General overview of writing a good resume, including:
Pinto Employment Search LLC - Logistics & Supply Chain Recruiters
Chris & Nancy Pinto, Owners
NANCY: Whether you asked for a job transition or not, searching for a new position can be scary, frustrating and disheartening. Times and technologies change quickly, and there’s a lot to organize! But the journey can just as easily be exciting, fruitful and rewarding. I’m Nancy Pinto.
CHRIS: And I’m Chris Pinto. Together we own Pinto Employment Search, an executive recruiting firm specializing in the supply chain and logistics industry. Our combined experience in transportation jobs and recruiting is over 50 years! We’re here to help you navigate the world of resume writing, job applications, interviews, negotiating compensation, and everything in between - to help you land the job you want!
Once a week, we will also release an episode where we announce current job openings we’re working on.
NANCY: Welcome to the second episode of the Job Search SOS Podcast! Today we’re gonna talk about the most critical document in your job search toolbox: YOUR RESUME! While some enjoy the process, I’d say most people absolutely dread the idea of sitting down to summarize their entire career in just 1 or 2 pages. And there seem to be so many do’s and don’ts that it could feel overwhelming trying to figure out what to include and leave out.
CHRIS: The content of a resume will vary by industry. For example, a doctor will prepare a much different resume - or CV - than a marketing manager. Here, we will focus on general business resumes and the general rules that will always be in style. In future episodes we will dive deeper into each individual section of a resume.
NANCY: First, grab a cup of coffee or tea. Then sit down comfortably. If you already have a resume, dig it out. Let’s see what we have to work with. Maybe it just needs a little updating. Maybe it’s been a long time, or you are just starting out and need to start from scratch. You’re gonna open the document, take a deep breath, and look. Set your mind to POSITIVE THOUGHTS. You can do this, step by step. This work is very important for your future and well-being. Think of your resume as your representative, and you want that representative to look GOOOOOD.
CHRIS: Before thinking about formatting, let’s outline the basics. There are countless templates and formats online or through Microsoft Word that you can download for free, or you can create your own. And there are many different ways you can ARRANGE and organize your experience. The first step, however, is to get the bulk of the content down. You can decide on how you want it to look, and plug everything into a template, later on. And remember, we’re no longer in the typewriter-white out age! These days it’s super easy to create 2 or 3 different versions tailored to whatever position you’re applying for! In fact, you’ll probably want to do that, but for now we will focus on a general resume that you can use for most positions.
NANCY: So let’s start at the top. You need your name, professional email address (preferably “your name at” Gmail or other current email provider), best phone number to reach you, and city and state you reside in. If you have a professional LinkedIn profile you’d like to share, include the link to that here as well. No need for the full street address anymore.
CHRIS: Underneath that, you should list out several SPECIFIC skills that match the job requirements. For example, “fluent in Spanish,” “Quick Books,” and “air export operations.” You can actually skip the summary unless you can make it very specific. By now, EVERYONE writes that they’re a “self-motivated, detail-oriented multi-tasker looking for a rewarding job where my skills can be applied.” That’s the resume equivalent of a plain gray suit. You want to show that you’re UNIQUE and much more colorful!
NANCY: Now, let’s forget formatting for a minute. You want to get your arms around your work experience first. You’ll need to list out your jobs and include: company name, your title, location of job, and date range you were employed (month AND year). If you had different jobs during your employment with one company, break down those roles and dates too. Looking at everything you’ve got to work with is important - again, narrowing it down and choosing a format can come a bit later.
CHRIS: Once you have that list, go back to the first job listed. Write down no more than 5 or 6 key responsibilities and achievements. We know that jobs are rarely made up of just a few functions, and you might be doing a bunch of different things every day. But you want to narrow this down to the best stuff - a few major things that stand out. Think about not only what your day to day responsibilities were, but all the ways you made the job your own, made improvements, and had great successes along the way.
NANCY: Numbers are great here. For example, “Generated one million dollars in revenue from 5 new customers in the first quarter” sounds a lot more exciting than “Responsible for sales and meeting revenue targets.” Or, “Saved 30% on operating expenses by reducing the number of vendors from 8 to 3.” That packs more punch than just “Responsible for office operations.” You get the idea!
CHRIS: If you have a specific job you’re applying for, you’ll want to make sure you include keywords. So for instance, in warehousing you see the term WMS all the time. Which stands for Warehouse Management System. If you’re a warehouse professional applying for warehousing jobs, you MUST include that term in your resume. While you go through the application process for different jobs and companies, you’ll want to double check that your resume contains keywords that match the job descriptions.
NANCY: Also, think bullet points, not paragraphs. And, unless it’s important for the job you’re applying to, you can eliminate jobs that you had more than, say, 15 years ago. While there are exceptions to every rule, the reality is that the more experience you accumulate, the long-ago stuff won’t matter as much as your recent experience, especially if the jobs were in a different industry altogether. For example, say you graduated college and then worked as a bank teller for 5 years. Then you left to start in the logistics industry and worked your way up to management. It’s now 15 years later. You’re applying for a high level job in logistics. You don’t need to keep the banking job on your resume. Unless you DID want to go back to banking and then there’s a way to showcase that older experience, recent experience, and current goals. But we’ll talk about that in the future. For now let’s just say that the last decade of your work life is related to what you’re pursuing now.
CHRIS: Next, let’s tackle the miscellaneous stuff, meaning education, training and certifications, awards, and personal details. For education, no need to show high school, unless you’re IN high school or college. College grads should leave their degrees and relevant coursework, but may leave off the year, especially if you’re going on more than 3 years out of college, with subsequent work experience. For specialized training and certifications with expiration dates (like CPR), leave the most recent and relevant training. Anything older than, say, 10 years is probably not going to be considered up to date anyway. Especially CPR!
NANCY: Awards, personal accomplishments, volunteer work, and even some hobbies, are all great, even if outside the scope of the job. It shows you’re an ambitious, caring human with varied interests and ability to interact and think critically in different situations. List a few key things you’re proud of. For example, bookkeeping for your church, an e-book you published, or performing in community theater. Leave off things that aren’t really special, like internet surfing, reading, or spending time with family. Just kidding about that last one, you guys know what I mean!
CHRIS: By now you may need a 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee. Take 5 and pet your cat. Then come back and continue. You’ll feel sooooo goooooood once this is done. Look over your information. Once you’re satisfied that you have written down all the information you want a hiring manager to see, it’s time to give the formatting some thought. We will cover different styles and approaches in more detail in the future, but today we’re going to assume the standard, reverse-chronological order jobs format.
NANCY: The easiest way to order your resume would be this: from top to bottom, name, contact details, list of skills, work experience (listing most recent position first and going backwards from there), then underneath all that, the education, training, certifications, awards, and volunteer experience. Some formatting rules that apply across the board no matter what:
CHRIS: Correct spelling and grammar, and same font for every word.
NANCY: Bold, underline, and/or italicize headings, companies, positions, and dates, so that they stand out from the rest of the information. Be consistent, meaning don’t bold the company name in one job and not bold the company name in another.
CHRIS: Bullet points, not run-on sentences and paragraphs. The entire document should be no longer than two pages.
NANCY: BESIDES name, location, email and phone number, no personal information needed such as date of birth, photo, ethnicity, marital status, and so on.
CHRIS: Action verbs to start every bullet point. Present tense for current job. Past tense for past jobs. Never start with the pronoun “I.”
NANCY: Set proper margins that aren’t too narrow or too wide.
CHRIS: Crisp, clear, easy to read font. NO WING DINGS!
NANCY: Last but not least, no need to add the phrase “References Upon Request.”
CHRIS: Save the document in word or pdf. Do not attempt to send a crooked scanned copy, a photocopy, a photo you took of your resume with your iPhone…
And don’t save it in a private location such as Google docs without granting the recipient permission to access.
NANCY: As mentioned before, there are hundreds of templates available online for free, so if creating a resume from a blank document is not your thing, download and explore a few, and then choose the one that looks best to you, that you can be proud of submitting.
CHRIS: Now you’re ready to populate the template with your experience! Plug in all your information, save the document with your name and resume as the title, then take another break. Do something else and come back to it with a fresh brain. Ask a trusted person to put their eyeballs on it and give you honest feedback.
NANCY: And there it is! Success! The first step in your quest for a new position!
CHRIS: In upcoming episodes, we’ll dive into all the sections of a resume, different ways to display information, tailoring your resume for the job you want, and all other aspects of resume writing. For our NEXT episode, we will tackle the performance known as: THE JOB INTERVIEW. How to prepare, execute, and conclude. If you have any specific questions, we would love to hear them!
NANCY: We’ll also drop a weekly episode to announce the hottest logistics jobs we’re working on. Our website and contact info will be in the show notes of every podcast episode, so please feel free to share with anyone you know, and reach out with comments, questions, or just to say hello!
CHRIS: Thank you for listening to the Job Search SOS Podcast!
Please visit www.pintoemployment.com and feel free to reach out to us. See you next time!