Ask a Recruiter: What Does the Ideal Resume Include?

Ask a Recruiter, For Candidates

by Nora Bright and Ben Farber

In the search for a new hire, Executive Recruiters and hiring managers may review quite a few resumes. With a lot of competition for jobs, a candidate’s resume needs to stand out. Bristol’s President, Ben Farber, and Vice President, Nora Bright, offer firsthand advice on what to include that will set your resume — and yourself — apart.

Nora Bright, Bristol Associates Vice-president and Co-owner: 

Show Tenure: It’s very important to show tenure on a resume. Nothing is a bigger turn-off to employers than seeing that a candidate has “jumped around” from job to job without staying somewhere for more than a year or two. In many jobs it can take a year or more for employees to hit their stride and really start contributing to their company. That’s why employee retention is an issue that keeps CEOs and HR professionals up at night. Companies who have invested time and resources into employees lose money when those employees leave.

Multiple Positions at One Company: I often see a resume mistake made by candidates who have been at the same company for many years, but have held multiple positions. A hiring manager might glance at your resume and think that you’ve held various jobs at different companies. It’s important to show clearly that this isn’t the case: I recommend listing the total number of years you have been at the company (example: 2010-2016) with the individual positions and years grouped underneath. That way, it will be immediately evident that you have not had several jobs at different companies, but rather that you moved up within the same company.

Longevity: If you haven’t stayed at the same company for over two years in the recent past, you may want to consider remaining at your current job a bit longer (if possible) to show that you have company loyalty before moving on.

Track Accomplishments: Throughout your employment, it’s advisable to track your accomplishments in quantifiable terms and include them on your resume. Showing measurable achievements in past positions will make you stand out from other candidates. Demonstrating how much money you saved or earned your company in past positions will have a positive effect on your potential employer.

From the employer’s perspective, hiring is always a risky endeavor. Hiring managers can never be completely sure that the people they choose will succeed, but past achievement will help them feel more assured that you will reach the position’s goals.

Ben Farber, Bristol Associates President and Co-owner:

Career Progression: Employers like to see career progression in any size or shape. That growth doesn’t always have to be in the form of a promotion/title change or salary increase. Maybe you recently gained experience working B2B instead of B2C or you’ve expanded your horizons by working in a different region of the country, thus learning a new market demographic.

Leadership and Mentoring: Proving you can do your job and help your company meet its goals is great. Showing you can mentor and lead others to be good at their job is even better. If you have the rare ability to do both, and do so humbly, then you are a corporate treasure and should be respected in your field.

Impact on the Company: While it is critical to talk about contributions made towards increasing profit, it’s just as important to to document leadership accomplishments and convey one’s proficiency in soft skills. Examples of this would be to mention how mentored staff members have been promoted, discuss accomplishments of the department as a whole, and highlight positive collaborations with other departments.

Degrees, Education and Certifications: Many savvy workforce veterans will despise what I have to say about education and hiring and I empathize. Diplomas and degrees do not equal automatic success. However, employers often perceive a strong correlation between higher education and work ethic, consistent work performance, stability, and overall drive. Thus, professionals with Masters degrees, CPAs and the now-popular Six Sigma Green Belt certifications, are more likely to get the “Good news, you’ve been selected for an interview” call.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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