A Marketing Consulting Company’s Guide to Building a Better Resume

This is always a tricky topic.  Everyone has their own ideas and philosophies about building a better resume.  Ask five people and you will get five different opinions on how your resume should look.  Here is one more opinion; follow these eight rules and you will spruce up your resume.

1.    Bullet points are your friends, not enemies

  • There is nothing worse than reading a resume that is written in long paragraphs.  Save the detailed explanations for the interview process.  You are trying to grab someone’s attention immediately, not scare them away with lines and lines of copy.

2.    Give a short description of your past employer

  • Example: McKinley Marketing Partners, Marketing Resources Provider.
  • This gives the reader a clear, concise idea of what your past employer did, therefore making it easier to understand your bullet points.  This applies unless it is a recognized brand.

3.    Create organization, not chaos

Microsoft Office Template
Microsoft Office Template
  • Chose a simple format that is easy to read.
  • Don’t let the reader get bogged down with trying to decipher your formatting, therefore ignoring your real strengths.  If the reader has to piece together dates, jobs, company names, etc., then your resume is not effective.
  • Microsoft Office has some great ready to use templates, but it is always best to be unique and put your own touch on things.

4.    Spell check, proofread, spell check, and then proofread again.

  • This is without a doubt the easiest step of them all, and too often ignored.  After reading and re-reading, send it to two trusted people, then proof it again yourself.

5.    Use action words and quantify when applicable

  • This is the easiest way to convey your message without writing novels.
  • Examples:
    • Increased sales revenue 90%.
    • Directed email marketing campaign with 50% open rate.
    • Developed public relations campaign with 100 online newspaper hits.
    • Conducted market research on effectiveness of distribution channels, ultimately saving company $500,000 annually.

6.    Do not leave unexplained gaps in your resume

  • In today’s economy, it is almost expected that there will be periods of unemployment.  As a matter of fact, today’s economy is likely creating some of those gaps.  Do not try to cover this up, but rather explain why.  It’s best to not leave this up to the reader’s imagination.
  • Examples: independent projects, personal/family matters, job search.

7.    Tailor your resume for specific jobs

  • Let’s say you are applying for a job in a public relations field, yet you started your career in civil engineering.  While this might be impressive, there is really no need to put unrelated experience on your resume when applying for a specific opportunity.  If you need to include the unrelated experience, make sure to be brief.
  • By adding these extra details, you are taking away from your limited space to discuss your related credentials.

8.    Keep your resume to a maximum of two pages

  • A longer resume is not necessarily better.  If you have too much information it will be ignored, because as we all know, many people don’t read.

What do you think?  Do you have any tips you would like to share with everyone?



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by McKinley Marketing Partners