capacities. I was an HR Administrative Assistant, an Employment Manager, a Human Resources Director, and eventual a Vice President of Training & Organizational Effectiveness for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. With more than 20 years of HR experience and expertise under my belt, and having interviewed and hired thousands of employees, I'd like to share my top eight essentials for creating a winning resume.
FORMAT - Use a resume format that is simple, eye-catching, and easy to read. A jumbled resume gives the impression that you are disorganized and lack attention to detail. Remember, in most cases your resume is the first impression hiring professionals will have of you. Make it lasting.
CUSTOMIZATION - Definitely tailor and tweak each resume you send out to the job you are applying for. With today's technology, no one should ever send out a generic resume. It turns the interviewer off when they have to re-read your resume to ensure you meet what they are looking for.
ACCURACY - Thoroughly proof read your resume to catch misspellings, grammatical errors, and typos. Never rely solely on spell check! Re-read the entire resume at least twice before sending it out. Also, be honest - it doesn't pay to hype your resume with qualifications and certifications that you don't have. It almost always comes back to haunt you later.
SPECIFICITY - Be specific in outlining your background and expertise. Use numbers to describe your achievement and responsibilities to elevate your image. Avoid vague statements that waste the interviewer's time and don't make sense in relation to the job you are applying for.
ORDER OF CONTENT - Absolutely prioritize your resume content in chronological order so it easily moves from your most recent job all the way back to relevant positions early on in your career.
LENGTH - Be mindful of the length of your resume. There is no definite standard concerning whether it should be one page or two pages; just make sure it is easy to read. The more experience you have typically dictates the length of your resume.
CONTENT - Don't busy your resume with irrelevant information that doesn't pertain to the job you are applying for. This will help you keep the length of your resume manageable and make it easier for the interviewer to review.
INTERNET READY - Create an internet-ready version of your resume. Today a good percentage of job openings are posted and must be applied for on the internet. This requires that you upload your resume, so also converting it to a text-only format is a great idea.
There was a time in the past when you had to be concerned about the type of paper you printed your resume on. Those days have pasted, as today 95% of resumes are received via email. Still this does not underscore the importance of having a neat, organized, and customized resume ready at any given time. Bottom-line, as an HR professional who spent years recruiting and selecting highly talented new hires, it only takes me 30 seconds to review a resume and determine if the applicant is worthy of an interview. Don't be mistaken, your resume is truly a reflection of you. While these eight essentials are not all inclusive, without a doubt if your current resume lacks these basic standards it could be holding you back from potential interviews. Believe me, making time this week to sit down to update and refine your resume is a worthwhile endeavor.
Theo Gilbert-Jamison is CEO of Performance Solutions by Design; a global performance consulting firm that caters to luxury and premium brands with an emphasis on transforming organizational culture. She is also the author of two books, The Six Principles of Service Excellence, and The Leadership Book of Numbers (Vol. I). As the creative force behind the innovative concepts and methodologies utilized by Performance Solutions by Design, Theo is a highly sought after speaker and consultant to CEOs and senior executives in high profile organizations. For more information visit her website www.psbydesign.com or you can reach her by email firstname.lastname@example.org.