When we present a resume, we do it with three main goals – to get noticed, to be recognized for the value you can bring to the role, and to be remembered. My recommendations have these goals in mind.
A Google search for “simple resume templates” will generate a few options of formats you can use. The best templates are clean and simple, and they will allow you to easily change the colours to your choice. A lot of companies use Application Tracking Systems. Using simple Word templates will improve the likelihood of your resume fitting into those systems without error.
The Summary / Objective statement on your resume is very important!
I’ll always suggest this section should be limited to 3-5 sentences at the most, and it should share three main points only: This is who I am, This is what I’ve done, and This is why I believe you should consider me for this opportunity.
Example: I am a PROFESSIONAL TITLE. I earned my BACHELOR’s degree from XYZ University. I have # years of experience working within this capacity at ABC Company, and currently (or most recently) I’m working at DEF Group as a CURRENT TITLE. I have been recognized/promoted by my previous employers because of the cost reduction I was able to generate by implementing a new process for capturing LMN data and identify wastage. I am applying to your team because I believe my strengths will support the NEW COMPANY team in the NEW JOB TITLE capacity.
Cover letters are a thing of the past, recruiters don’t read them, and typically don’t even bother sending them to the hiring managers for review. Keep in mind, recruiters, especially corporate recruiters, don’t have time to read your resume – they scan them. Handing them 3-5 sentences of pure gold information in your Summary / Objective statement is going to get you noticed and through the gate a lot faster than burying the same information in a cover letter.
- Consider the colour in your resume –It’s always a good idea to match your resume with the company you’re applying to (ie: CIBC is burgundy, Cargill is green)
- Bullets are great, make sure they all start with verbs, and they are in consistent tense (for consistency in the entire document I will suggest you keep them all in present tense – [BT1] coach, manage, assess)
- White space is important – let’s make sure that when someone is scanning your resume, they will see what you want them to see
- Lastly, it’s important that your resume is a document you feel proud of – this is your FIRST and possibly your ONLY opportunity to make a good impression on the hiring manager or recruiter
A few more things that I’ll mention in regard to resumes…
The best practice is to keep a Master Resume. This will include everything you’ve ever done. And under every job you’ve had, you’ll list out every responsibility, learning, task you had there… everything! Every training you take, add it. Every job you have, add it. Every volunteer activity you’ve done, add it.
Then when it comes time to apply for a new job, delete everything from your Master Resume that doesn’t directly support your current application.
An Application Resume should be two pages maximum (unless you are a PhD and have published works, those should be listed on page 3). Each job should include only those top 4-5 responsibilities, with accomplishments, that demonstrate how that role and your past experiences support your application to this particular role today.
Your resume is to you what the golden arches is to McDonald’s….. so let’s make sure it’s as impressive and as memorable!
*I support job seekers who are legally entitled to work in Canada and who are willing to commit long term to their new employer. I focus on supporting Saskatchewan – people and companies. If you are interested in finding work within Saskatchewan or are looking for quality people to hire in Saskatchewan, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.