Real estate careers can be very unconventional. The typical salary may vary greatly, working hours can be anything and everything, and your office may well be your car. But one there’s one career mainstay you shouldn’t neglect, your real estate agent resume.
Particularly if you apply to work with a broker, or switch brokers, you’ll want your resume in tip-top shape. And that’s much easier if you’ve been keeping it updated all along.
Formatting Your Resume
1. Make Contact Information Prominent
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often a real estate agent resume will include the agent’s name, phone number, and email in tiny text at the top. People who review resumes see a lot of names, and the most important thing you can do is plant your name firmly in their mind.
Choose a large, and attractive, font for your name at the top of the resume. Even using a different color for your name isn’t a bad idea. Just pick something subtle and attractive (nobody likes text in fluorescent green).
2. Skip the Fancy Paper and Make a PDF
Nowadays, a real estate agent resume is highly unlikely to have a non-digital life. Whether it’s emailed, displayed on your website or downloaded by a recipient, make sure you use the most user-friendly file format, the PDF.
While there are many different text-editing programs you can use for writing your resume, not everyone will have the right program to read it. If you create it in Microsoft Word, for example, many Mac users will not have that program and may have trouble reading the .doc format. But, nearly everyone will be able to open and read a PDF file. (Technical tip: If you do create your resume in Word, you can still save it as a PDF. Go to “Save As” under the File menu and “PDF” will be one of the first options available.)
3. Be Brief and Use Bullets
This is a resume, not your life story, so do your best to keep your real estate agent resume to one page. Most readers will focus on your last two or three positions anyhow. The jobs you had many years ago just aren’t that relevant.
An exception can be made for those with particularly lengthy careers, particularly if you are trying to impress employers or clients with the depth of your experience. Just remember, anything that falls on the second page of your real estate agent resume may well be missed by readers, so put the vital information up front (more on that in the next section).
What to Include in a Real Estate Agent Resume
1. Honors and Achievements
Most professional resumes start off with an applicant’s education, but real estate is about results, results, results. So, if you have earned honors or achievements for your productivity, put those right at the top. You can also use honors from other jobs if appropriate. If you were a top producer in a previous sales position, like software sales, be sure to include that information.
If you’re a new agent without those kind of distinctions, you may want to start out with a summary of your skills and areas of expertise. Remember, the person reading your resume is going to be concerned about what you can do rather than where you’ve been.
2. Previous Employment
Employment history is the meat of any resume, and also the area where most resume writers botch the job. The secret to writing a good employment history is verbs. You want words that paint a picture of an active, motivated employee.
For example, consider the following description of a sales job:
- Sold insurance policies to prospective customers via telephone to meet quota
Sure, it says what the person did, but it doesn’t do enough to really describe what was accomplished. As anyone who has been in sales knows, it’s never as easy as just picking up the phone. Adding some powerful verbs and expanding the description into several bullet points makes it much more compelling:
- Prospected for news customers via cold-calling
- Explained the value of our insurance products
- Closed an average of five sales daily
- Attained or exceeded quota consistently
Notice how each bullet point starts with a punchy verb? That’s the key to grabbing attention and making your past experience seem most impressive.
3. Education and Training
Unless you’re exceptionally young, skip you high school diploma in the education section, but be sure to list any college experience, even if you didn’t graduate. More importantly, be sure to list any continuing education or certifications you’ve completed.
This is one area where it’s particularly helpful to keep your real estate agent resume up-to-date. A year or so down the road you’re likely to forget that weekend seminar you completed on managing short sales. As soon as you complete any form of training add it to your resume before you forget. When it comes time to polish up your resume you’ll be glad you kept track of these things.
Real Estate Agent Resume Examples
This is an excellent example of a resume for a more experienced agent. Right at the top the writer has put the focus on their past successes, which is sure to impress a reader looking for an agent who can hit the ground running.
Another example that impresses by highlighting previous successes. The writer also does an excellent job in the employment history of using those action-oriented verbs that are so important.
This is a great example for the career-changer. Though the writer doesn’t have real estate experience, they’ve managed to create a resume that still speaks to their qualifications through previous sales experience.