EBS Northwest
Resume Tips

The following are "tips" not rules. You do not have to follow any of these tips to eventually land a job, but our experience in knowing how to present your qualifications may help you land a job faster and one that best suits your skills. Our experience in executive search has provided us with a lot of useful experience. We work directly with hiring managers and review hundreds of resumes a year. We know what works!
  • Be Clear, Concise and Complete in your resume. Resumes that are well written and easy to understand get first priority with employers and agencies. Any resume that needs a phone call for clarification tends to get put aside. Prospective employers do not have enough time to call for clarification.
  • Do not limit yourself to 1 page. In a technical field like ours, it is important that you provide details about your experience. It is not enough to say "developed programs in C". Adequately describe the position you held, your responsibilities, the application area and the software, hardware and tools used. If it takes 3 pages, then use 3 pages. Use a font size of AT LEAST 11. 12 is even better.
  • Use Arial or Times Roman for scannable resumes.
  • Use white space liberally. It makes the resume readable and leaves the reviewer room for notes. Do not include hobbies. Interests, club organizations, etc. Stick to your skills and jobs! Edit
Sample Format

Summary of Qualifications:

Always start with the summary - NOT an objective! The summary should be 4-5 typed lines. Describe what you are. State the number of years experience in the industry. State the positions you have held (not specific titles, use generic position names like Software Developer, Programmer, Analyst, etc.). State the application areas you have worked on like banking, telephony, or financial. State your key skills. If you are a Windows Developer specializing in Visual C++, state it. Do not state what you would like to be, state what you are!

Technical Skills:

Detail your technical skills experience. Clearly indicate what hardware, software, languages, operation system and networks you have used. Put the information in a table, use tabs or bold it to indicate your level of experience in each area. If you have used some older technology. (i.e., COBOL or Univac) and do not want to use that technology again, do not include it on the summary. Many companies today scan resumes into a database system so it is important to state the EXACT technology you have used.

Professional Experience:

This is the heart of the resume. Prospective employers should be able to find a skill they are looking for on page 1 (the summary-remember!) and find the detail of that skill in the body of the resume. For example, if you state in your summary that you are a Visual Basic developer, the reader should be able to quickly and easily find Visual Basic in the body of the resume. Start with the most recent company first. State the Company Name, City/State and dates of employment (MM/YY). Bold it or put it in a table or chart. Next describe what you did. For example, "As a Software Developer, worked on financial application. Designed, developed, tested, debugged and documented a system to calculate the average income of the Seattle Mariner baseball team. Wrote several programs in Visual Basic to determine the salary peaks for each player...."
  • Describe your role on the job (for example, were you the Manager, Analyst, Software Engineer, Networking Specialist, Tester). Next describe what you did on the job. Do not skimp or overstate the job.
  • Do not make sentences too long! Break it up to make it readable . Put the summary in paragraph form. If you worked on more than one project for a company, write a paragraph per project. The description for each job should be 4-7 typed lines. Anything less says, "this job was not important". It is important the resume "look" appropriate for the experience level you have attained.
  • End each project description with a list of the tools used. State each prior employer in reverse chronological order. State the company name, city/state and dates of employment. Again describe what you did and how you did it. Repeat the process until you have documented each employer in your career.
  • Special Situations: If you have been a consultant for a company, state the consulting company name. Then bold the company name where you worked.
  • If you have been in the business for a number of years (10-15+), the last 4-5 years are the important ones to document. Anything prior to that should be accounted for in your resume, but a short description of 2-3 lines is fine.
  • Hiring managers will try to find the exact skill they are looking for and read that paragraph.

Education:

State the degree, university attended, city and state of the university, major and year degree was attained. If you have more than one degree, start with the highest level first. If you do not have a degree but have professional education in certain areas, summarize the classes and label the category Professional Education. Sending your resume: As you respond to job postings, send your resume via e-mail (preferred), fax or mail. If you use e-mail, send it in a MS Word attachment.

Cover note or letter:

Include a brief note. Do not summarize everything you did. State your main skills. It does not need to be more than a couple of short paragraphs. This is your opportunity to highlight or provide information that may not be included in your resume, but supports your qualifications for the position. If you are applying for jobs in another location (i.e., you live in Boise but are applying for jobs in Seattle) state why you are considering the area. If you have family in the area, state it. Employers are very reluctant to hire from out of the area. It is risky and expensive to relocate employees.

Follow-up:

It is a good idea to e-mail or call for a status. It can be a good way to get your resume reviewed. Do not annoy the recruiter with hundreds of phone calls. If rejected by the company, try not to take it personally. It could be your salary, requirements of the job, timing, skill set or any number of factors. Just keep working at it!