Tips For Writing a Good Resume

Posted on December 06, 2016 By Rich Jarett | TAGS: Interviews, Resumes

Tips For Writing a Good Resume - Princeton Consulting

No one likes writing a resume, but it's crucial to get it right, and it's worth spending some time to do so.

This is possibly one of the most important steps to securing an interview and ultimately, your ideal job. I review dozens of resumes a week, and the advice below will hopefully help in getting the attention of either a recruiter or hiring manager.

Here is how we will look at your resume - education, credentials, skill set, and the last few roles you have had. That's about 10 seconds to make a good impression! If you get past that, we will read on and then evaluate you for the position.

Some do's and don'ts:

If you work in IT make your resume as technically relevant as possible. List your skills, and any newer technologies you have used. Do not list out dated tech or a technology or language you haven't used in a few years. You do not want to be asked about that only to tell a manager you are actually a bit rusty. Keep your skill set summary up to date and focus on what you utilize now, especially in your employment details.

Do not lie or embellish. You will likely be found out and it's not going to end well!

Do describe any achievements or projects you are proud of, tell a compelling story.

Your resume does not have to be one page, neither should it be an essay. 2 pages is ideal, 3 pages maximum. It's not so important what you did 10 years ago, so keep that experience summary briefer.

Do not talk about yourself in the third person. Just don't. If you want to inflict a similar spate of wincing, scrape your nails down a chalk board.

Do not use unusual fonts and do make sure your resume is visually consistent. Check the dates and spell check.

A personal summary/profile or career objective is not needed, talk about your relevent skills and experience in your actual employment history. A technical/skill summary is a good idea, but again make sure it is pertinent and current.

Personal interests are also irrelevant. The idea is to show you are a good fit with your skills and experience and be as unobjectionable as possible in any other way. I myself would love to talk to you for hours about your 'Game of Thrones' fan site, but others may have never seen it (I have actually met one or two who haven't, amazingly), so keep this information off a resume.

You don't need to list references or say 'available on request'.

Do not add a photo. You don't want any extra level of evaluation, harsh as it sounds. Smile and you could look cocky or mildly deranged, don't smile and you can look grumpy, or worse, it could look like a mugshot. If you are on social media, you will be tracked down anyway, which leads me to another point - don't have anything remotely incriminating available for public viewing. That Instagram picture of you looking well sozzled with 18 empty shot glasses in front of you is not a great idea at this stage.

If you are on LinkedIn, make sure your details are current and match your resume.  

Don't ramble on, detail is good but keep it interesting and engaging.

Do not use subjective descriptions and don't brag. You may think you are a team player and a top class developer but don't say it, your experience and career progression should speak for itself.

Be specific. What are your exact responsibilities? Don't assume a manager or recruiter knows exactly what you do by your job title.

Hope that helps, and you can reach out to any of us at Princeton Group to get tips and advice!

(Yes I have an obsession with 'The IT Crowd')