Believe it or not, recruiters – which includes HR and hiring managers – spend almost all of their resume review time on the following resume points: your name, your current title and company, your current position start and end dates, your previous title and company, your previous position start and end dates, and your education.

  • Always keep in mind that the resume only has one function: to get you an interview.
  • It is not necessary to include names and addresses of any referees. Reference checking takes place only at the time where the employer has decided to offer you employment. 
  • Recruiters, that is the HR department or consultants from executive recruitment companies, love to know the reasons for leaving jobs. You should be ready to answer these questions – but not in your resume, only when asked during the interview. Simply leave out any information about why you left a job.
  • Every business has their own jargon, their own short words, that people in the business know well. As it might not be the line manager (i.e. someone familiar with this terminology) who will be taking a first look at all the resumes and applications, but rather the HR department or a recruitment company, you should avoid using abbreviations.
  • If you have a degree or qualification relevant to the job you are applying for, this should obviously be included under the headline Education. Do not enclose copies of your diplomas and certificates. Instead bring the copies along for the interview in case the recruiter would like to check your educational credentials. 
  • Go for the standard and acceptable Microsoft Word document and you are on safe ground. Drop the Excel or PowerPoint documents for your resume. 
  • Do not use a file name such as resume.doc or the employer’s company name. Use your own first and last name as the file name when you save the document on your computer.