When you’re on the hunt for your next job, your resume is your tool in standing out from the competition. That being said, getting your resume job-application ready can be daunting. It’s worth putting in the hard work. A great resume will make all the difference. Today, the experts at JōbSource have seven tips for creating the perfect resume.
A Headline that Grabs Attention
Traditionally, resumes have started out with an objective. They give a vague outline of what you want to accomplish in the position. To be perfectly honest, objectives are mostly worthless. Getting the job is your objective and it’s obvious to any hiring team what you’re there for. Instead, use this space to most of its abilities. Replacing the objective with a headline or summary will start your resume off right. A headline immediately catches the reader’s attention. Here you can emphasize your experience, success, and professionalism. Punchy, concise keywords immediately establish who you are and the qualifications that make you the right hire.
Focus on the Top of your Resume
Hiring managers work through resumes fast. Most of their time and attention is spent on the top-third of a resume. This is the place you want to bring together your most recent work experience and greatest accomplishments. Your section here will also be longer than the rest of your resume. Your last job is probably the clearest indicator of where you’re at career-wise. Therefore, really explaining your skills and previous achievements at your last job lets the person reading your resume know you’re qualified for the job. Say you’re looking for a job at an IT company. Recently took up the dp-900 exam and passed it? Put that somewhere on the top half of your resume!
Really use this section to let your voice shine through. Think of this part as your way to incentivize them to keep reading and keep getting to know you. Creating sharp, engaging descriptions about the things you excelled at, is exactly what you should be doing. Think of times when you demonstrated your leadership skills or a time that you creatively approached a problem and produced positive results.
Tailor your Resume to the Job
One of the most common mistakes people make with their resume is to use the same one for every job. Each job is unique and the qualities they’re looking for are specific to them. Using one that tries to appeal to everyone will, in reality, appeals to no one. Target the things the industry and job place importance on. Say, for instance, if you happen you look for work in the gaming industry, your professional gaming experience is what you need to highlight. If you have experience entering gaming tournaments where you played games that give you money, it is something you might want to mention. Highlight them in your resume. Similarly, if you are applying for a sales job, focus your resume on your years of that skill and the problems you’ve solved. Immediately, you’ve become a candidate they’ll take notice of.
Highlight your Accomplishments
Your resume is your opportunity to brag and show off your skills. You should be highlighting your accomplishments and demonstrating why you’re the best choice for the job. Direct attention to words and phrases that capture the things you excel at. Think of times you were faced with a unique problem and briefly explain how you turned that tough situation into a success. If you have completed a course related to the job you are applying for, mention that in the resume. For example, if you are up for a barista job and you have a relevant hospitality certificate, do highlight it properly. Use keywords that employers who are quickly scanning will pick up.
Make it Readable
The quickest way to get your resume thrown in the junk pile is to have problems with readability. It should flow and encourage engagement. Avoid overcomplicating things or flexing your vocabulary. Keep it focused and understandable for people in your industry.
Here are a few steps to improving readability
- Make sure your resume is uniform. Use the same font throughout and make the margins uniform. It’s important to keep your font size no lower than ten point. Any less and it’ll strain the reader’s eyes. You don’t want to look like you’re trying to cram too much in.
- Avoid repeating yourself. You may have held similar responsibilities at different companies, but you didn’t necessarily have the same challenges or successes.
- Separate experience and jobs in an understandable and clear way. Take advantage of italics, bolding, and spacing to create headings and distinctions between things you’re emphasizing.
Editing and Length
Once you’ve written your resume, created an engaging headline, highlighted your accomplishments, and improved its readability, it’s time to edit. Here are the things you need to do.
- Go through and check for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Failing to do so will make your resume stand out for all the wrong reasons.
- Identify sentences that sound overly wordy or more like job descriptions. Get rid of these and replace them with lines that read more authentic and allow your personality to shine through.
- Keep things to only one page. You might have seen contradicting advice on this, but trust us, nobody likes a two or more-page resume. Hiring teams can have hundreds of resumes to sift through for each job position. They don’t have time to spend more than a minute or two on each resume. You need to keep yours short so that the relevant information is what the hirer sees. Do everything in your power to make yours read and understood quickly.
Make it Pop
With so much competition out there, your standard resume just won’t cut it. Simply detailing your work history in a uniform resume template is dare we say, boring. Make it pop! Add things like graphics, colors, and even a picture of yourself. Charts and numbers can really reinforce your accomplishments and skills. Anything that shows you’re a real person with real personality, will go a long way in distinguishing yourself from the pack. All of this gets your future employer excited about you. This is especially true when applying to a creative position.
Word of caution.
Don’t overdo it. Make things exciting, but don’t sacrifice professionalism in your pursuit to do something attention-grabbing and original.
By implementing these easy and effective resume tips, you can make the improvements you need to land the interview. So, take another look at your resume and get busy making it into the masterpiece you need it to be. Once it is ready to go, head over to a JōbSource location or take a look at our online postings and apply for your next job today!