Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Thursday, June 23, 2016
When is comes to the perfect resume keep in mind there is going to be a difference of opinion depending on who you ask. Perceived perfection is in the eye of the beholder. There is not just one style, format or guide for a resume; you want to stand out but for the right reason.
The key to a great resume is to first make sure that your resume contains all the vital information and that the information is presented in a clear concise and professional, format. Also I recommend that you tailor your resume to the job you are applying to. Probably equally important is that you proof read your resume, have at least one other person proof read it as well as utilizing spell check to make sure it has no typos spelling or grammatical errors. These types of errors will put even the near perfect resumes at the bottom of the pile or on the pass list.
Here are some tips for creating your perfect resume:
• Review the description and target qualifications for the position you are applying to and make sure you include and highlight the skills and experience and qualities you bring to that position within your resume.
• Choose a readable font and font size. Times, Calibri, and Ariel for example are good choices, this is not the time to go fancy your resume needs to be easy to read
• Include your Name and best number and email to reach you- keep it simple one or two phone numbers and an email address. Tip: Consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile too if you would like
• Include a simple objective clearly stating your target role or position. Make sure this is applicable and tailored to the position you are applying for. It is confusing to read a resume stating the person is looking for a Sales position for example when the job they applied for was not in Sales.
• Highlight your key accomplishments, achievements and certifications
• For someone with a more technical background outline your technical skills and knowledge with various platforms, languages, systems etc. in an organized list or table. You can include this section either before your work history or after your work history; personally I prefer a skills overview at the top of the resume so I can quickly see what areas the candidate is proficient in.
• Include educational background, all higher level education and at least the highest level of education you have completed. Level of degree, type of degree, Name of School you attended and any honors or awards received. It is your choice to put education before or after work history.
• Experience: Include at least the last 5-10 years of work experience. Use the same format for all work history, including company name, your title, location and dates in the position preferably including Month and Years you were employed.
Use simple bullets to highlight you accomplishments and key skills activities and responsibilities in each of your positions putting more emphasis on your current or recent work vs something further in the past.
• How long is the perfect resume? In my opinion, the perfect resume is no more than 2 pages. If you resume is longer than 2 pages don’t automatically start hitting the delete button, take a moment to review all the information you have included determine if is it relevant to the job you are applying for. Remember your resume is a snapshot of your background, experience and the skills you bring. You don’t have to list out every item in your job description from your last job but rather summarize your duties and responsibilities and more importantly your key accomplishments and achievements. Think of your resume as the trailer to the movie.
• Use action words where you can, developed, created, researched, collaborated, increased etc. make sure your bullets are clear and not redundant.
• Extra stuff? I would leave off any personal items like hobbies or personal details. However if you have room consider including any outside activities like volunteer work, non- profit work other special skills or training.
I hope this helps you on your way to creating a resume that is perfect for you!