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An Outstanding Resume – 5 Great Tips

Monday, April 5th, 2021 | Posted in Ford Myers

Carolyn Gusoff:

An Outstanding Resume – 5 Great Tips – Updating Your Resume? Have your resume ready to go, whether you’re looking for a job or not. Joining us this morning is career expert Ford Myers. He’s the President of Career Potential, LLC, a consulting firm that has helped thousands of people get their careers on track. Welcome, Ford.

Ford Myers:

Good morning, Carolyn!

Carolyn Gusoff:

So who should have a resume? People who are concerned that they might get the boot or really anyone?

Ford Myers:

Everyone should have a resume. Any professional, every working person should have a resume. In fact, that should also be updated on a consistent basis. It’s the most important tool in marketing yourself out in the world of work.

Carolyn Gusoff:

Even when you’re fairly secure in your job and you’re not actively looking?

Ford Myers:

Great question – but yes, even when you’re securely employed.

Carolyn Gusoff:

We’re going to get into specifics about what a resume should contain in a moment, but is there one general mistake that people tend to make in resumes?

Ford Myers:

Oh boy, there are so many! They may have too much information. It may not be specific enough. It may not be attractive. It might be on the wrong color paper, the wrong type style, coffee stains, dog-eared corners. It’s very important that the resume look great and also read in a way that gets the best results.

Carolyn Gusoff:

All right. So let’s get specific now about what should go into a resume. The objective or the summary at the beginning – how brief should that be?

Ford Myers:

Well, the summary is really important. That’s sort of like the headline in an advertisement. People will scan a resume very quickly. They want to zero-in on the summary and it should really be no more than four to six targeted sentences.

Carolyn Gusoff:

And when you say, be brief – I remember a resume when I was writing one, we were always told it should not go over two pages. What if you have a wealth of experience? Is that still a hard and fast rule?

Ford Myers:

Generally the resume should be no more than two pages.

Carolyn Gusoff:

But you can go over the first page, you’re OK with two pages?

Ford Myers:

Oh yes, two pages is fine. And that’s appropriate for a professional. Occasionally, it can even go to three pages if it’s a highly-experienced person, but generally keep it to two pages.

Carolyn Gusoff:

And the average time that an employer spends on your resume?

Ford Myers:

That’s a great question. You really want to know? 10, 15 seconds would be the first scan. So it’s got to be very specific. It’s got to be really relevant to your career goals.

Carolyn Gusoff:

10 seconds to decide your fate.

Ford Myers:

Basically, yes.

Carolyn Gusoff:

That’s scary. You also say, be specific. If you have to be brief, how specific can you get?

Ford Myers:

Specific is about details. You really want to give details. In fact, if you can quantify your results, that would be fabulous.

Carolyn Gusoff:

Quantify in terms of sales, for example. What if you’re not in that sort of profession?

Ford Myers:

Oh, it could be numbers of projects, numbers of people, timeframes. But don’t give vague statements. Instead, get right down to the details – almost like measuring your performance.

Carolyn Gusoff:

You also say, be active. Don’t use the passive voice.

Ford Myers:

Right, it’s all about the tone of voice. You want to sound like you’re in the driver’s seat, like you’re the get-it-done person. So use strong action verbs to begin every sentence and every phrase.

Carolyn Gusoff:

Now this one is tough. You say, be selective about what kind of information you put in a resume. We sometimes get resumes and people put all sorts of hobbies in, ballroom dancing, their religious affiliations, how many children they have. Does that information belong in a resume?

Ford Myers:

No. When we say be specific, be selective. Selective means only use information that’s directly relevant to your job search goal. If you had a part-time job in high school, or if you do volunteer work on the side that’s not related to your career, don’t put it in.

Carolyn Gusoff:

But that sometimes could be a nice conversation starter, if you had an unusual job.

Ford Myers:

Oh, it can. But if you have only two pages, you don’t have that much space to include all that other information. So you can talk about it. You could even have another addendum perhaps. But keep the resume to two pages and be as specific as possible.

Carolyn Gusoff:

It’s surprising to even have to say this, but I guess we do have to say, be honest. People lie on their resumes?

Ford Myers:

You’d be surprised how widespread this is. But people need to avoid this temptation to stretch the truth. So be honest and never exaggerate. If people lie on their resume, unfortunately it will catch-up with them eventually and they’ll always lose in the end.

Carolyn Gusoff:

Finally, you talked about the paper; that it’s got to look good.

Ford Myers:

Yes. I really think that candidates should either work with a professional resume writing service or else look at examples that they could follow. Then have it professionally copied, make sure it’s on good quality paper with a conservative, traditional type face. And people should look at examples. In the workbook I wrote, “The Ultimate Career Guide,” there are pages and pages of examples, and they’re great to follow instead of trying to make it up from scratch.

Carolyn Gusoff:

All right. Not the time to put the neon paper out, unless of course you’re looking for a job in the art world.

Ford Myers:

Right, exactly.

Carolyn Gusoff:

Ford Myers, thanks so much for joining us.

Ford Myers:

Thank you, Carolyn!

Carolyn Gusoff:

For more information, you can log on to wnbc.com and link to Ford Myers’ website to help you manage your career and perfect your resume.

Follow Ford on Social Media:

Ford’s LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fordmyers/

Career Potential LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/career-potential/

About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at https://careerpotential.com.

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