Resume editing

It’s no secret that the resume is one of the most, if not the most important item employers will evaluate in the hiring process.  As such, your resume should be impeccably polished with zero errors.

 

Resume Purpose

You resume is your opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself in a concise manner to the prospective employer.  The resume should be clear, relevant, and compelling.  It should target the employer’s interests and demonstrate the aptitude and experience necessary to perform the job.  This is an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself in the applicant pool.  Do not use the resume as a list of everything you have done in your life; you must strike a balance between providing enough, relevant information, and providing too much information that will overload the reader.

You resume is your opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself in a concise manner to the prospective employer.The resume should be clear, relevant, and compelling.It should target the employer’s interests and demonstrate the aptitude and experience necessary to perform the job.This is an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself in the applicant pool.Do not use the resume as a list of everything you have done in your life; you must strike a balance between providing enough, relevant information, and providing too much information that will overload the reader.

Remember when writing your resume to identify the perspective of the reader and to tailor your resume accordingly.  It may be helpful to give your resume to friends and family; they will read your resume differently than you will and can give you insight into gaps you may want to fill or red flags you would not have otherwise caught.

 

Use Parallel Construction 

Ensure that you use consistent fonts, headers, sizes, bullets, etc. such that parallel items are formatted identically.  If you have square bullets for the list of your awards, you should also have square bullets for the list of your leisure activities.  If one such list is in paragraph format, the others should be as well.

 

Use Appropriate Construction

Perhaps more important than using parallel construction is using appropriate construction.  Your headers should be simple and concise and easily differentiated from the main content.  Your fonts should be ‘standard’ fonts: Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, Verdana, etc.  Avoid Courier New unless you want to come across as if you prepared your resume on a typewriter.  You should also avoid using too many types of differentiators, i.e. avoid having something denoted by bold letters, something else denoted by italics, another by bold italics, another by underlined words, and another by all caps, etc.  This will make your resume too confusing to follow.

 

How Many Pages?

A common question students have about their resumes is the length.  Rule 1: unless you have tens of publications and years of experience in diverse positions and industries, your resume should not be three pages long.  If your resume is three pages long, you have either added too much information or have spaced out your resume too much; condense the formatting and/or delete content.

Various schools of thought exist around one- or two-page resumes.  This is ultimately your preference, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.  First, even some of the most accomplished students are able to fit their resume onto one page; if you are adding the stint you did at Metrotown in ‘customer service’ or your nights spent as a server, you can cut that down to a page.  Second, remember that being concise and brief while leaving out a few important details is more prudent than including the day-to-day of your experiences.  If an employer wants more details, he or she will ask for them in the interview.  Third, recruiters who read many resumes are often overwhelmed and/or bored.  Even if their guidelines specifically indicate a second page is acceptable, be aware that page 2 may simply go unread.  A former admissions officer from a Top 5 MBA program in the US states that “Even though the application allowed for a second or third page, and it was the goal of the admission officers to read the entire application, 90% of the time, we would not even look at the second page.”  Be aware that your reader may feel this way as well; your best chances of having your entire resume read are to have your entire resume on a single page.  Fourth, sometimes two pages are just necessary.  If you really feel that everything will be relevant for an employer, do not be afraid to leave it in your resume.  Just be aware that what’s on page 2 may not be read, so make sure to put all the important points on page 1.

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