Skip to main content

8 Easy Fixes to Avoid Sabotaging Your Real Estate Resume

By August 15, 2019April 21st, 2024RETS Blog

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that today’s resumes are beginning to look like an Instagram or Tinder profile, complete with photos, illustrations, and even bitmojis.

It may be hard to believe; however, the evolution of the resume is of tremendous importance to today’s real estate companies.

As Chip Cutter put it: “Gone are the utilitarian, black-and-white documents covered in bullet points.”

Instead, today’s companies may expect to receive digital files filled with artistic flourishment. Driving this trend is Generation Z – the next generation of tech-savvy digital natives, who were raised on smartphones and social media. Born in 1995 and later, Gen Z workers are quickly growing into professional roles, bringing their Instagram-friendly resumes with them. While these applicants are striving to make their resumes stand out, they may actually be sabotaging themselves when seeking employment in the real estate industry.

From our purview as one of the leading real estate executive search firms in the country, RETS Associates advises candidates that, while a resume won’t get you the job, it may well be the reason you are not considered.

While some employers are open to personalization, especially in industries such as tech, graphic design and other creative fields, the real estate industry is not likely to take a candidate seriously if their resume includes unprofessional photos, avatars, bitmojis and the like.

Drawing upon those insights, we’ve assembled a list of 8 easy fixes to ensure you are not sabotaging your real estate resume. Whether you’re working to land your first professional job in real estate or hoping to leverage existing experience to move up, these tips will help to support your job-seeking success:

  1. Quantify! In the real estate industry, it is crucial to include quantified information and emphasize results. Make sure to mention deal size, value, square footage, location, and product type.
  2. Include relevant information about specific deals. Tell a story about a real estate deal that is noteworthy to you!
  3. Be Concise. Trim down your detailed work experience – Devote less space to shorter-term jobs than to longer-term ones. If you were a Financial Analyst 10 years ago and are now a Vice President of Retail Acquisitions, don’t have 7 bullets about your Analyst role.
  4. Delete jobs older than 10 years ago if possible. Unless the position is particularly notable to the role you are applying to, LET IT GO. Especially if it’s not relevant to your current real estate role.
  5. Don’t be overly clever or too creative for your own good. This goes back to the WSJ article… Make your resume easy to read and stay on the conservative side – unless you’re specifically looking for a job in a creative field mentioned above. In the real estate industry, stay away from lots of colors or excessive photos.
  6. Check, double check, and check again for spelling errors. According to a CareerBuilder survey[BG1] , 58% of resumes have typos and poor grammar. This is a job-possibility killer, so proofread several times. RETS’ advice is to read your resume backward from the bottom to the top or have a friend read it over to ensure there are no mistakes.
  7. Pay attention to details. Don’t let silly discrepancies make or break your resume. Make sure your dates match up and be consistent on tense throughout.
  8. Keep the format clean. It doesn’t matter how solid your content is, a poorly formatted resume will kill your chances of getting your foot in the door.

Ultimately, a resume is an important tool to market yourself in real estate and without that favorable first impression, a prospective employer is likely to stop considering you as a suitable candidate.


Kent Elliott, Principal, About Kent

The RETS Team brings a deep, strategic understanding of the real estate industry to your recruitment needs. Click here for more insights & tips.