Resume Tips by Personified's Aaron Walters

Q: What do you look for in a resume?

A: I look for several things — first and foremost I want to see a clean, easy-to-read layout. Ideally, I'm able to quickly discern the candidate's contact name, contact info and last two to three positions right on the first page. More generally, I'm looking for tenure per position. Is the person a job hopper? Unless you're in IT and regularly working on a contractual basis, I'm concerned if someone's average time spent in their last 2-3 jobs is less than two years a piece.

Beyond just the basics and tenure I want to see a document that's easy to scan. A resume is not meant to tell me everything about you. A resume is definitely not meant to get you the job by itself. It is meant to serve as a tool which summarizes a person's career path and desires. Less is often actually more on a resume, as long as what can be seen is clear, concise and meaningful.

Q: What do you absolutely have to have on your resume?

A:It often depends industry-to-industry, but assuming you've been in the market long enough, I'd like to see at least your last three positions with company name (add a web address to each), title, dates active and then a few blurbs about your role there. And this is where it gets tricky — I'd really prefer not to see that you were able to successfully cut and paste the job description you were handed on your first day in to your resume. What I would like to see is a brief list of actual achievements you championed while there.

Further, I want to see hard numbers in support of what you've done. Numbers, percentages, dollar amounts, etc. They all speak volumes on a resume. The more you can qualify your achievements, activity or career progression with the empirical evidence that numbers provide, you're going to be in good shape.

Q: What you should leave out?

A:This is primarily for people in sales: You can definitely leave off your picture. I get that you're really pretty or really handsome. And I also get that you think your looks will translate in to busted quotas as your clients' trip over themselves to hand their money to someone as manicured and perfect as you. But from my point of view, it's exceedingly shallow and terribly ill-conceived. Don't do it.

Aaron Walters serves as a Client Engagement Manager for Personified. He is responsible for developing plans for long-term, strategic talent-related projects and overseeing the day-to-day operations of Personified's extensive network of sourcers, recruiters and researchers. His focus is on improved client satisfaction, operational effectiveness, development of new research projects. Visit the Personified Services Section

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