Resume Primer

resume planningA resume is one of the most critical and useful tools available to market your professional talents.  A resume is your first point of contact for search, industry and business professionals.  It is a powerful communicator on your behalf.  Prior to ever meeting you, your resume permits an interviewer or employer to gain a sense of you that is professional, informative and often subjective.

Resumes are valuable because they speak to who you are, what skills you have to offer and how you wish to be perceived in the marketplace.  To the extent that a resume can do this well is a function of the time, effort and thoughtfulness you put into it.  The time invested crafting your resume will best support your key career experiences, skill set and desirability.  The alternative is to present a hasty and pale chronological work history or a lengthy inconsequential resume too painful to read or consider.

Formatting is to a resume as clothing is to an interview – the first glance initiates the introduction.  The general layout and appearance of your resume should make sense to reader.  Choose a font type and size that is attractive and easy to read.

Begin at the top of the first page with your name and list your contact information that is permissible to reach you: home address and city, office phone, mobile number, and personal email.   A note about email:  If you don’t currently have email, please get one.  Do not use someone else’s email address.  When choosing an email address please consider a professional sounding email (example: kmakelly@gmail.com) rather than something professionally inappropriate or cute (example: cmelater@hotmail.com).

Your work experience or career history section should comprise the bulk of your resume and it is the most important part.  List your positions in reverse chronological order.  Include the following information and consider using this format example:

2000 to Present         Company Name and Location

Position Title

Spend time thinking about your responsibilities in this job.  Five or six key bullet points should follow below your title.  It is advisable to lead with:

-Assets or budget size under your management
-Bottom line responsibilities of the job
-Number of direct reports or individuals under your supervision

Key accomplishment bullet points may follow.  Again, it is important that you think these through for relevance and coherency.  The reader does not want to ask “what does this mean?”

Be sure to list each of the jobs you have held since college.  The early years in an active career may not require much detail but we recommend including each position and the dates under the heading Prior Relevant Experience.  Recruiters in particular are interested in transitions and will likely question omissions during your screening interview.  It helps us build a context for your work experience and prepare us for client inquiries.

The career history section should be followed by an education section. Include the name of the institution(s) and its location, your degree, and the year of completion:

Date of Graduation                        College or University, City, State

Degree awarded

You may also include a list of relevant Professional Affiliations and Community Service.

Other details:

  • Check the document for typos.  There are few things more effective at derailing the reader than a typo.  They are easy to make and easy to correct before submitting the resume.
  • Bold the company’s name and the dates you were employed.
  • Include your name and page number in the footnote of your resume (using the same but smaller font as in the body).resume
  • One page resumes are good but may be too abbreviated for your purposes.   A two-page resume is common and acceptable.  You needn’t fill the entire second page.  But again, this requires time to consider how you are presenting yourself.
  • A deal sheet of any length and/or other exhibits is fine.
  • Do not include a photograph on your resume.  It is more distracting than informing.
  • Pro forma comments such as “references available upon request” are not necessary and simply take up space.
  • Send your resume in Word, not Adobe, but check to make sure all changes are accepted and the tracking is turned off or else we might see your edits.
  • Individual tastes may include a brief line listing personal interests.  This option is good; it may help you make a connection.

 

We wish you the best of luck.

San Francisco Office

5 Third Street, Suite 324
San Francisco, California 94103

Sally Carlson, Managing Partner
415.433.2299 office
415.203.5259 mobile
sally@carlsonbeck.com

New York Office

420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 300
New York, New York 10170

917.922.6113 office
sally@carlsonbeck.com

For Clients:

Carlson Beck brings you strategic thought and partnership, partner-led experience, a limited search load, very limited conflicts and a deep commitment to our clients’ missions. Continue reading »