Your resume is the single most important thing you can send to a perspective employer. That said, having worked in the recruitment industry for almost ten years, I completely understand that writing it all out can feel like a daunting experience. It goes without saying to make certain that all of your details are correct, but there’s more to it than presenting an accurate timeline. Here are ten tips to enable you to create the perfect resume.
1. This is your first impression, make it count.
You want to stand out without looking like an amateur. Feel free to express yourself in a professional way by showcasing your experience and skills in verbiage tailored to your industry. Don’t be too informal, but don’t be stuffy and robotic either. Ensure that your format and text is uncomplicated, is easy to read, is in a standard font and is spaced evenly. Feel free to be creative, but be organized.
2. Make your value clear.
When creating your resume, please consider that the latest research suggests employers view it for an average of eight seconds before making their initial decision. You want to showcase your accomplishments in relation to your skills. Don’t just share that you can do something; showcase how doing it positively impacted your team and company.
3. Remember that you are selling yourself in each position.
This means you will want to tailor your resume to each position you are applying for. Every line should reinforce why you are perfect for this specific job. If you are applying for different positions, you’ll likely need to have several different copies of your resume with appropriate keywords and tweaks that are relevant to each position. The worst thing in the world is to have to make a mad rush to update your resume. Take the time now to get these set up.
4. Don’t over share or exaggerate.
Is it interesting? Is it a selling point? Is it relevant? Is it true? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” remove the information.
5. Candidates struggle especially with “Hobbies and Interests.”
It is better not to have this section at all than to include things like “watching television” and “socializing with friends.” I have read much worse than that because candidates feel they must put something. Again, if it’s not relevant, leave it out.
6. Please ensure that you use spellcheck.
Spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors are unacceptable. If possible, have a recruiter proof read your resume before you send it out.
7. Research the key experience a potential employer is looking for.
Ensure that you cover each of these key areas in your resume. Look up appropriate keywords and phrases. Not only does this allow the reader to easily identify them, but computer scanners will pick them up as well.
8. Your resume should be a positive reflection of your career to date.
Do not include a critique of your previous employer or discuss any difficulties in your cover letter or on the resume itself.
9. Photos and colored graphics often work against you.
Unless you’re in graphic design or a highly creative field, it’s better to steer clear of bright colors, logos and photos.
10. Organize your resume properly.
Chronologically order your previous employment and academic history starting with the most recent.