10 Tips for a High-Impact Resume
Recruiter Shannon Lee offers these tips on how job seekers can create a high-impact professional resume that hiring managers will love!
One of the most frequently asked questions we get as hospitality recruiters is “how does my resume look?” and it’s an important question to ask, as having a strong resume that represents your skills and professional experience in an accurate and compelling way, is the first hurdle to clear in landing a great new job.
In working with some of the top hospitality groups in New York City and nationwide, we see a lot of resumes and we’re happy to share these tips on what to do (and what not to do) when creating your resume.
- Your Contact Information
First things first, recruiters and hiring managers need to be able to reach you! If you’re revising an older version of your resume, make sure the phone number listed is accurate and the best number to reach you on. Check your email address as well. Is it a working email address that you have daily access to? Is it simple and appropriate? This is a first impression area, so if you’re still using the same email address you created in high school (I’m talking to you, firstname.lastname@example.org) it’s time to create a new email address for your job search.
- Personal Information
Employers don’t care about your marital status, age, birthday, race, whether or not you have children, and other personal characteristics. Leave this off your resume as it’s not relevant. For positions where knowledge of basic human resources principals is a requirement, including personal information lends to the perception that you are unfamiliar with modern hiring standards and compliance issues.
Recruiters and hiring managers need to know where you are based in order to consider you for the locations that make the most sense and to connect you with the right person in that market. With all the apps and channels that job applicants have available to apply, don’t assume the location of the job you are applying for is clear to the recruiter or hiring manager on the receiving end. Concerned about privacy? Listing your city/state/zip works. Planning on relocating? Still not okay to leave a location off your resume. Include your location and a note about your desired destination or relocation plans.
- Employment Dates
Include months of employment (not just years) for the past 10 years of employment. If your resume lists “2014 to 2016,” a recruiter/hiring manager has no idea if you were employed for 14 months (December 2014 – January 2016) or for 36 months (January 2014 – December 2016) and it makes a difference. Most hiring managers aren’t going to reject you for not listing the months, but they’re going to wish you’d included it and ask you to clarify it in an early interview when that time could have been spent talking about the position, company and how your skills and experience could be a great match.
- Resume Length
The rumor is true – ideally your resume should fit on one or two pages. This does not mean squeezing 3 pages of content into 6.5 font with narrow margins onto one page. Summarize! Or, make your resume two pages in length; that’s fine too. What’s not okay? Six-page resumes. 10-page resumes. Wondering how to scale it back to 1-2 pages? Read on!
- Work Experience
What do we see taking up all that real estate on resumes? Lengthy lists of bullet points with position details. Bullet points under the position title, company and employment dates should include responsibilities and achievements. Be as specific as possible with facts. For example: including managed sales volume and number of direct reports. What not to do? Copy and paste your entire job description into your resume. The experience section should be brief and impactful. Listing all of the industry standard responsibilities of an Executive Chef (“cooking on the line whenever needed”) or General Manager (“ensuring great guest service”) is assumed, and not impactful content. Experience going back more than 10-15 years as well as temporary roles can be summarized at the end of the Experience section.
To create a user-friendly and impactful resume, company names in your Work Experience section should be easily identifiable and internet searchable. Recruiters and hiring managers will consider you to be very thoughtful for including a brief concept description or link to the brand’s website or social pages, for easy familiarization, as well as the city/state of the place you worked. What not to do? Only list the managing company or franchisee name instead of the branded concept that you represented.
- Objective Statement
Not considered mandatory; but, if you are going to include one, that’s fine. Keep it to one or two lines, not too wordy, and above all else, make sure it aligns with the position you are applying for. What not to do? Include an objective statement that mentions your desire to make a career pivot to a different industry or role, when applying for the same industry or type of role that your professional experience directly relates to.
- Tech & Social
Many innovative technologies are improving the way restaurants and hospitality concepts do business. From reservation and wait list apps, guest relations platforms, audio-visual technology and point-of-sale, to back office systems for scheduling, payroll, inventory and accounting, the demand for tech-savvy professionals is on the rise. Including a brief list of industry-relevant systems you have experience using can be an impactful addition to your professional hospitality resume. Listing your own social media sites such as LinkedIn, Instagram (I’m talking to you, chefs!) and more is encouraged, as long as the content is professionally appropriate. For more on that, check out TalentServed Founder & CEO, Steve Gibson’s tips here: https://talentserved.com/online-profile-stack/.
- Final Polish & Printability
Before you send your resume off to the world, make sure it’s visually awesome. Presentation is important and it does not take a professional (and costly) graphic designer or resume writer to perform these quick and effective tasks:
- Proofread and fact check (date typos are a common error that can get overlooked and cause problems for you further along in the hiring process)
- Is the font type and size consistent across the entire resume?
- Is the format of each section consistent across the entire resume?
- Can the resume be easily printed or is there content outside of the printable area? (Running a test-print will give you a chance to evaluate your font size for readability. Plus, you don’t want to be stuck re-formatting your resume the night before an interview when you discover it’s not easily printable.)
No one gets a job on his/her resume alone, but we hope these Recruiting Confidential tips will help you stand out as an excellent candidate for the position you’re seeking!