Creating a professional résumé is the first step in any job search. Tony Beshara, president of Babich & Associates and author of Unbeatable Résumés, discusses résumés and their importance (or lack thereof) in a job search in an article on Forbes.com. Here’s our summary of Beshara’s top three pieces of advice:
1. Keep it simple. Avoid “fancy-schmancy” font, layout, color and language. Consistency is key, so choose a classic font like Times New Roman, 9 to 12 point size in black against white paper. “You might try a different type size for your name and the companies you have worked for”, says Beshara, but don’t use bold, italics or underlining excessively. Be sure to format your résumé in a standard Word document that can be accessed on all computers.
2. Use a reverse chronological order. No need to include your cashier job from high school when listing your job history. Keep content recent and relevant to the job you’re applying to. Job history is an important part of any résumé, so don’t leave out any details. “List your present, or most recent job, first, and then work backwards. You state the complete name of the company you work for, or have worked for, and what they do, how long you were there–month and year”, Beshara advises. Use number and statistics to share your accomplishments, for example “Increased profits by 32%”.
3. Don’t obsess over your resume! Though regularly updating your résumé is important, “the purpose of the résumé is to help get you an interview…40 percent of a hiring decision is based on personality”, Beshara notes. Focus instead on networking, both digital and in-person. Beshara estimates that “60 percent who find jobs have located them through networking.”
Whether you are a recent college graduate or a senior executive looking for a change, remember to balance your energy on each step of the job search and utilize every resource.