We've all seen the statistic that a recruiter only takes 5 to 6 seconds to review a résumé, so we know that résumé first impressions count! I see so many résumé styles come through that I found it necessary to develop a simple list of tips to better organize your information. This won't guarantee that a recruiter will spend more time looking at your résumé, but at least they will get the information and it will potentially earn you that great first impression that's needed within the time they're reviewing.
Résumé Organization Tips
- Pick an easy to read layout or format, and stick with it. Remember, this is a professional representation of you and you are being evaluated on the information provided. Be consistent with clear fonts, spacing, and overall organization, and include dates of employment with each position (example: 05/00-03/15)
- Make it easy for us to reach you—give us your digits! Did you remember to provide your cell phone number and/or home phone number? Email address? If you're on LinkedIn, supply your profile URL. We like reading the information you provide and any recommendations you may have.
- Organize your résumé in reverse chronological order—we want to see your most recent position first. Include detailed information (6-8 bullet points) for the last 10 years of your employment; anything before that can be condensed (3-4 bullet points).
- Include appropriate and relevant accomplishments and responsibilities with each position listed. This is your opportunity to brag on yourself and we LOVE to read it, so ham it up! What was the scope of your role? Were you involved in any special projects or initiatives that lead to increased patient satisfaction or improved survey results, etc.? Are there specific needs listed in the job posting that you have experience with? Add them to your résumé so we can see you have that experience!
- Outline your education and credentials clearly. Include the name of the institution, degree/certification/licensure earned, and year of completion or expected date of completion.
These tips may seem basic, but when you're an experienced leader with many accomplishments and/or positions to share, it's easy to get lost when updating your information. Remember not to make your résumé too lengthy. This is a snapshot of the most important pieces of your career history, and you'll have the opportunity to share more details when you're interviewing.
Good luck with your revisions, and hopefully some of these simple adjustments will help to get you in front of more recruiters, and ultimately connected with hiring managers!
Emily Perkins, Recruiter, MSA Search
Are you actively or passively searching for a new role? LinkedIn is a great resource for candidates and recruiters, and trust me, recruiters are using it daily to source! As a candidate, LinkedIn is the perfect place to sell your talents and skills, but so many individuals don’t complete the profile or simply don’t use it at all. LinkedIn is an excellent professional resource, and you should be taking full advantage of everything it offers. Below are some tips to improve your LinkedIn page as a candidate.
- Complete your profile. This may seem commonplace, but making sure your profile is complete is essential when trying to stand out in a competitive market--some people don’t do it! Tailor your profile to suit your needs and include how you would like to be communicated with, what you’re interested in hearing about or who you’re interested in connecting with, and don’t forget to include a picture (read Stand Out from the Crowd with Your LinkedIn Profile Picture).
- Write a headline and summary. This is your time to grab recruiters' attention--use keywords and tell people who you are and what you’re good at. This section will be the recruiters’ first impression of you, so take time to write it well and make it count!
- Update your Background and Experience Section. Showcasing your experience in this section is as easy as copying and pasting information from your resume. This section is important for recruiters to be able to take a glance and get a good sense of your work experience and accomplishments. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for a couple of recommendations--they’re nice to have.
- Don’t be afraid to connect. LinkedIn is your platform to build relationships with colleagues across the country. Join and participate in Groups, and connect with peers, colleagues, and recruiters. Establish a relationship with a couple of recruiters, introduce yourself and get the conversation going. Even if you’re not interested in making a career move now, the perfect job might come up and the recruiter will remember you.
By making a few simple changes to your profile, you change the way recruiters and colleagues view your experience. You’ll show up in more searches, and be more attractive to recruiters and employers. Don’t forget that social media is huge in today’s world--peers and employers are looking through everything. Be sure to check your privacy settings and keep everything private instead of public; keep this in mind when posting and sharing information as everything should be considered when making sure you put your best foot forward.