Writing a resume is one of the first and most important steps in the job application process. The task is daunting, and most applicants don’t even receive an offer for an interview. The following hacks will help ensure that your resume has the best chance at making it to the top of the stack.
Tailor Your Resume to Each Application
Don’t be one of the many people who send the same resume to every open position. Remember that recruiters can tell when a resume hasn’t been tailored to a position. Instead, take time to customize your resume. A good way to do this is to read the job description and required skills very carefully. Make sure you that emphasize those skills in your resume and highlight any key words mentioned in the job description.
Many organizations now use robots to sort through all the applicants’ resumes, and only the ones who directly match the keywords receive interviews.
Use Numbers to Measure Success
Back up your statements with quantifiable evidence. Don’t just include that you led a team or wrote reports. Be specific! Include how many people you were responsible for and how many reports you wrote each quarter. Did you cut costs? Great! Include the percentage of money you saved. These numbers give recruiters a much better picture of your skills and what you’ve accomplished. Always choose to be specific instead of generic. This extra effort will make a big difference.
Format Your Resume Correctly
Recruiters prefer resumes that are easy to read. Don’t use fancy or complicated fonts. Stick to classics, like Times New Roman and Cambria. Colors simply aren’t necessary, and there is no need to clutter your resume with pictures or charts. Save your resume as a PDF. That way the format won’t change if a recruiter downloads or prints the file. The grammar and punctuation in your resume should be flawless. Triple check it if you have to. After all, this is the first impression that a recruiter will have of you, so even small mistakes will hurt your case and make you appear ill-prepared.
Have Someone Else Edit
Seek out help. Writing a resume is not a task you have to perform alone. Have fellow professionals look over your resume and suggest edits. Even if you’re an accomplished writer, it can be easy to accidentally overlook small mistakes. It can also be difficult to determine your best qualities yourself.
Spend extra time tailoring your resume to match important keywords, quantifying your accomplishments, formatting your document correctly, and having an extra person help you edit. The extra steps will help your resume and application get noticed!