What Sets a Good Resume Apart From the Bad?

 In Insights

What Sets a Good Resume Apart From the Bad?

Google sees 50,000 resumes a week – What sets the good apart from the bad?

Laszlo Bock, Sr. VP of People Operation at Google recently shared on LinkedIn that they’re hiring and get up to 50,000 resumes in a single week, and that more than half of those have mistakes that prevent candidates from making it past the first round.

Coming off a week where I spent over an hour of just editing my candidates resumes, I feel this question can never be asked enough- are you confident that your resume stacks up to the competition, and do you think it’s good enough to get you the introduction? Read on for the common mistakes that we see every day and how you will seriously set yourself apart if you just avoid them.

1)  Formatting – Your focus should be on making your resume clean and legible. At least 10-point font, (I prefer 10 or 11-point; 12 point can appear that you are making an effort to fill up the page), with at least half-inch margins. White paper- black ink. No graphics, logos or fancy colors (you’re only impressing yourself when you do this). And please make it CONSISTENT. I cannot tell you how aggravating it is to see the font and format and spacing that is different from one job to the next- it looks like you copy and pasted from various documents and yes, employers notice.

2)  Typos – A 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that 58% of resumes have typos. Enough said.

3)   Voice – Which is the best out of the three? :

  1. “I am an accomplished Business Analyst who takes pride in what they do…
  2. “Mr. Johnson is an accomplished Business Analyst who takes pride in what he does…”
  3. “An accomplished Business Analyst who takes pride in doing the best work….”

My vote is for C. It’s objective and professional. I strongly suggest to avoid the first-person voice but if you do, make sure the tense is consistent throughout. Again, consistency is always key.

4)  What you don’t need and what you do- let’s start with the metaphorical fat you can trim:

  1. No – ‘Objective’ – they are too generic. Of course everyone wants a position where they ‘can be challenged and grow’ etc. so that is implied if you are sending your resume- no need to say it.
  2. No – names of references. You can simply state ‘references provided upon request’ at the end of the resume.
  3. No – lengthy introduction letter or overly long summary. Anything longer than a paragraph, no employer is going to read.

Do include:

  1. Do – add details about the company! At the heading of each role when you state the company, have a short description that includes the industry and company size. This is incredibly helpful because the first thing a client is going to do is look up the current company if they do not recognize the name.
  2. Do – add detailed bullet points! This is the time to be detailed. Be specific about projects and accomplishments. I find that bullet points tend to be more effective than paragraphs as they ‘jump out’ at the reader.
  3. Do – quantify. Add numbers and figures such as budget sizes and how large of a team you’ve managed. It’s a disservice when you don’t add numbers because they paint a much cleared picture of what you’ve done.
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