I have the unenviable task of hiring an accountant. I’m currently reviewing resumes and setting up interviews. Here are some tips on preparing a resume. I’m not an expert on this subject. In fact, I couldn’t get a job as a space heater salesman in Juno. But I have strong opinions on resumes, and I have this venue, so that makes me qualified to spew my opinion.
- Proofread – How many resume guides are out there? How many have as their first point to proofread? Answer: A lot and all of them. Yet I still get resumes with spelling and grammar errors. I think a lot of recruiters summarily pitch resumes with errors. Hey, I’m no angel when it comes to spelling and grammar, but I can say that my past resumes have been error free.
- One page – There are a lot of folks who will disagree with me on this one, but I don’t care. Are you so important that you need three pages to convince me of it? I’m bored by the end of page one. To be sure, there are professions where multiple pages are the standard, but not many.
- Keep it current – This relates to my one-page theory. I’m sure we’ve all had illustrious and exciting careers, but I couldn’t care less what you were doing in 1977.
- Technical terms – I like when candidates use industry language in their resumes. I don’t like it so much when they use it incorrectly. Have someone in the industry review the language use so you can avoid saying “Collected Accounts Payable”.
- Fonts – So you have MS Word and you know how to use the font dropdown. Bully for you. This isn’t France and it’s not the Renaissance, so don’t give me a headache trying to read your fancy script. Oh yeah, as much as I like one page resumes, using a 7 point font to get it on one page is cheating.
- Handwriting – There’s probably some merit to analyzing candidates’ handwriting, but it’s a little over my head. So don’t handwrite your resume or cover letter. Surely everyone knows someone who will let them use their computer.
- Paper – I’ve never prepared a resume on anything but white paper. Some of the non-white paper that I’ve seen recently isn’t too bad. Then there’s the gaudy pink one’s. You don’t have to use white, just don’t go overboard.
- Dates – Okay, you had a bad run where you had five jobs in the last year. It’s not good, but leaving off the dates doesn’t really trick me. If you get an interview, and you most likely won’t, I’m going to ask you for dates anyway, so just put them on there. If you have the skills, I’ll look past it.
Well, that’s my holier-than-thou rant on resumes. I’ve gotten a couple of resumes that are on letterhead. Nothing fancy, just a geometric figure and a line going across. I think it looks pretty nice. Also, there are a few in my batch that have “Excel Expert” on them. Oh boy, I can’t wait to interview those people.