Resume Tips

“Here it is, for FREE; what does the hiring manager really look for?…”

In today’s tight labor market producing a solid resume, is a skill we should all have. How do you get your CV noticed? As an oft hiring manager, I look for certain attributes, & these are some of the items you might want to consider. Here it is, for FREE; what does the hiring manager really look for?

  1. Make sure your Name is displayed along with an email and/or a phone number. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have seen resumes with no first name (just an initial) or had no way of contacting the applicant even if I had wanted to. If you have a hard to pronounce name, don’t worry, I am professional enough to ask you when we meet, if I am saying it correctly. If you are a Robert, but like to be called Bob, let me know that too. It’s your Name Bob; Use it!
  1. Objectives are for your co-applicants, who don’t know how to write a resume! You don’t need an objective, I know your objective; you want to work with us! The more up to date resumes include Key Performance Achievements, Highlights & Project Accomplishments, double points if you feature something great about yourself near the top! That will keep me reading.
  1. Avoid fluffy, colored, overly used, templated resumes. Clean, concise and to the point. I don’t need or want to see a big fancy font, with colors and textures down the side of the page. That is actually a big distraction. Keep it simple and professional. Use a nice simple font at a reasonable size, space out your sections, and get to the key points. I am busy; the quicker I can analyze your CV the faster I can call you to set up a meeting!
  1. Don’t include a picture. Some countries actually require this on a resume. In Canada, our human rights are always a factor (hiring managers should hire on merit), and honestly I don’t care what you look like! But some hiring managers could, and let’s be honest, it could be a negative influencer.
  1. Be Honest. Be Accurate. I am going to check your references, Google you, look you up on LinkedIn and Facebook. I am going to ask everyone I know in my industry about you, I am going to do my homework. Just be clear, highlight your achievements and be historically correct in your content. And speaking of social media; make sure when you are in the application process, clean yours up! I don’t care how you spend your off-time, but there are certain things that your perspective manager just doesn’t need to know about.
  1. Proofread! I cannot stress this enough. Every hiring manager I have ever talked to (me included) says their biggest pet peeve is spelling and grammatical errors on a CV. I would forgive a cover letter addressing me as “Sir” if the spelling and grammar were perfect! It really says to me that you have taken the time to get it right. I know you will give your job the same consideration. Everyone has access to one friend who can proof & edit, and spellchecker is included in your word processor. Put in the effort, you will see the benefit.


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© Copyright Nikki Biehn  – Alberta Building Careers 2015