by Curtis Morrow and Emily Taubenblatt
During our annual Resume Workshop, the Green Careers team invited professionals representing the public sector (Department of Buildings, New York City Housing Authority – NYCHA), the private sector (Kenneth Cole, Community Preservation Corporation, and Steven Winter Associates), and the non-profit sector (Self-Help Community Services) to offer tips and critique participants’ resumes. In several fifteen-minute round-robin rotations, all attendees received one-on-one sessions with feedback, advice, and pointers to help grab and keep the attention of hiring managers.
The experts agreed on several resume tips:
- Make the best use of white space on the page
- Keep the resume to a single page
- Ensure that formatting and alignment is consistent
- Specify details with quantitative or qualitative values
- Use active verbs in place of adjectives to show rather than tell your achievements
Some of these tips coincide with Andy Padian’s Top Ten resume suggestions of what NOT to do. Also detailed here.
- Call the file “Resume” and don’t put your name on it so we can’t distinguish it from 30 others.
- Make it an editable doc file (not pdf), so people can mess with it and send it out to others as a joke resume.
- List your education above your experience, for if you’re more impressed with where you went to school than your real world experience, we will be too, and we won’t hire you.
- Make it with a boring typeface with huge white margins, so it looks like you’re trying to “pad” your experience rather than explaining it in greater detail, and make it three pages long with lots of white space.
- Don’t use spell check, and god forbid, don’t let anyone else pre-read it for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Don’t summarize your career and/or aspirations in the beginning to set the stage for who you are and want to be.
- Give twenty bullet points about each of your jobs, rather than quickly summarizing your responsibilities and then putting a small number of bullets to highlight your experience.
- Don’t use action verbs like administered, managed, supervised, budgeted, organized, or prioritized, making us think you just went to meetings, wrote memos, and played Bejeweled.
- Make your resume read like an obit, rather than an advertisement for how bright, creative, and likable you are.
- Make sure you show huge gaps in employment and list your hobby as world traveling, so we know you’ll be gone in 6 months.
If you’re interested in more career advice be sure to check out our August 14th workshop, Presentation Skills and Body Language. Stay tuned on the web site for more details.