19 Reasons Why This Is An Excellent Resume

Ditch the mission statement

TheLadders


By Vivian Giang

Recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume before they make the initial decision on candidates, according to research conducted by TheLadders, an online job-matching service for professionals. That means you have to win them over fast.

To get a better idea of what makes a resume great, we reached out to Amanda Augustine, career expert at TheLadders. She created an example of an excellent resume and allowed us to share it.

While resumes should be tailored to the industry you're in, the one below offers a helpful guide for entry- and mid-level professionals with three to five years of relevant work experience.
TheLadders
What makes this resume so great? Augustine outlines the following reasons:

1. It includes a URL to the jobseeker's professional online profile.
If you don't include URLs to your professional online profiles, hiring managers will look you up regardless. Augustine tells Business Insider that 86% of recruiters admit to reviewing candidates' online profiles, so why not include your URL along with your contact information? This will prevent recruiters from having to guess or mistaking you for someone else.

2. It uses consistent branding.
"If you have a common name, consider including your middle initial on your resume and online professional profiles to differentiate yourself from the competition," says Augustine. For example, decide if you're Mike Johnson, Michael Johnson, or Mike E. Johnson. Then use this name consistently, be it on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

3. It includes a single phone number and email address.
"Choose one phone number for your resume where you control the voicemail message and who picks up the phone," she advises. The same rule applies to an email address.

4. It does not include an objective statement.
There's no point in including a generic objective about a "professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills," says Augustine. It's not helpful and distracting. Ditch it.

5. Instead, it includes an executive summary.
Replace your fluffy statement with an executive summary, which should be like a "30-second elevator pitch" where you explain who you are and what you're looking for. "In approximately three to five sentences, explain what you're great at, most interested in, and how you can provide value to a prospective employer," Augustine says.

6. It uses reverse chronological order.
This is the most helpful for recruiters because they're able to see what you've been doing in recent years immediately, says Augustine. "The only time you shouldn't do this is if you're trying to transition to another career altogether, but then again, in this situation, you'll probably be relying more on networks," than your resume, she says.

7. It uses keywords like "forecasting" and "strategic planning."
Many companies use some kind of screening process to identify the right candidates. You should include the keywords mentioned in the job posting throughout your resume.

"Identify the common keywords, terminology, and key phrases that routinely pop up in the job descriptions of your target role and incorporate them into your resume (assuming you have those skills)," advises Augustine. "This will help you make it past the initial screenings and on to the recruiter or hiring manager."

8. It provides company descriptions.
It's helpful for recruiters to know the size of the company you used to work for, advises Augustine.

"Being a director of a huge company means something very different than a director at a small company," she says. You can go to the company's "About Us" section and rewrite one or two lines of the description. This should be included right underneath the name of the company.

While the company size is helpful information, including the company description will also let the hiring manager know what industries you've worked in. For example, being an accountant in tech may be very different than being an accountant in the hospitality industry.

"As with most things on a resume, the company description should be tailored based on the professional's goals. If you're looking to switch industries, your focus may be on the company size - assuming it's similar to your goals - and less on discussing the various products your company sells."

9. It does not list achievements in dense blocks of text.
Recruiters receive so many resumes to scan through at a time, so make it as easy as possible for them to understand why you're perfect for the job. Dense blocks of text are too difficult to read, says Augustine.

10. Instead, achievements are listed in two to five bullet points per job.
Under each job or experience you've had, explain how you contributed to or supported your team's projects and initiatives. "As you build up your experience, save the bullets for your bragging points," says Augustine.

11. It quantifies achievements.
"Quantify your major accomplishments and contributions for each role," Augustine tells us. This can include the money you saved or brought in for your employer, deals closed, and projects delivered on time or under budget. Do not use any more than three to five bullet points.

12. Accomplishments are formatted as result-and-then-cause.
A good rule is to use the "result BY action" sentence structure whenever possible. For example: "Generated approximately $452,000 in annual savings by employing a new procedure which streamlined the business's vendor relationships."

13. White space draws the reader's eyes to important points.
Recruiters do not spend a lot of time scanning resumes, so avoid dense blocks of text. "The key is to format the information in a way that makes it easy to scan and recognize your job goals and relevant qualifications," Augustine tells us.

14. It doesn't use crazy fonts or colors.
"Stick to black and white color," says Augustine. As for font, it's best to stick with the basics, such as Arial, Tahoma, or Calibri.

15. It does not include pronouns.
Augustine says you should never write your resume in third person because everyone knows you're the one writing it (unless you go through a professional resume writing service).

Instead, you should write it in first person, and do not include pronouns. "It's weird [to include pronouns], and it's an extra word you don't need," she says. "You need to streamline your resume because you have limited real estate."

16. It does not include images.
"Avoid adding any embedded tables, pictures, or other images in your resume, as this can confuse the applicant-tracking software and jumble your resume in the system," says Augustine.

17. It doesn't use headers or footers.
It may look neat and concise to display your contact information in the header, but for "the same reason with embedded tables and charts, it often gets scrambled in an applicant tracking system," says Augustine.

18. Education is listed at the bottom.
Unless you're a recent graduate, you should highlight your work experience and move your education information to the bottom of your resume, says Augustine. Never include anything about your high-school years.

19. It doesn't say "references upon request."
Every recruiter knows you're going to provide references if they request it so there's no reason for you to include this line. Again, remember that space on your resume is crucial so don't waste it on a meaningless line, Augustine tells us.    

How To Write A Great Resume

Highlight your strengths and trim the fat


Young writer

Wondering how to write a great resume that will show off your skills and experience and get you interviews? Here's a beginner's guide to how to craft a resume that will catch a hiring manager's eyes.

Your resume should be composed of the following sections:

Contact info. This is pretty straightforward – this is the header for your resume, and it's where your name, address, phone number, and email address go. It's fine to add a link your LinkedIn profile or your website if you want to, but don't clutter this section up to much.

Profile or highlights. This section is optional, but profiles or highlight sections have replaced objectives at the top of modern-day resumes. This is a quick list of the highlights of your strengths and accomplishments, summing up in just a few bullet points who you are as a candidate and what you have to offer. The idea is to provide an overall framing for your candidacy, setting the hiring manager up to see the rest of your resume through that lens.

Experience: This is the meat of your resume. You should list each job (from most recent to least recent) – where you worked, what your title was, and the years you worked there. Underneath that, you should have a bulleted list of what you achieved while working there. And this is crucial: These bullets should not be used to just explain your job duties. Instead, you should focus on accomplishments – things you achieved that weren't simply fulfilling the basis duties of your job. For instance, instead of "managed website," it's far stronger to say something like, "increased Web traffic by 15% in six months" – in other words, explain how you performed, not just what your job was.

When you're deciding what to include, give yourself permission to remove things that don't strengthen your candidacy. You don't need three lines explaining boring, basic job duties – especially if these responsibilities are going to be implied by your title. Similarly, you don't need to include that summer job from eight years ago, or that job you did for three weeks that didn't work out. Your resume is a marketing document, not a comprehensive listing of everything about you, so include the things that strengthen your candidacy, and pare down the rest.

Education: For most people, this section should just be a line or two, explaining where you went to school and what degree you graduated with. And note that generally your education should go beneath your work experience, because generally employers are most interested in what work experience you've had. Leading with your education just buries what will make most attractive to an employer.

Optional other sections: After that, you might include some additional optional sections, like Volunteer Work (or Community Involvement), Skills (if not obvious from the experience section), or Miscellaneous. Fleshing out your skills and experience in these sections can demonstrate a passion for the work that your work experience can't always do. For instance, if you're applying for an I.T. position and you run an online software discussion group in your spare time, mention that. Or if you're applying for a teaching job and you review children's books for your website, that's important to mention too. These types of details help paint a stronger picture of you as a candidate.

Things not to include: Your resume is for experience and accomplishments only. It's not the place for subjective traits, like "great leadership skills" or "creative innovator." Smart employers ignore anything subjective that applicant write about themselves because so many people's self-assessments are wildly inaccurate, so your resume should stick to objective facts. Additional no-no's: Don't include a photo of yourself, information about your age, any mention of high school, medical conditions, or family members.

Overall formatting: In all of the sections above, you should be using bullet points, not complete sentences. Hiring managers will only skim your resume initially, and big blocks of text are difficult to skim. An employer will absorb more information about you with a quick skim if your information is arranged in bullet points rather than paragraphs.

Length: As a general rule, your resume shouldn't be over two pages (or one, if you're a recent grad). The longer your resume is, the less likely an employer is to see the parts you want them to see. The initial scan of your resume is about 20 seconds - do you want that divided among three pages, or do you want it focused on the most important things you want to convey? Short and concise means that employers are more likely to read the parts you most care about. Plus, long resumes can make you come across as someone who can't edit and doesn't know what information is essential and what's less important.

Design: Avoid unusual colors or untraditional designs. All most hiring managers want from a resume: a concise, easy-to-scan list of what you've accomplished, organized chronologically by position, plus any particularly notable skills, all presented in a format that they can quickly scan and get the highlights.

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