You cannot underestimate the importance of a good resume.  If first impressions count – and they do – your resume is your first impression to a potential employer (or HR person). You should consider it the one and only chance you may have to capture their attention.

Before you sit down to put your resume together, you need to understand the psychology of the person reviewing your resume. What are they looking for? How many resumes will they go through before they start booking appointments?  WIll my resume be first, last or in the middle? Before you even put pen to paper, consider the following: How long should it be? Is reverse-chronological correct? How should I send in my resume? What about the cover letter?

Let’s take this one step at a time, and move you to the best possible position you can be in.

Recently, 2500 surveys were conducted among the Society of Human Resource Managers, as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Here are some of their findings:

How long should my resume be? This really comes down to the level of position you are applying for. The majority of HR professionals prefer to see a two page resume, as opposed to a single page resume.

Which resume format is preferred?  40% of those surveyed want to see a Traditional resume (reverse chronological). Only 10% surveyed a preference for a Functional resume (skills based).  However, 50% of respondents want to see a combination of both.

How should I send in my resume?  If you are thinking about mailing or faxing it in, don’t. Only 20% surveyed preferred those methods.  Email was the preferred method of receipt, with 80% of the surveyed results. However,  be careful how you email it in. While 20% are glad to see it in the body of your email, a whopping 60% want it sent in as an attachment… specifically a Microsoft Word doc.

Should I include a cover letter? Absolutely. Make it personalized. While a form letter is acceptable, a personalized cover letter will allow you to express some of your personality.

Be aware that most companies will keep your resume on file for 3- to 6-months after submission. If your resume has typos or grammatical errors, it won’t be kept at all.

Lastly, when asked what is the most important item on a resume, 88% of respondents chose verifiable accomplishments.

Those are just a few key points on how you can improve your resume.  LJS & Associates has helped hundreds of candidates land career jobs with our resume and consulting services.

If you are serious about advancing your career, contact us today.  We would love to be part of your success.