We're getting down to the wire now. There are certainly more that 10 elements of resumes, but I selected the 10 that I felt needed the most attention, either because of their importance or how often I see them neglected. Just four commandments left now. I'm including two today because they are both short topics, not requiring separate blogs of their own. So let's get started.
#7: Thou shalt include name and contact on page 2
This one might seem intuitive to some and obvious to others, but believe me, it's overlooked all the time. We all know to create a contact section at the top of page 1 containing our name, email, etc. But remember, once you've used your connections to make your introductions, most companies are still going to require you to apply online, or at a minimum, submit a resume. Once received, your resume is often printed. Imagine this happens, the pages get separated, someone is REALLY impressed with page 2, but cannot identify who this talented, experienced individual is.
Yes, it happens! To avoid this, simply include some basic information on the first line of page 2 (and 3 if you have more than 2 pages). What to include? I recommend three items: Your name (first and last), your phone number, and your LinkedIn profile URL. That's it! Even if your resume pages get separated, your experience will be easily identified, and the employer can still find you to review your LinkedIn profile and call you in for an interview!
#8: Thou shalt list key skills on page 1
We head back to the top portion of page 1 once more, to a topic we covered from a formatting perspective - your key skills. I've spoken about this one before from other perspectives, but given the number of resumes I've come across that lacked this important element, I feel it's worth one more look.
Commandment #2 talked about avoiding tables when building your key skills, and Commandment #3 , discussed what skills to include on your resume. Let's now revisit this area in its entirety.
The top half of page 1 of your resume will get approximately 8 seconds of review by a recruiter or hiring manager. As a result, it needs to include three key elements: contact information, professional summary, and key skills. Doing so, presents the most important information to capture the reader's attention and make them want to read further.
You want to highlight those skills that are particularly relevant to the job you are applying for. Yes, that does mean you will tailor each resume to the specific job you're applying for. We'll talk about this more in tomorrow's blog. Carefully review the job description. What are the key words that are listed as Required, or that are mentioned multiple times? Those are the skills you want to include, assuming you have them, in the key skills area on your resume. Pick both technical and soft skills to reflect the full breadth of the value you bring to your work. One tip people like to use to is to copy/paste the job description into a website like tagcrowd.com to make a word cloud of key words. Another is paste both your resume and the job description into a site like jobscan.co, where, not only can you get a list of the key words, but you can see how your resume stacks up against the job description by seeing what your score is. This is really important if you decide to apply for a job without making use of your network. Certainly not highly recommended by anyone in the career coaching field, but sometimes necessary.
List enough key skills to be thorough without listing a complete laundry list. Let the skills you most want to highlight for that job shine through. List them in order of importance from left to right and top to bottom. In the header picture above, Global Media Strategy is the highest priority skill, followed by Digital Planning & Execution and so on. Take time to review the job description, choose the skills to include and lay them out appropriately. I recommend 3 across and 3-5 lines, giving you up to 15 key skills to share right up front on page 1.
Almost there! Just two commandments left. Tomorrow we cover the time-consuming, yet critical customization of your resume for each job.
I've had several people ask where they can obtain past blogs and will be posting them soon to my website. The first two are already there. The rest are soon to come.
Thanks for reading and good luck in your search!