Ten tips for buffing your resume
By: Stephanie J. Underwood
, Senior Vice President and Consultant
Having worked in the executive healthcare recruiting business for more than two decades, I’ve seen any consultant’s share of disastrous resumes. While your resume is a document, it’s an extension of yourself. It provides a window into not only your experience, but also your attention to detail. Below are 10 guidelines to follow to ensure your resume gets noticed in a positive way.
- Spelling Errors, typos and poor grammar: Don’t rely on spell check alone; ask someone to proof your resume only for typos and grammar once you have it finalized.
- Too duty-oriented: Beware of cut and pasting your job description. Highlight your accomplishments and results, not a list of duties.
- Omission of dates or inaccurate dates: One of the first things recruiters and hiring managers look for is gaps in employment. While this doesn’t mean you can’t have a gap, be sure to disclose your start month and year and end month and year in each role you list. Be prepared to discuss gaps.
- Incomplete/inaccurate contact information; unprofessional e-mail address: Save the firstname.lastname@example.org for your personal e-mails; use a more professional address (.e.g. email@example.com) for career purposes.
- Poor formatting: This is particularly important if you’ve had several jobs with a single employer. The information should be formatted to convey this, rather than having it look like you are a job hopper. (For ideas, see how Methodist Health Management, Inc. is formatted in this sample resume.)
- Functional rather than chronological presentation: Don’t be tempted to develop a functional resume. Employers and search consultants are looking for candidates who have successfully assumed increasing job responsibility. The best way to convey this is to present the information chronologically.
- Too lengthy: There’s a big difference between a resume and a (generally much lengthier) curriculum vitae (CV), which is used mostly for academic, education, scientific or research positions, and in some cases fellowships or grants. Send out a 27-page CV at your own risk. If the job for which you are applying is at the executive or administrative/managerial level, you must have a well-prepared, concise resume.
- Use of paragraphs instead of bullet points: Don’t forget that only resumes that get read can lead to a job interview. Increase your odds by formatting the resume in an attractive easy-to-read style.
- Clear lack of qualifications for the job: I once received a resume from a fellow who sold wine in a high-end setting who tried to convince me he had the requisite “customer service” skills I was seeking in a Service Line Administrator role. Be realistic in your skills and potential.
- Absence of descriptive information about employer(s): Don’t assume that anyone reviewing your resume will know anything about your employer. Always include a brief description under each employer, such as, “Eco Beach Health System, a four-hospital system with 6,500 FTEs and net revenues of $350 million.”
Hungry for more tips, including those on how to prepare a proper executive resume? Be sure to read all entries in the Cover Letters and Resumes category in News, Articles, Blogs.
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