Crafting a resume is one of the most stressful aspect of applying for jobs for many people. The document should be a simple, effective way to get your qualifications across to an employer. However, it’s tough to perfect the art of resume writing!
Of course, you should always include your education, relevant experiences, and licenses or certifications. But what are the ways to improve your resume that applicants overlook?
Here are the six best ways to build an impressive resume.
1) Strategic Formatting
Always make your resume easy to read. After all, no employer will know what you can do if they can’t make heads or tails of it! You don’t format it like a novel. Concise bullet points with bold titles make for easy organization and easy-to-read formatting.
One strategic formatting tip is to keep your roles, companies, and dates listed in the same columns each time you start a new section. That way, the interviewer can scan their eyes straight down the page without adjusting to a new format with every section.
You should also choose a simple font. Many people stress about the font that feels “right” for them but keep that for your name at the top. The rest should be a simple font, like Times New Roman, Arial, or whatever seems most appropriate for the kind of position you’re pursuing.
Formatting also entails the structure of your content. If certifications make you stand out in your field from other candidates, emphasize these accomplishments by placing them at the top in a section of “Education” or “Skills.” For example, contractortrainingcenter.com has many different exams that allow you to earn contracting certifications. These would be appropriate to highlight on your resume if you were seeking a career in the construction industry.
2) Quantifiable Data
When you write out positions you have within a company, you often want to accompany this information with the job requirements. Most people have bullet points that describe the position they had. However, you should also ensure that these bullets have quantifiable accomplishments, rather than vague statements.
Instead of saying something like, “led new store openings throughout the world,” say something specific with quantifiable results, such as “led new store openings in eight new countries across Europe.”
This small change is eye-catching and underscores concrete improvements you created for your previous job. You don’t have to detail every accomplishment you’ve had – the biggest ones will work to keep your resume short and sweet.
Not everyone has extensive experience with big company names, and that’s okay. It’s more crucial that you tell the truth at all times. Instead of making up new roles, or fudging what you’ve done, make the qualifications you have sound stellar.
It’s possible to get hired even if you have a blemish on your record. For example, it’s not impossible to get a job if you have been to jail – it may be more difficult for you than it is for others, but it’s all about how you present it.
Don’t forget that you also have an interview process and other chances to get the real you out there in a positive light.
4) Best Qualifications “Above the Fold”
Though we’d like to think it’s not true, most employers only read the first half of every resume they need to consider. That’s why you should keep your best qualifications “above the fold,” or within the first half of the document. This way, you’re putting your most impressive stuff where they’ll definitely see it.
The first one or two sections, including your name, is your first impression. It needs to be eye-catching so it will compel the hiring manager to keep reading. Since you’ve put your most relevant experience first, they will want to get a better picture of who you fully are as a worker right from the start.
5) Update your Resume for the Job
You should have a resume that lists all your professional experiences. This also means you should update it frequently with any jobs, volunteer opportunities, or classes that you may take throughout your career. You should take things off your resume by the oldest item first. It’s also possible to have a CV on hand, which is a more appropriate place for all your experience.
You can take this a step further by having separate resumes for each type of position you apply for.
Looking for keywords in the job description helps with this. If you have the skills in the exact way the employer wants, it’s great to write them down. It’s a surefire way to get noticed, and tell your potential employer that you’ve been paying attention to their listing in particular.
6) Use Common Sense With Contact Info
You should always put contact information in your header. However, you don’t have to put everything – usually a phone number and email address are all they need. Your address will usually only work in your favor if you already live in the area, which means you’re ready to work whenever they need you.
Make sure you have a professional email address to use! This means no addresses from when you were in high school, or from your current job. The easiest way to ensure you have a good email is to connect it to the name you use for your applications.
7) Always Build For Connections
As a final tip, always be sure to introduce yourself warmly to everyone you meet. It will make your working life more pleasant and open the gateway for fantastic references that you can easily use.
Depending on who they are, your references can give you an easy “in” – always make sure to ask their permission first!
Writing a great resume is daunting, even for many highly qualified people. If it doesn’t look right, it can cost you excellent opportunities down the line.
However, with these six steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating the most impressive resume you can muster.