Today’s job market is scarce, and just as times have changed so has the way a resume is destined for either an interview or the round filing cabinet.
According to Michael Wong, Director of Career Services for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, “The best information to include is relevant experience, skills, education and contact information.”
It’s all about branding — selling yourself, and the following are ways to brand yourself without shooting yourself in the foot.
Bold Your Name, Leave Out the Title
Add value to your name; bold your name, and leave out a title. People are more likely to hire you for your skills or values rather than your title. For example, instead of saying “Megan Smith, Journalist,” consider putting “Megan Smith, Determined Contributor” as a value. This tells the person reading your resume exactly what you will do for the company. If your name is hard to forget, you have a better chance of getting hired.
Emphasize With Email
Only include a professional email address and cell phone number for contact. Most companies don’t send letters anymore. Instead, they‘ll email or call you. If you don’t have a professional email, create one. For instance, email@example.com is not going to get the best reaction from a perspective employer. A simple email with your first and last name will do fine.
Objectives are nice to have but not needed on a resume. It tells what you are trying to accomplish, but doesn’t say who you are. No one wants to hire someone who is trying to become a journalist. They want the person that is a journalist.
For instance, if you meet someone that says they’re trying to be a good friend instead of saying they are a great friend, a red flag would tell you to dispose of them quickly. You want your resume to end up on the desk of the person who will hire you. Objectives keep you from that desk and into human resources, where it is filed for a position someone is aiming to be someday.
“Objectives can be a waste of space and vague,” said Wong. “They can also be taken the wrong way, and the company can think you are telling them what you want the company to be.”
Instead of objectives, list skills in which you are proficient. Employers are looking for a person who can do things with little training, so be truthful. If you aren’t that great in HTML, don’t put it on your resume. It is okay to mention it in an interview later.
“I would like to see a summary of qualifications instead of objectives,” said Wong.
After skills, include your work history. Employers want to know what type of experience you have, how long and how dependable you are. Longevity with a company stands out and relays you are looking for a place to remain. Don’t put every job you ever worked on your resume; put the jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
On a resume, a job title doesn’t mean much in today’s society; instead, give a description. For example:
Instead of writing: Technical Support Leader, Blue Bird and Bell
Next, put your education. Don’t include every college or high school you ever went to. Include only the institutions in which you received a degree. If you have a GPA less than 3.5, don’t include the GPA. List the degrees you’ve received and the skills that were gained. By doing this you will create a clear picture of the person they are looking for.
Less Is More
The less information provided, the better. Never give anyone a reason to question your abilities in a position. And never include a picture, unless, of course, you are applying for a modeling job.
In today’s society, a resume isn’t the only way to get to know a person. Companies are searching Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have an account with any of the three multimedia powerhouses, be sure that they will review the type of person you say you are and the person they see on the site.
Delete party pictures with alcohol, nude or obscene pictures and comments that may be inappropriate. Corporations find a person shows their true self when they aren’t being managed, and this is how they find out that information in today’s world.
Be positive when submitting your resume, and remember your goal is to impress, connect and get hired.