Resumes can make or break your job application process but having a great resume that will attract a recruiters eye and make them want to call you isn’t all that common.
Ever applied to plenty of jobs that you fully believe you are qualified from and yet you never heard from them? It could very well be due to a lack luster resume. I have compiled 20 awesome tips for helping your resume stand out in the crowd and get you those interviews!
So we’re going to go over the basics of what you should and shouldn’t do on your resume to improve your job hunt.
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If you read this and decide that you would love more professional help then I definitely recommend checking out the awesome resources on Resumeble!
1) Always use bullet points
Paragraphs can get jumbled and end up having too many transition words. Plus, when a recruiter or HR manager is reading hundreds of resumes everyday they are going to end up skimming and bullet points allows them to get a better picture of you quickly.
2) Personalize each resume
Job applications are not one size fits all so having just 1 resume with no personalization will immediately tell a recruiter/HR manager that you are mass applying.
3) Try like crazy to keep it 1 page only
For people with a lot of work experience this may mean leaving irrelevant and older jobs off your resume and that’s fine! I would rather not read about your high school fast food job and have more information on your applicable internship.
4) Show results
Make sure that at least 1 bullet point per job shows a measurable result. Such as “increased monthly sales by 27%”, this shows whoever is reading the resume that you are actually taking the actions you are talking about.
5) Only include an objective if your objective needs explained
A good example of when you would want an objective is if you are trying to change industries. Other than that, if the position you are applying for is a logical move up from your current one then the objective is just a waste of precious space.
6) Grammar matters
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by having noticeable grammar errors no matter what “level” of position you are applying to or the industry. Take the extra little bit of time to review it or have a professional quickly review it for you!
7) Explain any gaps in your resume
It’s fine if you have gaps- and don’t lie and say you were somewhere you weren’t or that you were there longer! Just make sure to briefly and professionally explain any gaps in your employment history.
10) Professional email address
If you are still using an email address with numbers in it or a nickname then go get a new email for the job hunting process. Anything along the lines of Joe.Smith@email.com, JKSmith@email.com, JoeKiteS@gmail.com. If you have a really common name and can’t get an address with some combination of your first, middle, and last name (or initials) then you can get a little creative but keep it professional!
You could even register your own domain which would have a lower chance of being taken such as Joe@JoeKiteSmith.com .
On a similar note- keep your email accounts clean and organized. Don’t let them get cluttered. I have a whole guide on organizing your phone!
11) Leave any salary information off
The salary conversation is for a little further down the road. It can end up scaring off a company or it can end up getting you less money in the long run. Just better to keep that off the table for now!
12) Education or work experience- which goes first?
Whichever is better for you to highlight! Are you applying for your first job out of college with basically no work experience? Then make sure to highlight your education. If you are looking to move up in your industry and you have a couple years of valuable work experience then talk about that right away.
13) Prioritize hard skills
If you are running out of space (which most people do on a resume) then make sure that you focus on the hard skills in your skills section. What’s a hard skill? Anything tangible such as different soft wares, programs you know, coding languages, Microsoft etc. Soft skills are more intangible like leadership, communication, dedication etc.
14) Match your cover letter
Make sure to coordinate the header of your resume to the header of your cover letter. This automatically makes your resume and cover letter look more professional and gives the reader an immediate impression that you are organized and detail oriented.
15) Watch your tenses
The job you are currently at should have every action word in the current tense.
And every past job should have action words in the past tense. If you’re struggling with this then read your resume out loud. You’ll be able to hear the tenses and figure out what sounds correct better.
16) Achievements section
Only add an achievements section if you have something applicable to add. No recruiter or HR manager cares if you went to state in volleyball (good for you but not applicable!). If you won a research award in college and are applying to a position in that same field then absolutely add an achievements section and highlight this.
17) Include your address IF it will help
If a position is one that you know will be popular and it’s located in your town then definitely include your address because then the company can see that they won’t have to relocate you. If you are applying to positions not in your area then either leave the address off and have that discussion during the interview process or add a small note that you are willing to relocate.
18) Share social accounts with caution
If you are applying to a creative position and sharing your social accounts will help show your talents then double check that everything is “work appropriate” and then share away!
If you are applying for a more “professional” position (finance, engineering, medical, etc) then it’s probably best to avoid sharing any social accounts besides LinkedIn.
19) Leave off references
If they want references they will ask for them either in the application or ask for them during the application process. It wastes space on your resume and unless they are AMAZING references that you really, really want them calling then it’s so unnecessary to have them on the actual resume.
20) Use personalized adjectives not generic
“Motivated”, “hard working”, “detail oriented” are all generic and they don’t describe any real reasons that they should hire you over anyone else. Get personal. Use words that are unique to YOU and what YOU have to offer to their company.
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Got the interview? Awesome! If you need any advice on the outfit for your interview check this out!