With hundreds of resumes coming in and out of our office each week, you could say we consider ourselves resume experts. We have complied 4 resume rules our recruiters strongly recommend keeping in mind when perfecting your own resume. These suggestions are universal, but they are catered to the accounting and finance positions we work with. Every industry has specific things it looks for, so be sure to research what HR professionals in your field prefer.
1. Be Concise.
When applying to a job, your resume should be a glimpse into your professional experience. This means keeping it to one page, and avoiding long-winded narratives. Bullet points are a great way to keep things simple, but be sure to use only a few. Instead of listing out every single task you completed in a specific position, try to find the sweet spot somewhere between 3-5 bullets. If you’re a seasoned professional, don’t include every position you’ve ever had. Focus on keeping it relevant. A good rule of thumb is no further back than 10-15 years, unless the experience is applicable. Remember you’re trying to keep this thing to a single page!
2. Be Consistent.
Consistency and simplicity are the rules of the game. You want your online profiles to mirror and complement your resume, not make it less credible. Formatting is also a good thing to keep consistent. Use the same fonts (not too many!) and avoid complexities like tables or indentations that may not translate on multiple platforms. And if you’re going to end your bullets with periods, make sure they all have one.
3. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Nothing can kill a resume quicker than a typo. If your resume is being updated frequently during a job search, make sure you are proofreading each time you send it out. While still monotonous, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to lose the perfect job simply because you spelled “accounts recievble” wrong. Because of technology like spellcheck and autocorrect, these mistakes are even more unacceptable and inexcusable.
This includes checking all the contact info listed on your resume. We’ve had amazing candidates that either included the incorrect phone number, or no contact info at all!
4. Keep it Professional.
The look of your resume is equally as important as the content within it. For the finance industry, we do not encourage the use of pictures or color. Don’t use bad, distracting fonts like “Curlz MT”, “Papyrus” or “Comic Sans.” If you take your job search seriously, your resume should convey that just by glancing at it. Email address also should set a professional tone. Avoid using that “super cool” email you gave yourself in middle school; it is easy and free to set up a new one.
Now if we had to declare one resume rule the most important, it would probably be this: No. Lying. Allowed. Not only is it unprofessional and unethical, odds are we will figure out the truth whether you tell us or not. For example, don’t make it look like you graduated from college when you actually didn’t. We have degree evaluations for this sort of thing.
We hope you found this article helpful and reassuring. The littlest improvements to your resume can make the biggest difference in the long run. If you’re an accounting professional looking to update your profile and would like to hear about our latest opportunities, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can apply to a specific position online, or send your resume over to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to work with you and get your resume to the top of the stack and ready your next career move.