A friend of mine recently told me that he was looking for a new job. I know that he is a very hard-worker so I told him I would be happy to refer him to my Human Resources Department.
However, I made sure he knew that I wanted to look over his resume and offer him suggestions. After all, it’s my credibility on the line, too!
Areas of Improvement
These mistakes are common, so I wasn’t too surprised to find these areas of improvement.
Quantify Responsibilities and Achievements
He had a lot of impressive responsibilities and achievements on his resume. However, I only knew that because I know what his job (Manager of a Franchise location) entails. He was counting on the interview to sell himself, essentially. With just a few changes, we started to turn his resume into a more appealing job interview magnet.
Responsible for sales and cash management.
Responsible for sales and cash management of a franchise store that generates $4 million dollars in revenue annually.
Supervision of team members and staff.
Supervise, train, develop, and schedule 70 staff members to create an efficient and team driven work environment.
Controlling of budget and store supplies
Execute a monthly budget of $250,000 to ensure product availability and customer satisfaction.
Those were just a few of the bullet points I helped him revise. He also went through and tried to quantify achievements in his other sections.
My goal was to get him in the right direction. You could further improve upon each responsibility and achievement if you know more statistics. For example, in revision #3, if you have implemented policies and processes that led to a customer satisfaction rate of 97%, put that metric in the bullet point!
Order of Headings
This one isn’t HUGE, but it’s something I recommended.
He has been out of school for 4 years and has a lot of great experience for the particular job he is applying for. I recommended putting his work experience section above his school section. Having school at top makes it seem like he is applying for an entry level position.
Adjust this as needed. You may be 5 years out of school and think it makes more sense to have education at top for a particular job application.
He did not use his space efficiently. The header with his name, address, and phone number took up a big chunk of space. And he went on to a second page.
I’m not one of those “OMG only use 1 page!!@” people. But it was obvious that his resume could fit onto one page without deleting anything. If you can fit on one page, you might as well.
Under work experience, he had only listed one job. Even though he has had his current job for more than 3 years, he should still try and show progression.
If you need to go back 8 years to show that you were at once a level below where you are now, that will show a history of promotion (hopefully based on results!).
Don’t Highlight Minutia
Under a section for other awards and honors, he listed some attendance award he got.
Yes, companies care about attendance. But is that worth the space on the resume? A “VP’s club of top performers” would look much better. If all you have is attendance, consider leaving it off.
Landing a Job
Hopefully the next step for him is to land a job.
That’s a general overview of the changes I made without going into too much detail. I might fill the before and after resumes with fake contact information and employer information so I can post them next week.
Does anyone have any other common mistakes or tweaks they find when going over someone’s resume?