Keep Your Resume in the Follow-Up Pile: 5 Resume Must-Haves

bubble_resume1The other day on LinkedIn, I came across a conversation that reminded me of this important rule of thumb: don’t underestimate the basics.

Holiday party invite: don’t forget to RSVP.

Cooking for co-workers: check for allergies.

Interview etiquette: turn off your phone.

Whether you’re applying for a job, following a business lead or even just replying to the boss’ last email, the ‘basics’ are the foundation of your personal brand. The smallest details can signify big things. Personalized content on a cover letter shows investment. Clean grammatical work speaks to diligence. Contact details prove common sense.

Before you hit ‘send’ on your resume, give it a second look with these 5 basic reminders for keeping your resume in the follow-up pile:

1. Contact Information

David Rogers, Recruitment Partner  for BC Hydro posted this on his LinkedIn the other day:“Reminder, as an applicant applying to any job out there, please remember to include phone # and email on your resume.” I had to give it a hearty “like” – just the other day I’d dealt with a candidate who’d listed an invalid phone number on her resume (no wonder no one was calling her back)!  While you’re updating your contact info, don’t forget your LinkedIn profile url, your Twitter Handle and any other relevant social media accounts (i.e. personal blog) too.

2. Spelling & Grammar

6 hours spent on your Vine Resume means nothing when your introductory email is full of spelling erors (oops). Double check everything. Don’t sound like a template. And certainly don’t plagiarize someone’s LinkedIn summary. For all its world-class fare, Vancouver is still a small town by many measures. And if you’re serious about the job (whether you’re a VP or a recent grad), you’ll need a second set of eyes on your final document. Edit. Edit. Edit.

3. Cross Check

Failure to demonstrate your ability to do the job is one of the’s top 3 things that will get your resume thrown in the trash. Ask yourself: are the basic requirements of the job satisfied via your resume and cover letter? If a specific experience set (SAP/B2C/International) or skill set (SalesForce/Marketo/Hubspot) is part of the job description, make sure it’s part of your application as well.

4. Season Well

I’m not much of a chef, but 5 minutes on FoodNetworkTV will teach you an important lesson: seasoning is everything. Once you’ve laid out the basics on your resume, you’ll need to figure out your salt and pepper strategy. What’s going to make all that raw data taste good? Smart Savvy’s Free Resume Report Card service checks off the basics, but we never forget to provide key feedback on all the savvy stuff too. Our recommendations are meant to help candidate’s put forward a #standapart resume, not just a typo-free one.

5. Get out the Label Maker

This is one of the most basic and important resume rules. After you’ve edited, tailored and spiced up your resume, you’re going to want to save it. Please, carefully name your resume and cover letter files. I get ones all the time like: Joe_Smith Marketing Resume (does he have a sales and an administration one too?) and JoeSmithRBC (but he’s sending it to me and I work at Coast Capital). It’s a real blunder – and a common one at that.

All that said, even the ‘basics’ are no small effort. We know better than anyone: a clean, tailored and #StandApart resume is a ton of work. So don’t forget the other important rule of thumb when it comes to resumes: it’s ok to ask for help.

If you would like to take advantage of Smart Savvy’s FREE Resume Report Card Service (or leave the whole job to the experts) click here to get started today.