At Acuity HR, we work with candidates and clients from a wide variety of industries through recruitment searches and career transition work. This has allowed us to work with people in many different stages of their job search. Are you currently in job search mode? Maybe you are just getting started or have been in the job market for a while. In any stage it is important to be prepared and stand out in the right way so this article is for you! The following tips are based on the most common pitfalls we have observed or corrected with our candidates and are ways you can quickly impact your job search.
Our first round of tips focus on resume writing. Your resume is the most important document in your job search. Most employers (unless they use an application form) will require a copy in order to consider you as a candidate. Spending some extra time to perfect your resume will make a big difference.
Tip #1: Keep an appropriate length. The appropriate length of a resume depends on your experience. If you are an entry level candidate, less is more – keep your resume concise and use a two page maximum as a guideline. For mid-level candidates or those with technical experience, a two-page resume is appropriate, but you may find that you need to use more space. Relevance on your resume is crucial, so the “two page maximum” is simply a guideline not a rule. As you advance in your career, your experience will naturally expand on your resume. Executives and senior-level managers will typically have a resume longer than two pages.
Tip #2: Include dates. Ensure that your employment history is clearly laid out in reverse chronological order (beginning with the most recent). Include dates to help the hiring manager better understand your experience and increase your chances of securing an interview. Accuracy in employment history demonstrates both attention to detail and integrity.
Tip #3: Be consistent. Use an easy-to-navigate layout with a simple font so that important information regarding your experience and education is easily accessible to the hiring manager. While a creative resume can be eye catching and set you apart from other applicants, make sure that your resume doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons by proofreading to ensure that it is free from errors.