Even in today’s hyper-digital world of communication instant gratification, for job seekers there is still a mandatory need for great, solid resume. And there are some basic, general resume guidelines one must follow. You can try to customize it somewhat, but these are the tried-and-true standards, and you shouldn’t go crazy trying to “stand out.” It usually backfires. Let your experience and accomplishments speak for themselves, not the cool variety of fonts or bright, bold colors.
- Resume should keep to one font, use bolding and italics sparingly for emphasis, and be free of text boxes
- Indention tabs and bullet points should be consistent throughout the resume
- First line, after contact information, should be your current or most recent company name in bold and left justified
- Dates of employment should be right justified, opposite the company name
- Title held and geography you were located in should be on the next line
- Must have all dates of employment (including months) for each position held including those within each employer if you were transferred or promoted
- Each position held should be listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent employer/position and working backward
- Contact Information
- Should include street address, cell phone number, and non-work email address
- Tangible Performance Numbers – this is where you want to shine!
- Should include sales rankings (ideally both regionally as well as nationally), percent to plan (ideally both quarterly as well as annually), and revenue growth for every year in sales
- Should include all awards won: Presidents Club, Inner Circle, etc.
- Each position should include a simple yet comprehensive summary of what your employer manufactured and/or sold
- Position specific information
- For medical sales positions: include care settings, call points, and geography
- For B2B sales positions: include call points and geography
- For non-sales positions: As much as possible, dovetail your past experience / achievements toward this opening – let’s talk about this bulletpoint, seems ambiguous
- Keep this information focused, targeted, and rely heavily on accomplishments – not tasks
- Reason for separation – only if it needs some explanation for short tenures or gaps (company was sold, took time off to raise children, etc.)
Keep It Simple!
- Remember: good, clear, effective writing is all about editing. Do not make the resume a dumping ground for everything you’ve ever done. The cliche holds – Less is More.
- Do not worry about trying to keep all your information on 1 page, this is not necessary anymore
- Get rid of all profile summary language between contact info and your most recent position. This would include Professional Summaries, Objectives, Expertise, Professional Profile, Core Competencies, Achievements, etc.
- This information should be demonstrated throughout your resume and should not need to be highlighted in any other areas than in areas they are tangible and specific to a particular position
Click the image below to view a sample resume: