Writing a Resume Managers Will Look at

For the third part of my resume series I have two people here who are managers in their professions. They review resume’s on a regular basis and know what they like to see when they have an application come across their desk.

First up is Jenn from Fox in the City.

Writing a Winning Resume: Or What It Takes to Get Your Resume Looked at by Someone Like Me

I work in the arts and culture field.  In the current economic climate this means that there are very few positions available at any given time.  When a position does become available at our site it means that we tend to get overwhelmed with resumes, many of which are more than qualified for the position.

When faced with a massive pile of resumes I tend to start by quickly scanning and removing any with spelling mistakes, ones that cannot seem to get the name of the person who the resume is being sent too and ones that are not at all tailored to the position that they are applying for.

There are other little things that can make or break a resume from this point.

1.    Unnecessary information.  For example, if you are applying for a professional position and have a degree or diploma including which high school you graduated from is not necessary and just takes up valuable resume space.  Also, a personal pet peeve of mine is when people include things such as interests and hobbies.  The only time including items such as this is if it is directly applicable to the position that you have applied from.

2.    Colour.   A little bit of colour can help to make your resume stand out from the others.  However, unless you are applying for a graphics based position, too much colour on a resume is distracting and thus a negative.

3.    Paper choice. When given the option of delivering your resume in person, it is always best to make use of a higher quality resume paper.  It may seem like a little thing but a nice linen paper makes the resume easier to read than traditional white copy paper.

4.    Cover letter.  Unless otherwise specified, always include a well written cover letter.  This is your opportunity to flesh out points that are highlighted in your resume and directly tie them to the qualifications outlined in the position description. Make use of it!
These little items can help put your resume in the small pile and increase your chances of getting the call for an interview with someone like me.

Next to share her tips for creating a resume that will be read is Robin from Farewell Stranger.

Quick and Dirty Resume Tips

After several years as a recruiter and several more as a manager, I’ve seen more resumes than I care to count. Most are pretty average, few are spectacular and some earned themselves a spot in my resume Hall of Shame. Here’s a quick and dirty list to help you make sure yours doesn’t end up in the latter category.

Format: Put your resume in chronological format – position title, employer, and dates you worked there. Include the months too – 2009-2010 can be two months or two years, and if the hiring manager can’t tell which, you might get screened out.
Tailor it: If you’re going to apply, take the time to make your resume reflect the position. Make sure your work history addresses each of the experience requirements listed in the job posting.

Objective: I personally don’t think including an objective helps much, especially if yours is to be the “administrative assistant at XYZ Corporation” (or whatever you’re applying for).

Contact info: Include it! I’ve seen people who don’t. Include a phone number and an email address (but if yours is sexychick@hotmail.com get a new one for job hunting).

Cover letter: Including a cover letter is a good idea, regardless of the type of job you’re applying for because it makes you look professional. Again, tailor it to the job (and make sure you proofread!).

Good luck with your job search!

Thank you both for being here and sharing these tips!

Is there anything you can add?

Are you a manager, what do you look for?

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14 Responses to Writing a Resume Managers Will Look at
  1. Jen {at} take2mommy
    March 30, 2012 | 9:39 am

    I headed up marketing departments at a few companies and often had to hire people. I agree that a cover letter is a must and tailoring your resume to the position you’re applying for is important too.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 2, 2012 | 8:22 pm

      Thank you for this… It’s great to hear other managers take on the cover letter!!

  2. Kimberly S. (Sperk*)
    March 30, 2012 | 11:52 am

    This is so timely for me. Reentering the career world after a 13 year SAHM stint. Much gratitude.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 2, 2012 | 8:21 pm

      Really? If you have any questions let me know.

  3. Leigh Ann
    March 30, 2012 | 8:32 pm

    I love these tips, ladies. Updating a resume is such a daunting task! Definitely passing on this info.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 2, 2012 | 8:16 pm

      Ooh! Thank you Leigh Ann!!

  4. Galit Breen
    March 30, 2012 | 10:39 pm

    Such great tips, thank you!!

  5. Jessica
    March 30, 2012 | 10:46 pm

    I always have trouble writing resumes. Mostly because it’s hard to remember and to put into words what I have done in my job(s).

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 2, 2012 | 8:15 pm

      Google is a lot of help!

    • Jamie
      April 3, 2012 | 8:49 pm

      I often find a job that is similar to what I have done and glean details from the job description from that listing without copy/pasting the exact information. For instance, if you are a secretary, do a job search for a secretary. You’ll see that several ads will have the same responsibilities and skill requirements listed but may be described in a slightly different way. You can take what 3 or 4 different ads have for one specific responsibility and reword it so that it sounds professional but also sounds original and more in your ‘voice’.

  6. Stasha
    April 2, 2012 | 1:30 pm

    Great resource. I am so scared writing CVs.

    • multitaskingmumma
      April 2, 2012 | 7:56 pm

      Thank you! I used to find them intimidating too.

  7. […] In my previous posts I highlighted how to write a winning resume and how to display your experience so that a manager would look at it. […]

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    November 1, 2014 | 11:26 pm

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