Volume 119: Making Your Resume WOW

By: Teresa Hundt -Senior Associate/Head of Training at Oberg and Associates

Let’s be frank and talk about resumes.

Everyone who wants to explore opportunities needs to have one and as a recruiter, I look at resumes all day long. There are some that I see, and I can say hands down, “Wow, I’m impressed!” But more often than not, I say, “womp, womp.” So, let’s explore ways to make your resume a WOW. And now is the perfect time to dust off the old resume and explore what’s out there. The industry is booming and companies are becoming more and more competitive when it comes to attracting top talent.

General Resume Notes:

  • Always list a Personal Email and phone number, not your work email or the plant number. If you don’t have a personal email, go to google.com and create one.
  • Personal information has no place on a Professional Resume. Please don’t list your marital status, DOB, or personal hobbies.
  • You can lead with an Objective, however, if you do, don’t follow up with a Career Summary. Choose one.
  • Avoid listing references or saying, “references available upon request”. This is implied and if the Hiring Manager wants them, he/she will ask for the references.
  • Black ink is best, no pictures and colors are needed.
  • Formatting is incredibly important. Make sure you use the same font and font size throughout. Be consistent. If you bold your title once, then bold all titles.

Under Skills Summary:

  • This is not a place for “works well in a noisy environment” or “able to work independently as part of a team”. Those things are implied and just fill space.
  • If you are going to list computer programs, list relevant industry ones. Microsoft Office is great but doesn’t need to be listed here. There is an assumption that you use all Microsoft Programs/Applications.
  • This is a good place to list committees that you’re a part of, the equipment you’ve worked on or with, lean manufacturing training, and leadership programs.

Under Professional Experience:

  • Try to keep Title, Company, and Location on one line, it will look cleaner.
  • Positions must be listed in Chronological Order from the most recent at the top.
  • Avoid longwinded paragraphs, no one likes to read dense word blocks. Instead, break them up into bullets, trying to stay under 5-6 bullets. The best content for this section is quantifiable data. For example, reduced waste by 1.4% and not just Reduced Waste.
  • Avoid the word “I”. Instead of “I managed a crew of 65 hourly employees”, use “Managed a crew of 65 hourly employees”.
  • Do not list salary or reason for leaving. Even if you left for a promotion or another positive reason, this information is best saved for the interview. The only notable exception to this rule is in the event of a plant closure.
  • List Military Service: Branch, Rank, Deployments (if applicable), awards/medals received, Honorable Discharge, general tasks. As stated above, if this is exceptional, lead with it before your Professional Experience. If you don’t feel it was, list it as part of your Professional Experience in the time frame it follows.
  • If a position is more than 20 years old, or not relevant to the industry you are trying to work, only list Title and Company.

Education:

  • Lead with your best punch. Start with the most advanced Degree you have and work backward: Ph.D., Master’s, Bachelor’s, Associate’s, High School Diploma/GED. Don’t list GPA.
  • As stated above, if you feel your Master’s degree is your best pitch, list Education before Experience.
  • List relevant training. (Name the course, what company ran the course, and when you completed the course)

Making a good first impression is very important when seeking out a new role and your resume is the first opportunity for hiring managers to get to know you. Hiring managers also spend a lot of time looking at resumes so make sure that they don’t get bogged down looking at “filler” information. These tips will definitely help you stand out and get you noticed over your competition. As I mentioned earlier, now is the perfect time to explore all the possibilities and leverage your career!

If you’d like to learn more about resumes or the opportunities we have available, please reach out to me at teresa@obergassociates.com. I’d be more than happy to share more insights with you and help you leverage your career.

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