Those rules we get from resume “experts” are based on their general observations and they just want to lay out a general rule for their convenience in reviewing.

The one-page-resume rule was probably invented to scare applicants from being too wordy, and that’s a good rule. However, in most cases, presentation is sacrificed in favor of number of pages. For example, compare your original resume with the new one. The new one may be two pages, but the content is more condensed (redundancies omitted; relevancies emphasized), and the use of ample white space allows for better readability.

Here are some practical guidelines for crafting a darn good resume.

Kick-Ass ResumesResume Content

Career Objective

I never include this. Ever. Because nobody cares! Moreover, employers care about their objective.

Executive Summary

The section (title may be omitted) right beneath the candidate’s name should be a brief but extremely juicy statement stating the person’s professional title (usually the college major), number of years’ experience, the industry for this job application, and the special skill to be used for it. That’s it – no more, no less. This is the only statement that may be in the first person voice and can be subjective; hence, it is italicized.

Technical Expertise

“Technical Expertise” or “Technical Proficiency” must be presented in a clear and concise bulleted list in order of the importance required by the position being applied to.

Resume Body

The rest of the resume must not hold anything subjective. To ensure objectivity, adverbs and adjectives are avoided, so I omit phrases like, “An extremely talented professional…” “Successfully completed…”, “Render effective customer service through high standard of etiquette…”. I also omit statements like, “effective time management”. I mean, such things are expected, and to mention them means the candidate thinks such are ‘going the extra mile’ stuff. If greatness must be flaunted, it should be done numerically and must be backed by verifiable data.

Employment History

I format the “Work/Employment History” in a way that the story is told with clarity: “From 8/2013 to 12/2014, I was MASTER CONTROL OPERATOR for Plattsburgh State Television at Plattsburgh, NY. I controlled program broadcasts to ….”

Education

This section must be a clean statement of degree acquired, year graduated (who cares about date and month?), institution/university and its city and state. I never put in GPA, except for fresh grads or interns; the relevant coursework is omitted, unless there is not a lot of relevant work history. Education may appear at the bottom of the resume or right after the Executive Summary, depending on whether the job is requiring education more or experience more.

Resume Layout

Layout is clean with plenty of white space. No graphic elements such as lines and borders. Header and footer are not necessary, except when the candidate is being presented by a recruitment company. I stick to default font to ensure it is readable from most computers. I do like to use a hint of color, actually two coordinating colors, to set the resume apart from the rest. Psychology dictates that after going through at least 50 resumes a day, one is bound to recall what stood out in color.

I hope these practical suggestions will help you. Remember, your resume should be carefully crafted and suited specifically to the job being offered. It is not wasted time to capitalize on building a kick-ass resume. After all, it is what will get you to the interview.

Best regards,
Your Enlightsearch Recruiter

PS: Don’t sweat it. I’m always here to help you with your resume.