Can you look at my resume? I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count. The answer is always an excited “yes, here is my email address”! I love helping people present themselves in the best possible way to secure that next step in their career. Whether you are just graduating or have decades of experience, are in the A/E Industry or not, here are some tips on how to get that resume ready to send (electronically, preferably, but we’ll get to that). Current SHP employees, this post won’t interest you at all, in fact it’s really boring, don’t read on…
When I graduated college I was told cautionary tales that if my resume was over one page, not on good quality paper, or had a typo on it, it was going straight into the trash. Some of these myths still linger today.
I believe the old one-page rule was born out of necessity; paper files were hard to manage and could get expensive to mail if they were too large. In 2012 you should be sending your resume electronically. It’s easier for you, and it’s easier for the hiring company. Don’t use this as license to tell your life story though, carefully choose what information to include. As years pass and you update your resume, don’t simply add your most recent job (which should be listed first). Use that opportunity to clear out old data. Do away with the old Career Objective, and replace it with a Professional Summary or Profile. I know you want to secure a job with a stable company in the field you were educated in. Use this space to tell me who you are and what your passion is. Be sure to include all your technical skills, even if they may seem obvious based on your experience. Unless you are a new graduate, you can eliminate collegiate activities. Never include personal information that is not relevant to the position.
A misspelling or grammatical error might not send your resume to the recycle bin, but those mistakes are distracting and won’t help you. Always spell-check, proofread, and then ask a friend to do the same. Don’t count on MS Word to catch you’re vs. your.
Keep the layout neat and clean. Our industry allows more creativity than others, particularly with design and color, but don’t overdo it. I once received a resume and I couldn’t find the applicant’s name, which was beautifully woven into a painted watercolor background…but I couldn’t find the applicant’s name.
Once it’s formatted just the way you want it, save it as an Adobe pdf. Now you are ready to send it from your personal, yet professional email address – not from your work account, and not from firstname.lastname@example.org. Start an email account just for your job search if necessary.
Some lingering questions remain about our economy and the job market, but there are good opportunities out there and I continue to hear success stories. Will you be the next one?