Friday, July 06, 2007

Resume Help

As a recruiter, I see some pretty tragic resumes. At one job, our recruiting team had a resume wall of shame - those with photos on them, that listed silly personal habits, suggestive email addresses, and more. I mean seriously, I've seen it ALL!

It is a personal interest of mine to rid the world of crappy resumes, one job seeker at a time!!! I personally think that the simplest format is always the best - it's able to get scanned through applicant tracking systems easily, and flows fluidly for recruiters that fly through resumes (like me). Trust me, a good resume will take you much further, even with the same experience, skills, personality, or *whatever*, than one that reads or flows poorly!!

In the quest to enlighten my good readers and for future friends/ colleagues/ acquaintances that need assistance with creating a resume, I have developed a simple template that might get you started. This easy format allows one to just add the content of your professional experience, and VOILA!

For those non-technical types, just negate the TOOLS, HARDWARE, and OS sections, but for you technies - laying out your experience in these sections is very helpful for recruiters. However, don't forget to list which tools you used in each position - that's very important!

And a few don'ts for building the perfect resume:
  • Never use the first person, e.g. I, me, myself, in your resume.
  • No photos!
  • Be sparing and choosy if you choose your personal interests, and if you do, list it LAST on the resume (I actually got my first job out of college because of something personal I listed on my resume, so I'm careful to coach against it, but honestly, I always look at personal interests and think "who cares?")
  • No personal information like age, marital status, parental status, etc.
  • Don't leave huge gaps in your resume; if there are gaps in your employment, perhaps adding in a line regarding your purpose for the gap would be helpful (such as personal sabbatical, medical leave, went back to school, etc.)
  • DO NOT list an unprofessional email address - misskitty1981@yahoo is totally unacceptable. Create a new one for your job search if your primary address is similar to the aforementioned.
  • Don't lie about your professional and educational achievements!
I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any input/ questions/ feedback regarding my template, I welcome it.

Good luck and happy job hunting! Love, Mer

City, State Zip
Mobile Number
Email Address
Website/ Blog address


What kind of position are you seeking, what industry do you want to target, which professional skills do you want to utilize in your next job?


(Example) Perl, MySQL, Linux, Apache, Mason, XML, XSL, HTML, JavaScript, Java, MS C++, ASP, 8086 Assembly, Fortran, COBOL, network firewall and hack-proof server installation and configuration, and automatic mass website building.

Specialty: Web applications development for e-commerce businesses.


Company – City, State TAB Month, Year – Month, Year

•Responsibilities, experience, and skills/ tools used; repeat as necessary

Company – City, State TAB Month, Year – Month, Year

•Responsibilities, experience, and skills/ tools used; repeat as necessary

*Repeat employers as necessary


•College Name, Year - Degree

•Feel free to expand on classes taken which contribute to your repertoire of skills
•You might want to add organizations in which you participating
•Only add your GPA if it's about about a 3.2 (that's my personal opinion)

*Repeat schools as necessary, including study abroad experiences

•School, Education institution, Vendor, Year
• Certification or other info on education/training

•Adapt as needed for security clearances, etc


•List of applications and software tools experience if applicable – usually most appropriate for developers, DBAs, QA candidates. Project managers might list MS project, etc. Management positions may or may not find this applicable

•Put logically associated software on a separate bullet – like all QA tools on one, Project management tools on another, etc.


•List of hardware experience if applicable – usually appropriate for systems engineers, systems administrators, network/security administrator candidates

•Put logically associated hardware on a separate bullet – like all network type systems on one, servers on another – or maybe firewalls utilized on one, Network scanners on another, etc.


•List of OS’s used if applicable for technical candidates – usually not needed for managers, etc.


•If applicable.

1 comment:

darbyDarnit said...

Great post Mer. I think my resume follows almost all of your recommended guidance, except that I choose to use a short "Summary of Qualifications" for the intro instead of highlighting the type of job I'm seeking. I find the latter to be unnecessary because if they're sending me a resume, I know what they're looking for. And if that section doesn't exactly match what is available, it may eliminate them from consideration, even though they may be a fit for something else. But you are the recruiting expert, so I welcome additional feedback on that.