We asked a hiring manager to give us tips on how you can impress HR—and how you can avoid making horrible mistakes when hunting for a job.
To ensure their honesty, we’ve granted anonymity to this design manager at a major ad agency. Check out his/her résumé tips, as told to the SALT Blog’s Aaron Weber.
SHOW ME YOUR STUFF
The first thing I want to see in a résumé is a URL for the portfolio.
I like to see clear organization and some design sense. That’s less important in other industries, I’m sure, but this job requires aesthetic judgment, so you better demonstrate it from the very first moment. In my business, that means use InDesign and not Word, don’t use that cutesy logo you made out of your initials, and pick a more interesting font than Arial.
If you’ve got a shorter work history, you can include volunteer experience—especially if it’s relevant. An entry-level designer might not have a ton of experience, but if they overhauled the website for their local charity, I’m happy to look at that as an example of their work. Treat it professionally, and you’ll be treated professionally.
KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
Use active voice bullet points. If you can quantify your achievements, even better: “Redesigned website, producing X% more conversions” is a winner. I don’t want to see weird infographics or skill maps, unless they are mind-bendingly brilliant (hint: yours probably aren’t). When in doubt, just present the facts cleanly and without error.
AND BE CONSISTENT
Make sure your résumé material syncs up with any data you provide on a LinkedIn profile. I will Google you. I will read your Facebook page and your Twitter feed. Make it good. Make it consistent. Don’t look like an idiot.
WHAT I HATE
I’ll throw out anything with typos. If you say “attenion to detale,” you’re out. If you misuse words and say things like “my skills run the gambit,” you’re out. If you lie, you’re out—and yes, I will check.
I once threw out a résumé from someone who had an objective statement saying they were looking for “meaningful work.” This is an ad agency. We don’t do meaningful.
Other people’s objective statements don’t hurt them that much, but I don’t think they help much at all. We all know that your objective is to get the job. Use that space to tell me something I don’t know.
Also, if you list hobbies, I will laugh at you. Unless you’re a Winklevoss twin, I don’t care.
Do you have any great résumé tips for your industry? Share them in the comments.