Many of my clients frequently ask me for my opinion on the do’s and don’t’s of a good résumé.

Let me begin by saying résumé advice is highly subjective. Everyone has an opinion and everyone will find fault in your advice. I am going to go out on a limb and let you in on what I think is a basic, generalized format (IMHO):

Contact Info: Name, Cell, Email, Address, LinkedIn URL (this is new – make it like www.linkedin.com/in/richgee)

Summary Statement: 1-2 sentences that clearly define who you are and what you’re looking for. Feel free to add a few bulleted items – not a lot. It needs to be powerful and slightly provacative.

Experience: Company/Location/Duration/Title – then have a few critical bullet points that focus on what you delivered and the result. Pick the best ones – throw out the fluff.

Education: Keep it short and sweet. Add in any related experience, workshops, seminars, etc. That’s learning.

Activities: One line, make them interesting. A good hiring manager is looking for enthusiasm and fit – give it to them.

Optional: If you have room – add a testimonial or two from important people you’ve worked with. You can grab them from LinkedIn. I have a client who had two testimonials from the presidents of both companies they worked for – I told her to showcase them!

Length:
1 Page – New to the workforce – 1-2 years out of school.
2 Pages – Normal – 3-10 years in the workforce.
3 Pages – Experienced – 11-30 years in the workforce.
4+ Pages – C-Level Executive.

Format:
Font: Helvetica – don’t play with serif fonts (my opinion)
Columns: 1 inch either side – give it space
Leading (space between lines): 1.2 – give it space
Size: 10-12 point – normal reading font size
Footer: Your name and ‘Page 1 of 3 Pages’ (it helps)
Delivery: PDF (Word attachment if asked) – it keeps the format

Again – this is my opinion and can be seen on most résumés. Remember, most recruiters and hiring managers are going to initially spend 8-10 seconds scanning your résumé. The more you make your résumé unique, the harder it will be to absorb key info and they’ll toss it into the circular file cabinet. Keep it simple, concise, and easy to read/scan.

If you are in a specialized industry, you will (of course) modify what I’ve listed above.

  • Creative – add a bit more color, font use, even a subtle graphic (photo).
  • IT/Engineer – add more areas for tools/software etc.

If you have any more questions, call me anytime. – Rich