Tips for an outstanding resume

The primary goal of a resume is to get an interview. What are the keys to achieving this goal?

  • Stand out from the other candidates
  • Display your achievements
  • Convey your ability to attain results for the prospective facility

The overall mindset in creating a resume is to set yourself apart and show your ability to provide results. Be aware that most of the other candidates will have similar education, experience, and skills as you – so you must show how you not only perform those tasks and functions, but you perform them better. That is an essential key to set you apart. Yes, you should summarize the scope of your responsibility, but a resume is not a document to list all your daily functions, which will probably be identical to the other candidates. Remember the goal of your resume is to stand out, get an interview, and ultimately get the job.


Sections in resumes

The sections in resumes vary, depending upon your experience and the target job requirements. Rarely would you include the entire following list of possible sections, but the list will help guide you in determining which sections may be appropriate to include to best fit your needs:

  • Contact Information
  • Objective (only if necessary – career change, shift, move)
  • Qualifications/summary/profile/career highlights
  • Experience
  • Education/affiliations/professional involvement/memberships
  • Tournaments
  • Papers presented/honors and awards
  • Technology
  • References – or statement about them

Formatting

Margins: .5 inch to 1 inch
Font: Any type of font which is professional and easy to read, size varies with fonts, but in general 9 to 11 is typical.
Number of Pages: The number of pages for a resume depends upon the years of experience and level of job you are seeking. Assistant superintendent resumes are typically one page, whereas, superintendents with 10-15 or more years experience in the industry will typically warrant a two-page resume. These are general guidelines to help you, but the ultimate deciding factor in determining if a section/point should be included is, “will this point help me get an interview – is this point relevant to the prospective job?” In general, the more candidates that are qualified for a position (entry and mid-level jobs) requires that you be more concise because there will be a larger stack of resumes for the employer to read thru and will therefore be less willing to read a longer resume. For high level and executive level jobs, three-page resumes are acceptable because those individuals will have more experience and information to include and the employer will only have a small number of qualified candidates to consider.


Qualifications section (or any similar title)

  • Put this at the top and use it to set you apart from the other candidates. This is crucial to get their attention.
  • Use bullets (no more than seven in a list) to convey more information quickly to the reader
  • Use objective statements, avoid trite comments such as “excellent communication skills”

Experience section

  • Avoid listing daily tasks, instead, summarize your responsibilities and then list achievements (ideally achievements for the facility, not just you and your department)
  • Tangible numbers and results are best, list examples and specific achievements

References

Reference page includes three to five listings of individuals with their contact information.


Tips for your resume to stand out

  • Use active, direct writing style with strong verbs and positive words. Eliminate pronouns (I, we, my, their, etc.) and articles (a, an, the), unless you need them for clarity. Unnecessary wording bogs the reader down.
  • Omit age, birth date and graduation dates; marital status; number of children. Save information on salary history and reasons for leaving a previous position for the interview.
  • List all references on a separate page as an attachment.
  • Tailor your resume for each of the positions in which you are most interested. Résumés that are customized for the specific position really stand out in a big stack.
  • Be sure to point out how your accomplishments exactly match the requirements to share why they should hire you. This gives the employer more information and more reasons to interview you, giving you the opportunity to show them in person what you have to offer.
  • Show a draft to friends or acquaintances familiar with the business environment you are applying for. Welcome their feedback.
  • Read your resume carefully, several times, to make sure there are no errors or misspellings. Just one typo creates a powerful impression of carelessness that may overshadow all your qualifications, experience and education.
  • Include your reference list when sending your resume to prospective employers
  • When considering who to list as a reference, think of different perspectives (not just past managers) that validate your professional skills, such as agronomic consultants, past greens chairmen, golfers, PGA professionals, architects, GCSAA contacts, peers.
  • If you have space at the bottom of your resume, you can include a statement referring to your enclosed reference page. If space is limited, just omit and then still enclose reference page.
  • Use the same header (name and contact info) as your resume, and same font
  • List the references in order of importance for the particular job posting and relevance to the needs of the prospective facility

GCSAA can critique or prepare your resume. For more information, contact Carol D. Rau, PHR, human resources consultant, at careeradvantage@sunflower.com.