PSP's Guide to an Awesome Resume

We share our resumes do’s and don’ts - plus advice from PSP members about how SAHMs handle the employment gap when they transition back to the work force.

computer-document

 Format:

 Your resume should look well spaced and consistent. That means:

• Do make sure your resume skim friendly. Think bullet points, headers, and short sentences. But make sure you use emphasis (bolding, italic, caps) sparingly or it will lose impact

• Do use one font, and keep it a readable size (11 or 12 point).

 • Do make sure margins are even and paragraphs aligned

• Do format your job history, date, title, and location are formatted in the same way.

• Do send it as a PDF

• Do keep it short and simple. 1 page for every 10 years of experience is standard.

• Do list experience in chronological order, with the most experience first.

 

Consistency:

• Do watch the tenses.  If you have your current job listed on your resume, make sure it is in present tense. Your past jobs need to be past tense.

• Do match and link your resume and LinkedIn profile

Voice of experience: “I also find having a LinkedIn link directly in your resume's .pdf/.doc works well...allows direct access to your profile.”

 

Showing Experience:

• Do use metrics to demonstrate expertise.

• Phrase your experience through ROI and data (as long as it’s not confidential to your company). For example, If you were a sales manager, share how you grew revenue X% in a specific vertical. Here are more tips about how to quantify experience.

• Do frame experience through accomplishments

• Do use tangible, hard skills. Your hard skills need to be front and center of your resume. Instead of listing “media planning” as a skill, offer tangibles like DFA/DART, DoubleClick or Atlas instead.

Do know what you do NOT want to do

Voice of experience: "If you don’t want to do it, then take it out of your resume!”

• Do customize your resume to the job you are applying to. Use keywords from the job description to reflect relevance - but don’t steal verbatim phrases.

Voice of experience: “I'm a firm believer you should not have one resume (again unless your career has been very linear). you probably should tweak it at least a little for every job you apply to and use the same words to describe your skills that the job description does.”

 

On objective statements:

Do remove your objective statements and use a short summary instead.

Voice of experience: “Remove your objective statement. The objective is you want this job. In addition, objective statements can be problematic. You risk being excluded for other jobs if you get too specific. So get rid of it.”

Voice of experience: “Professional objectives are now frowned upon, as they place the emphasis on what you're looking for rather than what you can do for the company. Some people now recommend using professional summaries instead (akin to what you find on a LinkedIn profile). I've switched to a summary and am actually finding it to be a very useful tool. It allows me to pull my varied professional experience into one easy-to-read narrative, and I can then tweak its details to fit the specifics of each job I'm applying to."

Voice of experience: “A summary is perhaps less important if your career has been very linear and in one field. Perhaps more important if (like me) your career track is zig zagged a lot and you need a sentence or two to tie it all together and help the recruiter see how your past is relevant to the job at hand.”

 

SAHM with a gap in your resume?

• Do think about including your volunteer experience. For example, did you served on a board, sit on a school committee, or organize fundraising events? These are all experiences you can talk about that demonstrate leadership, creativity, and initiative.

Voice of experience: “I opted to treat my Mom years as a sabbatical and listed my extensive volunteer work.”

• Do list part-time or freelance projects

• Do use your cover letter to explain the gap

 

Last but not least:

Do pay attention to the little things. Are you “detailed oriented”? Watch out for mistakes like that. NEXT!

Do use spell check and proofread. And have a trusted friend or colleague read your resume to check for mistakes. It helps if they are were an English major.

• Do be truthful. Don’t exaggerate experience, accomplishments, or responsibilities.

 

Useful reading from around the web:

8 Things Recruiters Notice About Your Resume at First Glance (and 4 Things That Don't Matter)

“This is a great article on the recent thinking of what to do and what not to do when it comes to resumes. Please see the snarky comment about professional objectives in the "Things I Wish People Would Stop Doing" section."

How to Write a Resume

 

PSP member recommended:

Resume Writers

Career & Life Coaches

 

Other articles on Park Slope Parents you might find helpful:

How to connect your way into your next job

How to Negotiate Work Life Balance When Job Hunting

Should I take a break from work?

Should I keep working when salary just covers childcare?