5 Quick Changes to Boost Your Résumé

Do you get "analysis paralysis" when attempting to write your résumé?

1. Update Your Email Address

When I worked in the headhunting industry some hiring managers would express concerns with candidates who had Hotmail.com or AOL.com email addresses. The former is associated with the MySpace generation and the latter is antiquated.  Also, if your email is “bigdog116” or “sunshine06” you’re unlikely to get a call.

Opt for a Gmail account. If you’re a consultant, avoid using your business email and try to stay clear from using personal domain emails such as “janesmith@janesmith.com”

Keep it simple and professional - firstnamelastname@gmail.com and suck it up if you need to add numbers. If you’re unsure about the Hotmail.com email then see this article from Mike Volpe - CMO at HubSpot. 

2. Add Your LinkedIn URL to You Résumé

For example, mine is ca.linkedin.com/in/sstruan. You should customize it to your name before you add it. There's a couple of reasons for including this on your résumé: 

It makes it easy for hiring managers to verify what they’re seeing on your résumé and on your LinkedIn profile. It adds a layer of verification and comfort on their end by being able to see who you are on paper is also who you are online. 

Sometimes hiring managers will leave a track on your profile from clicking your URL. Now you have a reason to connect with them on LinkedIn and follow up. This helps you stay top of mind. 

3. Quantify Your Accomplishments

Numbers sell. If you want your résumé to stand out then make sure you quantify your accomplishments and relate them to "Time, Money and Manpower" (I use manpower as I use male pronouns but I mean womanpower or peoplepower, too). These are the 3 most important things to include on your résumé. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • When have you accomplished something ahead of schedule?
  • How much money have you made or saved your department/company?
  • How large is your team or how have you accomplished more with less?

For example, if you’re a Marketing Manager who writes “developed and executed a strategic marketing plan”, you won’t stand out. 

The above, which I've seen on hundreds of résumés, tells a hiring manager absolutely nothing. Your résumé isn’t supposed to be a summary of your day to day responsibilities; it’s a marketing document that should sell all of the benefits of what you bring to the table. Change it to something along the lines of: 

“Developed a 40 page strategic marketing plan which covered 14 product lines across 3 departments and oversaw activity for 18 months. The marketing plan involved a team of 4 who I managed and we helped increase sales by 42% and saw social media engagement rise by 94%.”

These quantifiable accomplishments are the most salient points of your résumé.  If you don’t have any to share, step up your game and try to hit some goals in your current role before you make a move. 

4. Remove The Following

  • Your Home Phone Number

    Use your cell number for any job applications. If you have a work phone that you don’t want to use, buy a phone forwarding service with a local area code. Also, make sure your voicemail is professional.
  • Your Headshot

    Unless you are a professional model or actor, under no circumstances should you include a picture on your résumé. Save it for LinkedIn where it’s considered appropriate. 

5. 1 page, 2 pages or 3 pages?

The bottom line is: no one gives a s**t. If you’re a new graduate, you might only have 1 page. If you have a 20 or 30 year career and it stretches to 3 pages, then so be it. I never once worked with a hiring manager who cared about 2 or 3 pages so don’t let it stop you from finishing your résumé. 

- Sam Struan