Think Outside The Box: 4 Creative Resume Ideas

By Sean Weinberg
Let's visualize, shall we? Close your eyes (on second thought, don't close your eyes), clear your mind, and imagine a resume.
What do you see?
Do you see a piece of paper? Nice paper? Bullet points? Times New Roman font? You might be something slightly different, but probably only slightly.
While 99.9% of the world sees a resume as a document, that last .01% saw it completely differently. Check out these four offbeat resume ideas:

1. The "Hire Me" Webpage Resume
When trying to get hired by a dot-com superstar, why not get a .com yourself? Since Jamie Varon started Twitter Should Hire Me, many job seekers followed suit with creative blogs. My favorite has to be Squicky for combining a MIT PhD with Microsoft Paint.

2. The Artsy Resume
Like to draw? Ditch writing your resume and start doodling! Great examples of illustrated resumes include Jonathan Wong's Curriculum Vitae, Pau Morgan's Pie Chart Timeline and Ben Fogarty's LifeChart. If you're looking for a job in design, why not combine your resume and portfolio?

3. The Quirky YouTube Resume
The job search is a lot like dating, so why not outwardly woo a potential employer? Matthew Epstein has been trying to land an interview with Google HR, so he came up with a simple idea: woo Google through YouTube. If you're going to have a video resume, make it memorable.

4. The Business Card Resume
Probably the least outlandish resume of the bunch (yet probably the most effective) is the resume business card. When networking, you hand out so many business cards, so why not cut out the LinkedIn-stalking process by including your entire resume in a cleverly origami-ed fashion?

DISCLAIMER: These ideas are supremely neat and definitely one in a million, but remember this: if everyone starts using a quirky, out-of-the-box resume to apply, HR folks are going to be overwhelmed and desensitized – and that quirky, out-of-the-box resume might not seem so unique anymore.

What Not to Include on Your Resume

A well-crafted resume contains only the information that proves you're a qualified candidate. Eliminate resume clutter by removing useless information that potential employers often view as filler and a waste of their time. Here's a short list of the worst offenders:
  • "References available on request." Listing the actual references on your resume is even worse.
  • Your Social Security number or driver's license number.
  • The date your resume was prepared.
  • Your company's telephone number.
  • Your high school or grammar school if you're a college graduate.
  • Dates you spent involved in college extracurricular activities.
  • Dates you were involved with professional or civic organizations unless using them to fill in gaps or add heft to your claims.
  • Names of (human) past employers; put these on your reference sheet with contact information.

How to Target a Resume for a Specific Job

Source: dummies 
Their all-function generic resume is being replaced by the targeted resume, a resume tailor-made for a particular employment goal inside a job search. Targeting resumes isn't just smart, it is critical. A targeted resume convinces the reader your work will benefit a specific employer and that you need to be among the candidates invited in for closer look.

A targeted resume is really a job search marketing tool that;
•   Addresses a provided opportunity, making it effortless to find out how your qualifications are a close match to a job’s requirements.
•   Uses powerful words to persuade and a clean design to attract interest.
•   Plays up strengths as well as downplays any element that undermines your bid for the an meeting.
You probably own an all-purpose resume lying around in the desk drawer somewhere. What you and legions of job seekers everywhere like about the all-purpose resume is that it casts the broad net to snag the attention of many employers — and that it saves time. However, the one-size-fits-all resume is actually becoming obsolete and it’s going to get lost in additional and additional recruiting black holes.

Three actions to writing targeted resumes
To save time when developing targeted resumes, you can build a core resume before the pressure strikes, and then use it as being a base or template to spin off targeted versions whenever you must move quickly.

Constructing a targeted resume is easier when you follow these steps:
1.   Prepare your core resume.
Jot down every factor in your background that you could usage to customize a resume, from experience, competencies, as well as skills to training. This is actually the working model, a resume you'll never publish to a employer but a deep very well you will draw from some time time period again. Use as many pages as one need.
2.   Researching their requirements concerning a task.
If you’re responding to a specific advertised job, jot down the requirements your ad lists. Don’t confuse the job duties and also the stated requirements. Deal first with the requirements and then see the way you could show experience or education which matches the most important job duties.
When you’re not responding up to a specified advertised job however are publishing your resume inside an on-line database, attempt to attract interest in your candidacy through researching their most commonly requested qualifications for a given occupation or profession field. You can do this particular by studying numerous task ads.
3.   Customize each spinoff resume.
After compiling the requirements you must meet inside a tailor-made resume, scour your core resume to see whether you can add secondary items said in their ad that further improve your chances and start writing.

Looking in a test targeted resume
This sample resume includes information that targets a marketing position marketed by a health insurance company. The employer's needs (from the advertisement) tend to be shown inside a mission statement contained in the gray box atop the very first web page of the resume.
In order to illustrate the concept of targeting, the bold figures are cross-matched in between the health insurance company's requirements (in the gray package) and their job applicant's qualifications (in their sample resume). For illustration, this applicant meets requirement 1 from ad, because shown in the Education segment of their resume. These numbers are for the illustrative purposes only.
The all-purpose generic resume is being replaced by the targeted resume, a resume tailor-made for a specific employment goal in a job search. Targeting resumes isn't just smart, it's critical. A targeted resume convinces the reader your work will benefit a specific employer and that you should be among the candidates invited in for a closer look.
A targeted resume is a job search marketing tool that
•   Addresses a given opportunity, making it easy to see how your qualifications are a close match to a job’s requirements.
•   Uses powerful words to persuade and a clean design to attract interest.
•   Plays up strengths and downplays any factor that undermines your bid for an interview.
You probably have an all-purpose resume lying around in a desk drawer somewhere. What you and legions of job seekers everywhere like about the all-purpose resume is that it casts a wide net to snag the attention of many employers — and it saves time. However, the one-size-fits-all resume is becoming obsolete and it’s going to get lost in more and more recruiting black holes.
Three steps to writing targeted resumes
To save time when developing targeted resumes, you can build a core resume before the pressure hits, and then use it as a base or template to spin off targeted versions when you must move quickly.
Constructing a targeted resume is easier when you follow these steps:
1.   Prepare your core resume.
Jot down every factor in your background that you could use to customize a resume, from experience, competencies, and skills to education. This is your working model, a resume you will never submit to an employer but a rich well you will draw from time and time again. Use as many pages as you need.
2.   Research the requirements of a job.
If you’re responding to a specific advertised job, jot down the requirements that the ad lists. Don’t confuse the job duties and the stated requirements. Deal first with the requirements and then see how you can show experience or education that matches the most important job duties.
When you’re not responding to a specific advertised job but are posting your resume in an online database, attempt to attract interest in your candidacy by researching the most commonly requested qualifications for a given occupation or career field. You can do this by studying many job ads.
3.   Customize each spinoff resume.
After compiling the requirements you must satisfy in a tailor-made resume, scour your core resume to see whether you can add secondary items mentioned in the ad that further improve your chances and start writing.

Looking at a sample targeted resume
This sample resume includes information that targets a marketing position advertised by a health insurance company. The employer's requirements (from the ad) are shown in a mission statement contained in the gray box atop the first page of the resume.
To illustrate the concept of targeting, the bold numbers are cross-matched between the health insurance company's requirements (in the gray box) and the job applicant's qualifications (in the sample resume). For example, this applicant meets requirement 1 from the ad, as shown in the Education segment of the resume. These numbers are for illustrative purposes only.

Ten Top Resume Writing Books

Need help writing your resume? If you consider yourself a "do-it-yourself-er" there are a lot of great books on the market that can help you craft a compelling and visually distinct document. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Resume Magic
Filled with "before and after" resume examples that not only teach the author's special method, but also show why they work. "Resume Magic" divulges the secrets of better resume writing from an expert with more than a decade of experience producing powerful, effective resumes.

2. Happy About My Resume
This book offers 50 tips for creating compelling copy and presenting it in a powerful way, to grab the hiring authority's attention and get them to pick up the phone to call you in for an interview. The author provides practical and easy-to-follow advice as well as numerous samples that demonstrate each of her tips in action.

3. Expert Resumes for Career Changers
This collection of resumes is aimed at people who are transitioning from one career to another. The down economy has forced millions of people to change jobs or industries in order to stay employed. This book gives strategies as well as 180 pages of sample resumes for successful career changes. The authors present sound resume-writing advice, including how to create and use an electronic resume. The appendix includes Internet resources for an effective online job search. New for this edition are completely updated resumes, a new chapter on writing cover letters, and a collection of cover letter samples.

4. Best Resumes for $100K+ Jobs
Individuals expecting to make more than $100,000 a year need to craft a very special resume that commands no only attention but a high salary as well.

5. Expert Resumes for People Returning to Work
A collection of professionally written resumes aimed at anyone who has left work for a period of time and then wanted to return. This type of situation requires a particularly unique approach to crafting a resume and presents some unique challenges.
In addition to nearly 200 pages of sample resumes, the authors present sound resume writing advice, including how to create and use an electronic resume. The appendix includes Internet resources for an effective online job search. New for the second edition is a chapter on writing cover letters, as well as a collection of sample letters.

6. College Grad Resumes to Land $75,000+ Jobs
This unique resume book includes 80 examples of resumes written by college students who actually obtained $75,000+ jobs in a variety of occupational fields. The book also includes sound resume writing advice based on the secrets of professional resume writers.

7. Best Resumes & Letters for Ex-Offenders
Addresses special employment issues facing ex-offenders and provides sound advice on how to write, produce, distribute and follow up resumes and letters for overcoming employment barriers.

8. Expert Resumes for Managers & Executives
More than 100 professionally written resumes for people at all levels of management, from front-line supervisors to top-level executives.

9. Best Resumes for People Without a Four-Year Degree
Addressing the unique resume needs of people without a bachelor's degree, this book meticulously illuminates what a resume is and is not, as well as what it should say, and how it should be presented.

10. 30-Minute Resume Makeover
This book is for people who already have a resume and need to update it quickly for a new opportunity.

Sample Resume for a College Internship

College Internship A great internship during college can be an excellent springboard for future internships and can help graduating seniors land their first entry level job.
AOL Jobs talked to Dr. Cheryl Minnick, internship coordinator and career advisor at The University of Montana, to learn how a great student resume can help land a great internship. Here is her story.
The Boston Celtics receive thousands of internship applications each semester, but one student's rose to the top. Nick walked into the college career office at the University of Montana with his Word template resume and a dream to get hands-on internship experience working in promotions and media relations for an NBA team, specifically the Celtics. There was a small problem. He's not a basketball player, nor has he ever played basketball. That's where his major in communications management, as well as his superb promotion skills and passion for live events worked to his advantage.
At the university's careers services office, Nick received strategic guidance on how to re-craft his resume. He focused on his experience interning with Disney and working on campus with UM Productions to help coordinate concerts, including one featuring The Rolling Stones. He spent time researching the internship's job description for keywords and job duties, then related his past experience in a value offered section, sprinkled with keywords. His career history was presented grouped into key areas required for the internship -- entertainment, production, marketing, and live events. In his accomplishment bullets he also mentioned high profile concerts he helped promote.
Nick was called in for an interview and offered an internship where he was responsible for putting media packets together, checking in media prior to games and confirming their credentials, answering media questions, and providing player quotes after each game. In addition, he got to work on a philanthropic project with Shaquille O'Neal and interviewed several prominent NBA stars.

Entertainment and Venue Manager
Public Relations · Concerts · Live Events


Dynamic, experienced brand marketing professional with skills honed and showcased in Disney Resort theatre and box office operations and in the live entertainment industry as assistant concert producer for the Rolling Stones, Dierks Bentley, and Carlos Mencia. Top-notch customer service and communication skills with outstanding ability to thrive in deadline-driven environments within the live entertainment industry. Expertly skilled in graphic design, editing and movie making using Adobe Creative Suite. Recognized for strong work-ethic and consistently exceeding expectations of supervisors, colleagues, and industry professionals; offering the Boston Celtics an invaluable asset.


  • Media & Public Relations
  • VIP Hosting
  • Event Coordination
  • Box Office Operations
  • Collateral Production
  • Contract Advancing
  • Audience Control
  • Security & Parking
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Venue Management
  • Public Presentations
  • Operating Budgets
  • Front-Office Operations
  • Event Staffing
  • Stage Set-up


Fortune 100 Entertainment
Cirque d'Soleil, Walt Disney World (2008-2009)
Assisted with show production, venue management, audience control, box office and ticket sales, hosting of VIPs, and coordination of special theater events with Reebok.
UM Campus Productions (2006-2007)
Managed greenroom and artist hospitality, including advancing production riders and dressing room set-up for Elton John, Rolling Stones crew, Modest Mouse, Carlos Mencia, Dierks Bentley, A Prairie Home Companion, Shooter Jennings, Sonic Youth, and various cover bands.
GAP West Broadcasting (2008-2009)
Coordinated on- and off-site promotional events, promoted e-commerce, and distributed marketing collateral for events aimed at increasing market share and listening audience.
Live Events
Concert Productions (2006-2008)
Served as stagehand to set-up barricades, lights, audio, video, coordinate merchandising, on-site security, audience control, unload production vehicles, construct temporary floors and structures, and assist with props, as well as aide in on-stage concert production.


BA, Communication Studies ·Entertainment Management certificate ·Media Arts minor
The University of Montana, May 2011

How To Get The Most Out Of References In A Social Media World

social media referencesBy Nancy Mann Jackson

Once upon a time, a potential employer looked at your resume to find the references you'd hand-picked to represent you, picked up the phone, and usually got the glowing reviews you knew you could expect. (That's why you picked those references, right?) Now, in the days of LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+, a hiring manager has a number of additional tools at his or her disposal to check you out before hiring you.

No longer does a hiring manager have to contact only the references you suggest. He or she may search LinkedIn to find someone who worked in your department at your former employer, and contact him or her for information. He or she may peruse your Facebook or Twitter posts to learn more about you – and contact those with whom you interact with online to develop a broader reference check.
According to Jeff Shane at Allison & Taylor, a professional reference checking company, job seekers should take steps to ensure that their social media data isn't used against them. Here are his four tips:

1. Take the time to research yourself online prior to beginning your interview process. (One example: "Google" yourself.) The odds are very high that your application, resume and credentials will be reviewed by prospective employers for inaccuracies – better that you identify them first, if they exist.

2. Consider expanding your reference list to prospective employers beyond simply an HR contact or supervisor. Associates like a supportive second-level supervisor or a matrix manager(s) can be key advocates on your behalf and might be more supportive than traditional references like immediate supervisors.

3. Find out what your references will say about you prior to beginning the interview process. Use a third-party reference verification firm to find out what references at your most recent places of employment (in particular) will actually say about you. Increasing the scope of your reference search (to second-level supervisors, etc.) may identify additional favorable references in senior positions whose names you may wish to invoke during the interview process.

4. Know your rights. Be aware that employers are legally prohibited from using certain social media data they may discover about you during the hiring process, (e.g. data pertaining to your race, religion, age, sex, sexual preference, etc.). Employers open themselves up to lawsuits if they base their hiring decisions on such discriminatory information.

Should You Lie On Your Resume To Get A Better Job?

lie on resume

By Steve Blank, author of 'The Startup Owner's Manual' and 'The Four Steps to the Epiphany'

Getting asked by a recruiter about where I went to school made me remember the day I had to choose whether to lie on my resume.

When I got my first job in Silicon Valley, it was through serendipity on my part and desperation on the part of my first employer. I really didn't have much of a resume: four years in the Air Force building a SCRAM system for a nuclear reactor and a startup in Ann Arbor, Mich., but not much else. It was at my second startup in the Silicon Valley that my life and career took an interesting turn. A recruiter found me while I was working in product marketing and wanted to introduce me to a hot startup making something called a workstation.

"This is a technology-driven company, and your background sounds great. Why don't you send me a resume and I'll pass it on." A few days later, I got a call back from the recruiter. "Steve, you left off your education. Where did you go to school?"

"I never finished college," I said.

There was a long silence on the other end of the phone. "Steve, the VP of sales and marketing previously ran their engineering department. He was a professor of computer science at Harvard, and his last job was running the Advanced Systems Division at Xerox PARC. Most of the sales force were previously design engineers. I can't present a candidate without a college degree. Why don't you make something up?"

I still remember that exact instant of the conversation. In that moment, I realized I had a choice. But I had no idea how profound, important and lasting it would be. It would have been really easy to lie, and the recruiter was telling me to do so. "No one checks education anyway," he said. This was long before the days of the Internet.

Making The Choice About My Resume

I told him I'd think about it. And I did for a long time. After a few days, I sent him my updated resume, and he passed it on to Convergent Technologies. Soon after, I was asked to interview with the company. I can barely recall the other people I met, but I'll never forget the interview with Ben Wegbreit, the vice president of sales and marketing.

Wegbreit held up my resume and said, "You know you're here interviewing because I've never seen a resume like this. You don't have any college listed and there's no education section. You put 'Mensa' here," he said, pointing to the section where education normally goes. "Why?" I looked back at him and said, "I thought Mensa might get your attention."

Wegbreit just stared at me for an uncomfortable amount of time. Then he abruptly said, "Tell me what you did in your previous companies." I thought this was going to be a storytelling interview like the others. But instead, the minute I said, "My first startup used CATV coax to implement a local-area network for process control systems." (Thirty-five years ago, pre-Ethernet and TCP/IP, that was pretty cutting-edge.) Wegbreit said, "Why don't you go to the whiteboard and draw the system diagram for me?"

Do what? Draw it? I dug deep and spent 30 minutes diagramming, trying to remember everything. With Wegbreit peppering me with questions, I could barely keep up. And there were a bunch of empty spaces where I couldn't remember some of the details.

When I was done explaining it I headed for the chair, but Wegbreit stopped me. "As long as you're at the whiteboard, why don't we go through the other two companies you were at." I couldn't believe it. I was already mentally exhausted, but we spent another half-hour with me drawing diagrams and Wegbreit asking questions.

Finally I sat down. Wegbreit looked at me for a long while, not saying a word. Then he stood up and opened the door, signaling me to leave. He shook my hand and said, "Thanks for coming in." What? That's it? Did I get the job or not?

That evening, I got a call from the recruiter. "Ben loved you.... Congratulations."


Three and a half years later, Convergent became a public company and I was a VP of marketing working for Wegbreit. He ended up as my mentor at Convergent -- and for the rest of my career -- my peer at Ardent and my partner and co-founder at Epiphany. I would never use Mensa on my resume again, and my education section would always be empty.

But every time I read about an executive who got caught in a resume scandal, I remember the moment I had to choose.

Lessons Learned
  • You will be faced with ethical dilemmas your entire career.
  • Taking the wrong path is most often the easiest choice.
  • These choices will seem like trivial and inconsequential shortcuts -- at the time.
  • Some of them will have lasting consequences.
  • It's not the lie that will catch up with you, it's the cover-up.

Choose wisely.

This Resume With Errors Led To A Job Of A Lifetime

Image provided by loneysandwich on Flickr.comCareer and job-search experts often caution job seekers to proof their resumes and make sure there aren't any typos. But recently, Marco Arment (pictured, right, at a laptop), who was Tumblr founder David Karp's first hire, posted to his blog the resume that he used back in 2006 to get a job at the microblogging social network. His resume was ordinary -- and contained errors. "I'm embarrassed that I didn't know to use en dashes for the year ranges," he wrote. (He used hyphens and em dashes instead. The full resume is posted below.)
The minor flub was, of course, no reflection of Arment's programming abilities. The rest of his just- revealed 7-year-old resume is chock-full of programming credentials basically unintelligible to anyone outside the field. And the website he helped create, and spent four years working at, Tumblr, was bought last month by Yahoo for $1.1 billion. For his part, he claimed that he isn't making "yacht-and-helicopter money from the acquisition." But according to PrivCo, a New York-based research firm that tracks the venture capital industry, the average payout for Tumblr's first employees is around $6.2 million each, though he likely will earn more as Karp's first employee. (In total, Tumblr has 178 employees.)

In addition to his en dash problem, Arment challenges other resume conventions with his 2006 CV. The resume that he submitted to Karp was two pages long, which as career coach Robyn Feldberg told AOL Jobs, is only appropriate if you have "more than 15 years of experience." Arment, however, used his two-pager just two years after graduating from Allegheny College with a degree in computer science.

Interestingly, Arment's 2006 resume is also noteworthy because it's so ordinary. The digital star employed no flashy gimmicks in his attempt to woo Karp. That strategy stands in contrast with other memorable resumes that have been reported on by AOL Jobs.

Marco Arment, the Incredible
Of course, Arment's rise may be proof-positive that tech startups aren't as strict about resume and other job-application conventions. And recently, Arment's star has risen thanks to his success in the digital marketplace. In just the past five weeks alone, Arment has seen three startups that he helped create be bought out for millions, Business Insider reports. The two other startups that he helped create after leaving Tumblr in 2010, and which sold in April, are:
  • Instapaper -- bought by Betaworks, which also owns Digg. Arment was the majority stakeholder the online "read later" tool he created in 2010 to help readers index webpages they want to save for later reading. The terms of the acquisition have not been released, but Business Insider speculates Arment made millions.
  • The Magazine -- bought by its executive editor Glenn Fleishman. Arment created the The Magazine last October as a subscription-backed biweekly web magazine covering electronics. The terms of that deal have also not been disclosed, but soon after its launch, the "popular" publication was already delivering a "healthy return" for Arment, according to PR Newswire.
Arment's Rise
For his part, Arment says that he was able to succeed at Tumblr because he hit it off early with his boss. "David and I were like-minded in prioritizing user-, geek-, and designer-friendly needs," he wrote on his blog.

Writing elsewhere on his blog, the mild-mannered and yacht-less Arment couldn't help but recognize the reality of his recent successes. Reacting to the recent buyout of "The Magazine," he wrote, "I know: this is getting ridiculous."

Does Your Resume Look Dated? 6 Ways To Tell

 By CareerBuilder
resume bad practices

By Susan Ricker

If you just bought new, expensive resume paper, you've already made a job-search mistake. Most job applications and resumes are submitted online now -- one of countless new trends in the modern hiring process. Many job seekers are using outdated job-search practices, risking the impression that they are unable to keep up with technology. Are you worried that your resume looks dated? Here are some signs.

You don't include any links. Or worse, your links are dead.
The first section of your resume needs to include your name, address, email and phone number, and links to portfolios or websites. Any links that you do include should be checked to make sure they work, and only include links to sites that you regularly update. Also be sure to include a professional email address, and ditch the inappropriate "OMGlove2party" email, which sounds unprofessional.

You don't use keywords.
The "summary" section is the best place to include keywords taken from the job description, since most hiring companies utilize applicant-tracking systems to narrow down possible candidates. However, be sure to incorporate keywords throughout the resume, but don't just copy and paste the job description.

Place the most relevant and interesting experience at the top. Most hiring managers only skim resumes, and leading with strong qualifications can be a good attention-getter. Also be sure to remove any overly personal information. Old job applications used to inquire about marital status, family members and sometimes religious affiliation. Not only is that information illegal to ask now, it's irrelevant to most positions. Keep your resume clean, professional and focused.

You've listed "career objectives."
In 2012, "career objectives" are a rarity. Instead of wasting valuable paper space, include a professional summary in your cover letter and apply it to the position you're vying for and how it fits into your career plan. Reserve the career achievements/skills section for descriptions of honors or promotions, as well as performance-review quotes that cite strengths and quantifiable information. When referring to previous roles, use the past tense. Only current jobs and projects should be written in the present tense.

Also size up your resume and determine if you're including more tasks than results for previous positions. Hiring managers are looking for candidates that can meet daily expectations as well as go above and beyond, which means that including any professional associations and awards is a resume boost.

You've listed every job you've ever held.
List relevant jobs only, not every part-time gig you held over the past 20 years. If you're not sure if you should include a job, ask if it's relevant to this position and your current career goals. For the employers you do list, make sure to include details on tasks you're responsible for, as well as the company's industry -- there are 7.5 million companies in the U.S., and most of us don't know what they do. If you have a gap in your history because of family obligations, "homemaker sabbatical" will sufficiently explain a work hiatus so the interviewer can focus on your work accomplishments.

You've listed your GPA.
Include alma mater details here, as well as other trainings, certifications and accomplishments that are relevant to your position. This section doesn't need to list past courses taken. Unless you're currently in school and applying for your first full-time position or internship, you most likely don't need to include your GPA.

You've listed "references available upon request."
That line is unnecessary. Unless the job posting specifically asks for references, don't include any on your resume. If you get asked in for an interview, you may want to have a list of references prepared in advance, but keep your contacts to yourself before that step.

Other tips
  • Design your resume with a focus. Every detail should support the idea that you're the best candidate for the position.
  • Use specific, concrete language that measures your accomplishments.
  • Remove overused words, such as "outstanding, effective, strong, exceptional, good, excellent, driven, motivated, seasoned or energetic." Beware of unsupported claims of greatness.
  • Don't include a photo.
  • Resumes should be no more than two pages, but most candidates will be better off with one page. Most hiring managers only glance at resumes, so be conscious of space, and organize the layout with a balance of white space and text. Avoid large blocks of text.
  • Go through drafts of your resume before you settle on one that works, and have several friends or family members proofread it. There should be no typos or formatting errors. Aim for a resume that is clean, simple and can be easily submitted online.

Source: AOL

Resume Tips For Career Changers

resumes for career changers
The tough economy has forced many people to reconsider their careers. For some, that's meant gaining additional skills to hang on to a job, but others -- sometimes through no fault of their own -- have found that they have to consider a whole new career path.
But explaining to a potential employer that you have the skills to do a job that you've never done before can be tricky, especially on your resume. So what's the best way to create a resume when you're eager to change careers?
Avoid the 'functional' resume. Some employment experts advise abandoning a typical chronological resume for a "functional" one, which highlights related skills and downplays when and where you've worked. But career coach Kathy Caprino says most recruiters and hiring managers still expect applicants to list their work histories by date. Doing so in another fashion, she says, may send up a red flag.
Tailor the resume to the job. You can't lie or embellish, of course, but you do have to tailor your resume so that the qualifications you list match the position. "Everything you've done in other jobs [has] to inform why you should be considered," Caprino says.
Know your competitive advantage. Your resume should note your skills and passions, and what can you contribute now that someone with 10 years of experience in the field can't. In other words, Caprino says, "You've got to know what sets you apart."

Remember to sell yourself. To prove you're the best candidate, highlight the achievements that build the case that you're qualified for the new position you're seeking. "The resume has to be about achievements and outcomes -- not tasks [or] projects," Caprino says. Hiring managers need to know why they should seriously weigh your candidacy for a job you've never done.
What about the cover letter? Failing to note that you don't have the experience the hiring manager is looking for is a surefire way to get your application tossed. Instead, tackle the issue head-on. Be transparent and authentic and explain that you're looking to change careers, while noting which skills that you do have that would be applicable to the new job.
Above all, be realistic. The likelihood of getting a job in a field in which you've never previously worked are slim. "In this type of economy, you are in competition with amazing people who've had a lot of experience," she says. So gaining experience in your new field is key.
Internships are one way to get your foot in the door, though they aren't often well-suited for older workers. Another way is to work on projects as a consultant and provide your services for free or little cost. "You have to view this as a life project," Caprino says, adding that you have to set your ego aside and be willing to work for a lot less money.

10 Words Never To Use On A Resume

bad words on resumesBy Robert Half International

There are certain resume words and phrases that have become so ubiquitous they do little more than induce yawns and eye rolls from hiring managers. Employers are so accustomed to hearing from "team players" and "problem solvers," for example, that those descriptions are now essentially meaningless. To distinguish yourself from your competitors, you'll need to cut the clichés - or at least expand upon them with concrete details that back up your claims.

Robert Half recently asked more than 1,300 managers at companies across the United States and Canada to name the most overused resume phrases. Based on our survey findings, here are 10 terms to retire:

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1. Hard worker. Nothing causes a hiring manager's eyes to glaze over faster than seeing this hollow descriptor. Why? Because virtually all applicants - even the least-motivated clock-watchers - claim to work hard.

To impress a prospective employer, you'll need to explain exactly how you've gone the extra mile. Do you regularly meet aggressive deadlines, handle a high volume of projects, exceed ambitious targets or volunteer to tackle tasks outside your role?

2. Self-starter. Companies seek astute candidates who can get off to a strong start without excessive managerial direction and handholding. (In another Robert Half survey, managers cited mastering new processes and procedures as the greatest challenge when starting a new job.)

Unfortunately, simply saying you're a "self-starter" won't convince anyone of your initiative, resourcefulness or ability to quickly make meaningful contributions. Instead, illustrate how you've thrived when managing important projects with little or no supervision.
3. Team player. This term is the cliche of cliches. Working well with others is imperative, but get specific. Spell out the ways you've collaborated with colleagues. Did you dive in to help an overwhelmed co-worker deliver a high-priority project or lead a key cross-departmental initiative?

4. Highly qualified. When it comes to your qualifications, show, don't tell. Skip this empty expression and describe what you'll bring to the position. Whenever possible, quantify your biggest achievements (think about money you've generated or saved your employers, for instance).

In addition, emphasize your most pertinent skills and certifications. Researching the firm and doing a careful reading of the job posting can help you determine which aspects of your background to focus on.

5. Dynamic. What does this well-worn term really mean? That you're bursting with innovative ideas and positive energy? If true, just say that. Characterizing yourself as "dynamic" is boastful and sounds unnatural. Unless you regularly don a cape as part of a crime-fighting duo, you can safely banish blasé buzzwords such as this.
6. Problem solver. While being a "problem solver" beats being a "problem creator," employers want tangible evidence of your effectiveness. What specific solutions have you devised? How have you overcome hurdles? Have you helped your boss or colleagues out of jams or streamlined workflow inefficiencies?

7. Reliable. Don't waste space touting "strengths" that are basic requirements of any job, such as reliability. It's expected that you -- and every other potential hire -- will be dependable. Showing up on time and doing your work isn't worth bragging about. After all, anything short of reliable would be unacceptable. Delete it.

8. Familiar with. Many job seekers rely on this ambiguous phrase to obscure a lack of in-depth knowledge in a particular area. For instance, a person can technically claim to be familiar with a software program they've used just once.

This type of wishy-washy wording raises red flags. It won't give employers any sense of your level of expertise, but it will dilute the impact of your more relevant core competencies.

9. Flexible. Change is the only constant today. As such, companies seek versatile professionals who'll adjust easily to new situations. But go a step beyond merely referring to yourself as flexible. Underscore your adaptability by explaining how you successfully responded to a major change at work or deftly dealt with unpredictable aspects of your job.

10. People person. Interpersonal skills are critical for most positions. Employers value professionals who can communicate effectively and build camaraderie with a diverse array of internal and external contacts. Cite examples of how you won over a challenging coworker, client or customer, or helped a group of stakeholders reach a consensus.

The bottom line is that clichés aren't memorable, powerful or persuasive. While there's nothing inherently wrong with the skills and traits listed above, they alone won't deepen an employer's understanding of who you are and what you offer. Stop using generic content as a crutch and embrace clear and specific information instead. As a job seeker, it just might be the most "dynamic" thing you can do.

8 Ways to Make Sure Your Application Gets Seen

Recruiter tossing job applicationsBy Anna Pitts

Applying for jobs is a challenging task, one made all the more difficult when you know your recruiter has dozens of other applicants to consider. Instead of getting lost in the crowd, here are some things you can do to fast-track your resume to the front of a long queue:

Contact them first. Some recruiters and HR professionals appreciate you calling or emailing them before you submit your application. That way, they will be on the lookout for your application or, at the very least, your name will ring a bell when they see it. Be strategic with your timing, though; don't call them at 5 p.m. on a Friday when they will be busy.

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Follow up. You might not be able to get hold of them on the first attempt, or they might not respond to your first email. But it's OK to follow up on your messages as long as you don't do it too often. Waiting at least a week is usually recommended, but it depends on who you're working with. Don't think of following up as bothering the recruiter; think of it as showing how much of a go-getter you are.
Get the recruiter's name right. Your ultimate aim here is to make a good impression, which won't happen if you get their name wrong. Even if you're looking at several different opportunities, make sure you know who you're contacting each time and address that person appropriately.

Tailor your resume. Not tailoring your resume is usually a game-ender. If your resume isn't tailored for a specific position, it looks like you didn't care enough to put the time in. Make your resume relevant for the job you want and know the extra effort will benefit you later.

Make your resume catchy. Have a catchy personal profile or summary at the top that makes you sound interesting and committed. Recruiters read hundreds of profiles, and the more you can make yours stand out, the better. Don't use the usual generic spiel and buzzwords -- aim to think outside the box while remaining professional.

Prioritize information. Your resume can only be one or two pages, so the details you include need to be maximally relevant and advantageous. The information recruiters are looking for to bump you up the queue are your key skills and experience, so internships and job experience should be prominent. Emphasize the responsibilities and skills you acquired at each role by listing them under each title.

Be interesting. Hobbies and interests may not seem like the most critical section on your resume, but they're still important. This is where you can show what you're like as a person and what makes you different and fun. Don't write about your run-of-the-mill hobbies like "watching movies" or "listening to music"; instead, include interests that give you a sense of uniqueness, traits that will help the recruiter remember you.

Apply early. It shows dedication, organization and awareness if you apply long before the deadline. It also means your resume will be one of the first the recruiter sees, and if it impresses them, it makes their job-and yours! -- a lot easier. When you decide you want to apply somewhere, don't stall; get that application out as soon as possible.

Things You Should Leave Off Your Resume

Things to leave off your resume
By Leslie Anglesey

Your resume may only be a single page, but it's a potential minefield when it comes to your career. On one hand, you want enough information so the employer sees what a stellar candidate you are. On the other, you don't want to step into any pitfalls that will give the hiring manager reason to exclude you.

Here are the do's and don'ts for writing each section of your resume:

DO tell an employer about your skills and experience that are relevant to the position. Customize your resume for each position you'd like to pursue. A cookie-cutter approach to looking for work is less likely to be successful.

DON'T list every short-term job you've held. If you've worked at a number of temporary positions, it may look as though you have trouble holding a job. The exception is writing about a temporary job or internship that's relevant to the position you're applying for.

Contact Information

DO include your home phone number and main email address. Depending on how much privacy you have to take calls and pick up messages from a prospective employer at work, you may also want to include your cell number.

DON'T list your business phone number or email account on your resume. Your current employer may be monitoring your phone calls and email correspondence. Unless you want to be put in an awkward position or fired, you should keep all the details of your job search private.

If your cell phone was issued by your employer, you should consider it company property and make job search-related calls from your home or a personal device.

Social media

DO include a link to your LinkedIn profile if it will present you in professional manner. Go over it carefully before you share this information with a prospective employer. You'll want to make sure that anything you're writing will complement your resume.

DON'T share your personal Facebook or other social network links if they may contain anything you wouldn't feel comfortable seeing on a billboard in the middle of your city. Something you or a friend posted as a private joke may not seem very amusing to a hiring manager and could cost you a job offer. Err on the side of keeping your private life private.

Employment gaps

DO deal with any lengthy gaps in your employment history directly. If you took a year off from work to travel, for example, include that so that the employer can fill in this blank easily.

DON'T leave a blank space on the resume without an explanation. The employer may wonder if you have something to hide.

Related skills

DO tell a potential employer if you have international experience, especially if you're applying to a company with offices in other countries. If you've completed a study abroad semester as part of your university program, make sure this information is clearly highlighted.

DON'T tell an employer something the company doesn't need to know. This includes information about your country of origin, culture, race or nationality. You also don't need to reveal your citizenship status.


DO include volunteer experience on your resume. A recruiter may not necessarily consider a candidate with paid experience more desirable than a person who gave his or her time for free. As long as your volunteer experience fits with the job you're trying to land, include it in your resume.

DON'T list volunteer time if it would be a stretch to see how it would fit with the position. If you aren't sure you should add it to your resume, ask a trusted friend, an instructor or a career counselor for guidance. If they can't immediately see the connection, an employer won't be able to grasp it, either.

Follow these do's and don'ts to write a well-polished resume that shines. You'll find it easier to get invited for an interview, which is your chance to demonstrate how you can benefit the company. That will be your opportunity to sell yourself to the employer.

A Trick To Get Your Resume Past Applicant Tracking Systems

By Business Insider
resume applicant tracking system tricksVivian Giang

When you apply for a job at a larger firm, there's a high chance that your resume will be scanned by a filtering software for words related to certain job vacancies. This kind of automation process will also reject your resume if it doesn't "meet traditional, business-dictated document formatting," writes Rick Gillis in his book Job!: Learn How to Find Your Next Job In 1 Day.

Here are some formatting rules that Gillis says job seekers should follow to create a filtering software-friendly resume.
  • Do not place your contact information in the header of your resume, because filtering softwares can be set to ignore headers and footers so there is a risk this information will be deleted.
  • Choose a conservative font such as Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, or Calibri. Gillis says that serif fonts, such as Times Roman or Cambria may be rejected by screening software.
  • Do not use any script fonts.
  • The smallest font size to use for the body of your resume should be 11 point. "Any smaller and you're probably asking for trouble."
  • No graphics or logos.
  • Do not format using tables.
  • No borders.
  • A one-inch margin top and bottom is best.
  • Do not use any lines that cross the entire page from margin to margin, because "some filters have been created that will reject a document for nothing more than having a single line run continuously across the page," he writes.

Source: AOL

INFOGRAPHIC: How to make a resume shine

We’ve received a lot of questions from our job seeker community on HOW to revamp a résumé and what we mean when we say to quantify your successes instead of listing out your daily job tasks.
From your questions, we put together this wondrous infographic, which you can click on to see the full version with the before & after résumés and other tips (as well as a special promo code for $35 off writing services offered through our site):

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Source: careerbuilder