A great résumé is at the heart of any successful job hunt. While lots of job hunting advice, mine included, says that a LinkedIn profile is critical to getting noticed during your job search, it does not replace a traditional résumé.
But the older you are, the trickier it can be to create a résumé that’s not only concise but also does justice to your years of experience.
Here are seven ways experienced job seekers can get their résumés noticed.
1. Use a simple format
Keep it to two pages, says career coach Phyllis Mufson. Anything longer will probably go unread. “In certain circumstances, it can be as much as three pages, but only make your résumé as long as you need to highlight your qualifications.”
A résumé is reviewed in less than five minutes before it’s decided whether a job candidate advances to the next step in the hiring process, according to a 2014 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Résumés, Cover Letters and Interviews Survey.
Select a traditional font, say, Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial. Stick to a 10- to 12-point size, and use black type against white paper for the body of the résumé. Your name, however, might be in 15-point size, all caps; your contact information and section heads might be in 12.
Be consistent in formatting. Use boldface type, italics and underlining sparingly.
Prepare the document in a plain Microsoft Word document format that can easily be viewed on most computers, Mufson says. You will also use this version to print out as a hard copy or to upload into an online job application form.
Put your contact information at the top of the résumé: name, email address, phone number (just one), a customized LinkedIn URL and website, if you have one. Skip your street address.
You might need a new email address. Using an AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo email address on a résumé can hold people back from landing an interview, says Mindy Thomas, a career development coach and professional résumé writer. “Yes, there is discrimination relating to the domain name of your email provider that you are using. “It says you are not up with the times, and you’re not tech savvy.”
Use an email address that includes your full name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, or one that includes your own domain name, such as email@example.com. You can get a free Gmail address by going to Google’s site.
Below your contact information, list the specific title of the job for which you are applying — for example, type “Objective: [employer’s job title]”