Resume Advice from Two Lighting Industry Professionals

Recently, we asked Jill Cody, Principal from the design firm, Dark Light, and Courtney Abraham, Chief Human Resources Officer, from GE Current, a Daintree Company, for advice on preparing a resume that delivers results.

What catches your eye on the first glance of a resume?

Jill: Since we work in design it really does have to be well organized at the minimum. That doesn’t mean it has to be overdesigned, but it is good to know that someone has an eye for what looks good. At the very minimum, at least make sure there aren’t any typos!

Courtney: Action verbs and outcomes. What was the person’s role in the activity and what results were attained?

Does this make you want to spend more time with the resume? Or less?

Jill: If I see something that’s just overwrought I might not want to spend too much time on it. But seeing something that’s cleanly laid out and well designed (and by that I mean easy to read as well) would make it easier for me to spend some time with it.

Courtney: Action words and outcomes make me want to spend more time. Your resume is an opportunity to tell your story – what are the most impactful activities you’ve accomplished that demonstrate why you are an excellent candidate for the role. From individual contributor roles to leadership experiences—they are all relevant; include those that illustrate why you are the best candidate and don’t be afraid to have multiple versions of your resume that are customized for the role you are applying to.

What information do you wish that every resume provided?

Jill: I know this sounds old school, but I do appreciate when there’s a physical address on a resume. It’s just nice to know where people are located, especially in these days of Zoom calls. Depending on the position, we may or may not be able to accommodate remote work.

Courtney: If you are relocatable, willing to travel, speak more than one language; worked in a team and how you collaborate, how you take decisions, where you’ve grown and demonstrated success; those items you can do with your eyes closed that are true strengths and separate you from other candidates.

Any advice on what must be included in a resume?

Jill: Be thorough but concise. Try to remember that the person reading your resume has a job to get back to, so making it easy to understand your education and experience in the least time possible is your goal.
Courtney: Emotional intelligence and learning agility are — shall I say— more important that technical skills- use your cover introduction to bring yourself to life. Cover letters should share what’s not in your resume.

Is it acceptable to have a resume that is more than two pages?

Jill: Oh my gosh no, see above.

Courtney: Two pages will suffice. You can attach other marketing pitches and addendums that demonstrate your capabilities.

What if the applicant has a 50-year history in the industry? Still just two pages?

Jill: If they have a 50-year history in the industry, they should be able to distill their notable accomplishments into something that really matters, what I really care about, into less than two pages!

What are some strategies that can help people edit down to the two pages if they have decades of experience?

Courtney: Cover letters and samples of work products that you have approval to use!

Any other resume advice?

Jill: Make it neat, make it concise, and have somebody proofread it!

Courtney: Don’t be afraid to be different- different color fonts (greys, blues); blocks with text or testimonials, what about your resume will make the recruiter pause on it over others that are 11 pt Arial black font

Many thanks to Jill and Courtney for taking the time to share their valuable advice.

If you use this advice to update your resume, be in touch – we would love to hear about your experience.

If you are in a hiring position in the lighting industry and would like to share your advice and insight in our next TIPS article, reach out to Suelynn, suelynn@lightingsold.com .