Resume Tips: What should I REALLY put on my resume?

I came across an article yesterday about a new internet service that will build a visually dynamic resume that is completely customizable. There are numerous resume- building software programs on the market today such as The Resume Builder, Resume Maker, and WinWay, just to name a few. All of these services will create a professional looking

resume regardless of your level of technological knowledge. The challenge: figuring out what information is important to prospective employers.

As an executive recruiter in IT and healthcare IT niches, I have literally read thousands of resumes in my career and have seen it all. Here is the short list of things everyone should keep in mind when writing their resume based on my thirteen years of experience.

  1. Use clearly defined bullet points to describe job duties: using bullet points as opposed to written paragraphs makes it easier for the reader to pull out key words that are important and relative to the job they are seeking to fill.  FACT: most hiring managers spend less than 15 seconds scanning a resume and if they don’t see what they want, they put it aside or delete it.  Using bullet points increases your chances of actually having your resume read.
  2. Key accomplishments:  We were taught early on as children not to brag, but that rule does not apply when writing a resume.  Toot your horn!  If you created a process that saved time or money, list it at the end of the job duty bullet points under each job!
  3. Any and all relevant technical experience: I have interviewed many candidates who have intentionally left skills off their resume stating “I can’t put everything on the resume or it would be 3 pages long!”  It is important to list anything that is relevant to your career and work experience.  The old adage that a resume should be one page long is not applicable in today’s marketplace.  The only people who should limit their resume to one page are new graduates with limited work experience.
  4. Compile a technical skills summary attachment: By compiling a list of skills such as hardware used, software expertise, programming languages used, etc., you can freely rate yourself as entry-level, intermediate, or subject matter expert.  This works especially well if you are a seasoned candidate and are concerned about the length of your resume.  It also helps hiring managers quickly ‘rule you in’ since they know you are a Cloverleaf or .net expert.
  5. Have a friend proof your resume: NOTHING looks worse than to have a word misspelled or using the wrong word such as ‘their’ instead of ‘there’.  It is the kiss of death if you misspell a key word such as ‘NextGeb’   software when it is spelled ‘NextGen’.  Take the time to read it and re-read it until it is perfect and then have someone else read it.  Typo’s, mixed use of fonts, and bad grammar shouts “I have sloppy work habits!!” to the hiring manager reading your resume.

There are many schools of thought on resume writing, and I am sure that I will get many other views about these suggestions, but these tips are based on feedback from my hiring managers based on the resumes about which they have made positive comments.

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One Response to “Resume Tips: What should I REALLY put on my resume?”
  1. John Hammond says:

    I really enjoyed reading that; thank you!


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