There are ton of resources online about how your resume and LinkedIn profile should look like, what you should and shouldn’t include and how; which is great but can also feel overwhelming, especially when you find contradictory pieces of advice. What then?
I’m a big believer in making sure whatever you do, it fits YOU – your personality, your background, your culture, your experience, your story and what you are looking for. So let’s see how that applies to our topic.
As a recruiter, I’m fairly lenient when it comes to assessing resumes. I’m more interested in getting on the phone and finding out someone’s story. Unfortunately, time is of the essence and I can’t to that with every single person that lands in my inbox.
So here are the 4 things that are my baseline when assessing a resume:
This might be the most challenging someone from outside of the US has to do. In Europe at least it is common for people to have 2-3 pages of “CV” and that’s a short one!
One page makes it easy for everyone, as soon as you get it done, the hardest part is over.
Going through that process of boiling down your experience to just a few lines of text is actually useful to identify your strengths and accomplishments and avoid that awkward pause when asked “What was your biggest accomplishment in your last job?” Example: Grew the SF core team – Sales, Marketing and Engineering from 1 to 10 in 6 months
Good Grammar and Formatting
This is a basic requirement however I cannot stress it enough. Any grammar mistake is a red flag and most often than not it gets your resume discarded. It also speaks to your attention to detail. Grammarly is a great tool for that.
Concise and Results Oriented
This ties into the first point – you need to be concise if you want to make that one-pager work. Moreso because you need whoever is reading your resume to understand what you have done in your previous roles, how you have helped your previous companies get closer to their goals so they can see the value of your work.
However not many recruiters have a lot of time on their hands to just read and analyze resumes – this process is a few seconds process. We look at your resume and we need to understand your experience in 30 seconds or so. Make the most out of that; don’t just list your job description – that only tells me what you were supposed to be doing.
Accounting for Gaps
Life happens and we sometimes need to take some time off and deal with it. Whether it’s having a baby, moving cities/countries, taking care of someone or just traveling, do mention it in your resume. You don’t need to get specific about it, just mentioning that gap and accounting for it takes out the guessing work for anyone looking at your resume.
Elena Stefanopol is a Senior Technical Recruiter at RockIT Recruiting where she’s working with Bay Area startups to help them define their recruiting practices and grow their teams. She’s originally from Romania where she opened a new branch of an international NGO managing over 40 people; that’s how she got into recruiting. She then went on to train students on intercultural communication in Krakow and then moved to London where she led a team of 3 as the recruitment manager of a gaming company that grew from 150 to 250 people in the space of a few months. When she moved to San Francisco 2 years ago, Elena worked with an AI startup that was expanding from London to SF and recruited their entire team of 10 people. She’s a hair color chameleon who loves to explore and learn about new things, tech, places and people.