By Angela Hayes, Ph.D.
Those reviewing resumes spend between 3-30 seconds on your resume and you will go in the yes, no, or maybe pile based on that small amount of time. Increase your chances of landing in the yes pile by following these guidelines:
1. Make sure you have the right key words for the position to which you are applying. Many organizations send their resumes through scanning software first. If you don’t have the right key words, you might get taken out of the running before anyone has even seen your resume. Here’s a tool you can use to check how well you’ve addressed the relevant key words: https://tinyurl.com/ybyju8hl
2. Center your main headings. As odd as it sounds, research shows that if you center your main headings (Professional Profile, Professional Experience, Education, etc.,) you will be considered a higher level candidate with more promotion potential.
3. Create a Professional Profile at the top. The days of Objectives are long gone. Start the resume off on the right foot by telling the potential employer what you have to offer. An objective tells them what you want from them, and is often too vague to make that crucial positive first impression. A Professional Profile should include your years of experience, outline of your most relevant professional experience and include your special skills and attributes.
4. Add lines between your sections. Research shows that people are more likely to read your resume if it have lines to break up the sections. It gives a sharper look and makes the content seem less overwhelming.
5. Use strong action verbs at the beginning of each bullet (and always use bullets, never block text). Avoid “responsibilities included” when possible and tell them what you did, with metrics/accomplishments when possible so that the employer can see the scope of what you can do. Also write in active rather than passive voice. Collected and Analyzed sounds much stronger than “was involved in the collecting and analyzing of.”
Angela serves as the Associate Director of Alumni and Online Career Engagement. Prior to coming to CSU, she worked as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Graduate Student Career Services at Kansas State University. She has a B.S. in Psychology, an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Ph.D. in Professional Coaching and Human Development. She’s a nationally Board Certified Coach and a nationally Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
She has a passion for helping others to see their lives as full of possibilities and un-tapped potential. She views changes/transitions (both planned and unplanned) as opportunities for individuals to discover and plan out what they really want from their careers and lives.