Top Five Resume Tips

Whether you’re going after a career change or seeking a better situation in the same line of work, a solid resume can help give you the best shot at landing that job. We sought advice from Charlotte Pratt, BancorpSouth’s Director of Talent Acquisition & Diversity on some resume best practices.

Charlotte Pratt, BancorpSouth’s Director of Talent Acquisition & Diversity

She gave us a number of tips to share:

  1. Keep it simple. “The simpler the better. You’re trying to create a quick profile someone can view when looking for a specific job.” If the hiring manager or recruiter has to dig down into your resume trying to find relevant information, it could make them more likely to skip it and go to the next one. Assist the recruiter by being well-organized with your information. The more logically the flow of the information, the more likely someone is to keep reading it.
  2. Avoid Misspellings. “One of my biggest pet peeves is misspellings.” You should always present yourself as a professional, so your resume will be a reflection of you. Go over your resume with a fine-toothed comb looking for any simple typos, grammatical errors, or simple human mistakes. Consider having a friend look over your resume. Sometimes an objective third-party can spot things you didn’t notice. Use an internet search for resume examples to find a template to model your own resume upon. There are a number of free grammar-checking tools and software online you can consider using to automatically check and offer corrections on your documents.
  3. Align your resume with the job description. “What you’re trying to do is make a match between what you’re presenting and what they’re looking for.” You don’t have to list every skill in exhausting detail. If you’re applying for a welding job but also have a paralegal certification, it’s ok to leave the paralegal information off and use it as a topic of discussion if need be during the interview. Another good tool is instead of using an objective, provide a performance profile or summary of what you have to offer—how your skills and experiences relate to the needs identified in the job posting.
  4. List timelines correctly. “Avoid timelines that don’t match up with reality.” Charlotte gave the example of someone who listed their education dates overlapping with their professional career in a way that didn’t seem likely. In this case, it turned out to be the result of a simple typo. Be sure to list timelines correctly to help avoid confusion.
  5. Be prepared to discuss work history gaps. “Gaps can be a two-edged sword. Gaps may not be a negative thing, but be able to provide that explanation as to why.” If you took time off from professional work to raise a family, care for an ailing loved one, or pursue education, you have a good reason to have a gap in your work history. Be prepared to share that information.

By utilizing these tips, you can help your chances of success.


Interested in career opportunities with BancorpSouth? Visit our Career Opportunities page to learn more!