The Resume Header: Sharon’s Top 5 Resume Tips of the Day

I’ll break down my resume tips by targeting parts of the resume, as well as general tips.

Today, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, I’ve heard.

Headers are the top of a document, but I’ll focus on the header of a resume, which is the top area that will come before all of your education and experience. Do this wrong and you’ll get trashed before you can list your third phone number.

 1. Decide what info is relevant for YOUR resume, which will not be the same for everyone else.

Home address is not important to include unless position has residency requirement or says ‘local candidates only’ in posting, but that can always be indicated on cover letter. People will assume you’re local in general if you have a local phone number to where you’re applying.

2. Cell phone, email, and a website are sufficient info for line 2.

You might want to include a link to your linkedin profile or other professional profile, especially if there are others with the same name as you (and especially if they come up in searches in an unfavorable light).

3. Catch the Resume Viewer’s Attention. Use an attractive yet professional font for your name. OK if different from rest of resume, however make sure it’s easy to read and looks clean (no fonts that look like handwriting I beg!).

4. Header Format should be condensed to 2 lines:

NAME, LARGER FONT, CENTERED, BOLD

Phone number ( do not write ‘cell’, or the words ‘phone number’ ‘email’ or ‘address’ – people can tell from the format what you mean. @TwitterName or http://personalwebsite.com, Spaced with •

Mine for example is:

SHARON TAUBLIB-SIEGEL
646-554-6711  •  s@sharon.cc  •  http://sharon.cc

5. Make sure you’re easily reached at your contact places. Phone number should be where you can be reached during the day, not your home if you’re not there; email should be a professional address (no luvkittenz4eva@yahoo.com) and if you have to create one, make sure you check it everyday to not miss contacts.

You don’t want to miss opportunities because you’re hard to reach. Some places will not leave messages and will move on to the next candidate if they don’t reach you.

Welcome to sharon.cc

Because:

1. It’s easier to remember that http://waytoolongblogaddress.com

2. You’ll remember it

3. I’m not afraid to avoid the .com. I’m way cooler than .com. I’ve embraced the .cc, and made it mine. Move over islands extension – I felt .cc was fitting – .cc=career coach (at least to me, but I get the feeling I just might start a .cc trend!)

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-A

Are you generic?

  1. Your image. Do you have standard vistaprint template business cards? (I’ll concede is one step above not having cards at all…)

There are hundreds of free business card templates if you can’t design your own. Don’t take the one with the drop of water into the pond. You want people to remember what your card looks like, why its design is relevant to what you do. I’m not saying to shape the entire card like a tooth if you’re a dentist, but hey, that would get you remembered. People would know what it is when the see it in their wallet. They might even show it to friends – hey, that’s free advertising!

2.  Your Email/website?

Is your email: firstnamebusinessname@hotmail.com? Is it long, hard to remember, or even worse, hard to spell? Is it unprofessional?

http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/domains – you can register a website/domain address for under $30 a year. If you have any company, no matter how small, this can be beneficial in that it’s professional, and looks like a ‘real company’. Just make sure you find a domain that’s easy to remember, and appropriate for your purpose (i.e. .org for non-profit, .com for almost everything else).

If you need to go the free route at least make it something people can remember – like sharonsjobs@yahoo.com – not sharonsjobassistancehelpsite@yahoo.com

3.  Your social networking profiles? You resume?

Do they look just like everyone else’s? Is it basically a bunch of job descriptions from various positions that have come together and look just like that?

Take my LinkedIn Profile as an example. It tells you that I’m unique. That I’ve got a wacky sense of humor, but accomplish a lot, and have an interesting writing style.

“Summary: You can pick my brain, if I can pick yours. Let’s work smarter, not harder.

Young brilliant dynamic creative overachiever with unlimited ambition. The sky’s the limit when it comes to my efforts to attain the impossible. I’m an expert at whatever I set my mind to, whether it be QA or making Wedding Cakes. I’m going to change the world, yes, even more than I already have. Before I forget to mention it, I have an amazing personality, natural knack for networking, and a hysterical sense of humor.

I started my first successful consulting company a few years back, designsdesigns.com which is steadily growing in three countries! I’ve edited a book (Journey Among Nations, buy it on amazon, check out the beautiful cover design, that’s my company at work!), written countless marketing campaigns, and designed corporate image makeovers.

My experience? I’m a talented wife, mother, city employee, job placer, recruiter, resume writer, fundraiser, project manager, program developer, and matchmaker to the not-so-rich-and-famous-yet happily married. I’m always open to new experiences.

Specialties: Brilliant copy writing, enthralling process contributions, policy making, ROI-guaranteeing guru for all Marketing needs.”

What has that gotten me you ask? Numerous job interview offers & lots of people I don’t know wanting to connect with me (some I do, some I don’t, I’ll go into who to/not to connect with another time).  

I’ve heard other people say that LinkedIn is where you go when you’re looking for a job, a friend even said to me once, “Does anyone hire through it?” Well, I’ve gotten job offers through it, and I’ve personally recruited through it for hard-to-fill positions. But if your profile is generic or incomplete, don’t expect much. I’m not saying your profile has to be as out there as mine is, hey, decorum is in order when you’re looking for a job (which yes, you should always be doing). You never know when your current position will be eliminated, or when a better opportunity may come your way, if you’re open to it.

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-q

Religious & Activist Resumes

When apply for positions, make sure you’re not too culturally/religiously focused. Make sure everything is in plain English & understandable to someone not part of your world (no acronyms without explaining or industry-specific jargon, nothing in a different language). Try to make them look as secular and liberal as possible if not for a company of a shared mission.

Have more than one version of your resume.

One general one where you mention that you love animals in your Skills & Interests section; a second resume all about your activist PETA activity and being a vegan when applying to work for the humane society.

You get the gist.

Shortlink: http://wp.me/pWfpN-b

Functional Resume = Shady Resume

A lot of people do functional resumes nowadays, but I only recommend that if you’re hiding major issues or time gaps.

Resumes should be brief & informative, bulleted, clean style.

Use narrow margins to get the most on a page.  For really senior people a 2nd page might be necessary, but chances are no one is reading it. If they have a masters or higher, or went to an excellent school, put education before experience. If it’s a BA or lower, then keep it at the bottom (unless from Harvard etc.).

If you graduated more than 15 years ago, or less than 2, I don’t recommend putting a year on the degree. If you have any college or advanced degree remove high school (again unless it was Stuyvesant etc.).

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-8

Helloisanybodyoutthere?

I remember I once saw a huge billboard about 10 years back in NYC saying, “Helloisanybodyoutthere?”

To this day I’m not sure what it was for. I tried yahooing it back then (pre-google popularity days), and there weren’t any good leads. Welcome to my new blog. I hope it helps you or someone you know.