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Home Subscriber Articles Industry Leaders What To Include In A Resume

What To Include In A Resume

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I have come to realize that everyone should have an updated resume. Even if you are currently employed or self-employed. If you are an actor, executive, secretary, sales associate, sales rep, real estate agent, etc. You never know if or when your employment status will change or when you need a second job.  The style of resume and type of information in it is going to depend on what kind of job you are going for. What remains the same is that the resume should be developed like a marketing document with the reader's motivation in mind.

The Actor's Resume:

A resume for actors/actresses and most other entertainers is different from other industries. Here is what you need to cover:

1.  Basic stats, such as your height, weight, (measurements for models), hair color, eye color, etc.

2.  Your training and experience.  Casting directors want to see what schools and theater programs the actor has attended and what teachers or coaches he or she has studied with.

3.  A special skills section.  List various things that you can do which would be helpful for any casting director to know.

4.  Show the range of roles. Include all mediums, but exclude background credits.

5.  A note or cover letter.  Explain why you should get an audition and staple it with the resume on the back of the headshot.


20 Seconds to review a resume? 

I heard recently that many recruiters only take around 20 seconds to review a resume in order to get through 100s of resumes in a short time.  During this time 80-100% can be eliminated by scanning the following, taking only a couple seconds with each:  
1.   Location: Most companies in today’s economy are not willing to pay for relocation when there are usually enough local prospects

2.   Industry: How your background compares to the client's industry

3.   Function: What functions you have held,  e.g. was it in sales?

4.   Level: What positions have you held?

5.   Recent Experience: Is it relevant to the position?

6.   Education: Most are looking for college education with at least a BA.

7.   Turnover:  A track record for high turnover is a red flag no matter the reason

8.   Functional Resume: A recruiter feels you are trying to hide something with a functional resume (focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history

9.   Typos and rambling: Proofread and show your resume to several friends to have them proofread it as well. Do not use spellchecker on your computer, because it cannot detect grammar, such as "there" vs. "their".

After the elimination process, then the remaining resumes can be read in detail.

It is important to have a specific resume for an individual position showing accomplishments that are directly linked to the needs of the job. Do away with the generic resume and market yourself for the one position.  Are you targeting the reader’s motivation rather than yours? Do the bullet points help them solve their problems or needs?  Focus on what you can do for the prospective employer and not what you are looking for in a job.


More common resume blunders:

1. Too Focused on Job Duties: Go beyond showing what was required and demonstrate how you made an impact at each company by giving specific examples.

2. Convoluted or General Objective Statement: Replace the objective with a phrase stating what you do or your expertise.

3. Too Short or Too Long: There is no rule about proper resume length.  Every word should sell you, so ask yourself, “Will this statement help me land an interview?” and include only the information that elicits a “yes.”"

4. Using Personal Pronouns and Articles: A resume should be to the point and written in a telegraphic style. This means there should be no use of pronouns such as “I” or “me,” and only minimal use of articles such as "a/an" or "the".

5. Listing Irrelevant Information: Many people include their interests, but only those relating to the job need be, such as belonging to Toastmasters is relevant to a job in promotions, but skydiving is not.

6. Using a Functional Resume When You Have a Good Career History: I am mentioning this again as to point out the modified chronological format, or combination resume, is often the most effective.  Here’s the basic layout of a chronological resume:

• Header (name, address, email address, phone number).

• Lead with a strong profile section detailing the scope of your experience and areas of proficiency.

• Reverse chronological employment history emphasizing achievements over the past 10 to 15 years. (focus on relevant jobs)

• Education (new grads may put this at the top).

7. Not Including a Summary Section That Makes an Initial Hard Sell: Job seekers who have done their homework will know the skills important to the position. The summary should demonstrate the skill level and experiences directly related to the position being sought.

To create an impressive statement, browse job openings to determine what’s important to employers. Next, write a list of your matching skills, experience and education. Include these elements into your summary.

8. Not Including Keywords: With so many companies using the computer to store resumes, the best hope a job seeker has of being located is to sprinkle pertinent keywords throughout the document. Determine keywords by reading job descriptions that interest you, and include the words you see repeatedly in your resume.

9. Referring to Your References: Prospective employers know you have professional references. Use the statement only to indicate the end of a long resume or to complete the design.


Remember, the resume is a reflection of you and should be perfect.



Carolyn Schrader is a writer and social media manager with Video Integrations.



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