Q: I recently was told by a hiring manager my resume needs to
be improved. What does that mean? Why would someone say that? I was
given no specific comments.
I am not sure what your resume looks like, but let me share some tips which address common resume problems.
1. Different fonts and inconsistent spacing make resumes look sloppy.
A resume with a consistent and legible font is easier to read. Spacing
should also be easy to follow.
2. No typos allowed. You are not allowed to have typos or spelling
errors. Have a few others review your resume to catch these mistakes.
Sometimes we don’t catch our own errors.
3. Your contact info should be readily available at the top of your
resume. Your name, address, phone numbers and maybe a URL for your
Linkedin address. Don’t make it tough for a recruiter to track you down!
4. In addition to some of your responsibilities, think about what you
accomplished in past role. An example: Hired 12 Ruby engineers at an
average cost per hire of $6K. Or, worked on CRM implementation saving
the company $100,000. Most recruiters like to see metrics on what you
have achieved or what you have accomplished.
5. Grammatical errors are unacceptable. Know the difference between there, their and they’re and to, two and too.
6. Too dense or too much information. A resume should be, at most,
two to three pages. My resume is just under three pages and includes
lots of white space and font size 10. Remember, a resume is selected
highlights, not every task you have ever completed. Search online using
the term “sample resume” and many sample resumes will be found. It is
sometimes helpful to review resume samples to think about new formats,
wording or how to condense.
Lastly, when you have a final version ready, put it down. Don’t share
it. Review it a day or so later with “fresh eyes” and confirm that it
is the best version it can be.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.