Resume Writing—Part 1: From Top to Bottom

I have heard seasoned HR individuals state that in as little as 10 – 60 seconds they can look at your resume and determine whether you have what they want and they say the clock starts from the moment they pick up your resume. Impossible? Not really. My next couple of articles will address how you can increase your resume “look time.”

So, let’s start with the obvious. Most people thoughtlessly insert their name, address, phone number, email address and move on to the “important” stuff. But there are some critical decisions to consider in these 3 items and one of the first is whether you should include your home address. My advice is NOT to include your address on your resume.

Over the years I have heard numerous HR persons telling me that they routinely disregard resumes based on their belief the individual lives too far away from the job location. They simply make an assumption and act on that assumption. I suggest you insert “Greater Atlanta Area” or “Metro Atlanta Area” and if distance is a critical factor, you can discuss it at the time of the interview.

I also suggest you list your cell phone instead of home number because it never seems to fail that when the home phone rings the dog begins to bark, or the kids start to fight or the TV is too loud to have a conversation and you can’t find the remote. With a cell phone you can step outside of the chaos and have a professional conversation thereby making a favorable first impression.

An even better idea might be using the FREE Google Voice service. You select from a list of available, local phone numbers, use that number only for your job search and have it forwarded to any phone you want (say your cell phone). You will get a distinctive ring-tone when a call comes in on that number, letting you know it is someone associated with your job search. Now you have time to get your mind in the “game” and assume your professional demeanor before you answer the call.

Finally, include your email and LinkedIn address on the third line of your resume (we will talk more about LinkedIn for job search in a future article.) Your email address should be professional. I have seen planenutz@xxx.com; beachbunny@xxx.com and pleasehireme@xxx.com. None of these belong on a professional resume. And if you decide to use letters and numbers, remember that some numbers such as (1) and letters such as (l) and the number (0) and letter (o) are easy to misread. More and more employers are making the initial contact via email and if they misread it, you miss an opportunity to communicate with them.

As you can see, from beginning to end, every part of your resume is important. Make sure that every second the perspective employer has your resume in hand that it counts. Questions, comments, advise? Go to my blog at www.careersuccesstoolbox.com.

Posted in Classes, Job Seeker, Resumes.