Writing a resume can be difficult, especially if you’re scared that you’re going to do it wrong or don’t know where to start. Knowing that your resume is a key factor in determining whether or not you pass into the next stages of the hiring process doesn’t make it any easier. Though there is a lot of pressure surrounding this one short but incredibly important document, you can take comfort in knowing that there are solutions and strategies that can help you write your resume. Whether you’re at the beginning stages of resume writing or you’ve finished writing it and are feeling doubtful, resume writing tips can help you perfect your resume and score interviews for your dream job.
If you want your resume to stand out among the crowd, try writing your resume with these 6 tips in mind:
Keywords are extremely important; they are just as effective on your resume as they would be on a website or in a speech. Determine the best keywords that relate to the role you are applying for, and scatter them throughout your resume where applicable. You can often find the appropriate keywords to add to your resume in job postings that interest you. Remember that the more keywords you organically include in your resume, the more you present as a qualified and ideal candidate.
List Results, Not Roles
The goal of your resume is not to show potential employers or decision makers what your role consisted of in past work experiences. Job duties and responsibilities are listed on job postings and shouldn’t be copy and pasted onto your resume. Instead of wasting space on your resume doing this, use this space to show off what makes you valuable. List things such as the amount of revenue you were able to generate, how you improved internal processes, projects you’ve initiated or contributed to, and most importantly, your enthusiasm and passion for the role to which you’re applying. This shows that you not only can handle the job, but that you are an asset.
Keep It Simple
It is really easy to go overboard on a resume. In an effort to prove ourselves to be the best candidate, we often try to pack as much information into our resumes as possible, making them extremely lengthy and dense. Remember that employers and decision makers don’t want to spend their entire day reading resumes that break down every single job, experience, or role the applicant has been in. Be clear, concise, and easy to read. Some ways you can do this are:
- Including numbers where possible: employers love to see measurable results/value. It also serves as a visual break and makes large pieces of text less daunting to read.
- Don’t dress it up: use relevant, industry specific vocabulary where applicable, and keep your language as reader-friendly as possible.
- Use lists where possible: it is easier to read.
- Be yourself: ensure that your resume sounds like you. There’s nothing worse than presenting yourself one way on your resume, and showing up in a different way during the interview.
Relevant Information Only
You may feel very tempted to stuff your resume with as much information as possible but my advice is to resist this. Employers and recruiters spend about 5-6 seconds on each resume, meaning your resume should only be packed with your strongest, most persuasive information so that you are noticed immediately. In fact, the top ⅓ of your part of your resume, so your main goal should be to include as much relevant, eye catching information in this section. Although your first job at an ice cream parlor may have taught you your superb time management and customer service skills, it doesn’t belong on your application for an account manager position. Include like-roles and experiences on your resume and always be sure to list it from most to least recent.
Structure is Everything
The format and structure of your resume can make or break your application. Resume templates can be useful in avoiding structuring issues, however, it is always a good idea to be aware of the basics. Some things you should consider when structuring your resume include:
- Using a professional font that is clear and easy to read like Times New Roman and Arial: be sure to keep your sizing between 10 and 12 points.
- Avoiding extra spaces: this tends to make resumes look sparse and unfocused.
- Using appropriate margins: 1 inch margins is recommended.
- Only include subheadings and sections you need: for example, if you don’t have much to show in terms of volunteer experience, don’t include it on your resume. Instead, replace this section with one that highlights relevant courses you’ve taken.
- Avoid too much white space or large gaps on your resume
Proofread and Edit Everything
Always be sure to double and triple check your work. This will help you detect accidental spelling and grammar mistakes you may have made while writing. If this isn’t your strong suit, there are several proofreading programs that you can use, as well as professional resume writing and editing services. If you’re interested in having a professional career coach perfect your resume and help you land the job of your dreams, you can check out my resume writing service here.
Your resume says a lot about you, or at least it should. As it is your first contact with any future employer, it is in your best interest to put your best foot forward by applying these tips to your resume. If you’re looking for an easy resume solution that offers key takeaways and advice that you can apply to future resumes, Joyful Hire can help you. As a professional career coach with years of recruiting experience, I can help you optimize your resume for best performance.