In any professional career, an up-to-date, polished resume is an important item to have, even in a field facing a workforce shortage – as is the case for EEG technologists.
If you are actively looking for a new position, the need for an excellent resume is obvious. But employers aren’t the only ones who look at resumes, so even if you are perfectly happy where you are, it is to your benefit to keep that document current and ready to go. You never know what kind of opportunity may present itself – committee leadership positions, speaking engagements, or seats on nonprofit boards, for example.
These are all ways you can expand your skills and grow your network, and you may need to submit a resume to be considered. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get that all-important document in tip-top shape.
Start with a working document. This resume will list everything you can think of that could be valuable for any opportunity – work experience, education, volunteerism, special credentials, etc. Don’t leave anything out. You won’t share this document with anyone; instead, you’ll use it to create specific resumes.
Focus on hard data. When you describe your experience or education, provide concrete data in the form of accomplishments and numbers. Money saved, people impacted, milestones achieved and surpassed all give a sense of success that more passive language just doesn’t offer.
Next, customize your working document for each specific position you apply for. Highlight only the skills and experience that make you the perfect candidate for the job in question and remove the rest.
Keep the most important information at the top. Many job openings attract hundreds of resumes. According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the average recruiter spends six seconds scanning a resume. By arranging your most relevant skills and experience at the top (hint: look at the required and desired qualifications in the job description) you will make things much easier for the person who has to sort through so many documents. Plus, it shows you understand the position and how you fit the requirements.
Use keywords to get noticed by applicant tracking systems (ATS). Today, more organizations have computers, not humans, perform initial resume scans. This means you need to make sure your resume includes the most important keywords from the job description to help the computer identify you as a good fit for the position. Study the job description well and find spots in your experience and education to echo those keywords and phrases.
Keep it to one page. This is one piece of wisdom that remains true. Unless you have some truly unusual and relevant experience that requires more than one page, whittle it down. No one wants to spend extra time reviewing two pages that could have been condensed into one.
Take steps to make it easy to read. Use a clean, modern font like Arial or Calibri. Don’t include photos or graphics that may distract from the important information you provide. And definitely use spellcheck! Think of these steps as a courtesy to anyone who reads your resume.
Finally, consider the format of your resume. Formatting can easily get ruined in a Word document if opened on a different system. A PDF maintains the formatting every time, ensuring your resume is presented just like you intend it to be. This makes the PDF very tempting. But if an ATS is used, a Microsoft Word document will be easier for it to scan. It may be safest to keep formatting simple and use the Word doc unless you know for sure that the employer won’t use an ATS.
As you plot the course of your career as an EEG technologist, keep an updated, working resume on hand for any opportunities that may arise. You won’t be caught scrambling to put together the document, and you’ll be a lot more confident you’re presenting your best qualifications for any opportunity you pursue.
There is still a lot of competition for the best jobs, even in a time of full employment. Make sure your resume is at the top of the stack.