Writing a resume is hard. It takes a certain balance between arrogance, confidence, and eloquence to really convey your skills and sell yourself on paper, proving your abilities before you even speak a word to a company.
But your resume is probably costing you potential job opportunities, pay bumps, and promotions. If you really want to make the most of your resume, you need to be sure you’re doing these things to stand out from the crowd and give yourself the best chance at success.
Cut the Fat
You do not need a 4-page resume. I don’t care who you are! Make sure every single part of your resume has a purpose. Only resumes that are 20 years old or behind the times have an objective that states they are “looking for a position to utilize their skills or talents”.
That is boring, it’s unneeded, and will make any recruiter or modern company add your name back to the pile. The goal should be sleek and efficient. If you question whether you need something, you probably do not!
Use Relevant Keywords
Is the position for a specific role within a company? Use keywords that the employer is going to be looking for. You can find these keywords in ‘qualifications’ or ‘requirements’ of the job listing usually – at the very least, it’s a good place to start.
Tailoring each resume you send out takes time, but if they see that you fit the description perfectly, you’re more likely to get an interview. That extra time put in often results in much, much better outcomes!
Focus on Achievements, Not Descriptions
Did you win awards in your previous positions, regularly ranked highest in your district, or received other acknowledgments or achievements? Put those instead of your skills or generic job description. Instead of saying you led a team of 20, say your team was top in the company 3 years running for productivity.
You can also add an ‘achievements’ section if you have space and it is warranted.
Proofread. Then Proofread Again.
You would be shocked at how many resumes go out with simple typos or errors! It isn’t just unprofessional, but it shows an inability to focus on small details. It’s the biggest reason an employer will reject an otherwise perfect resume.
Proofread your resume, and then put it down for an hour. Pick it back up and do it again. If you’re unsure about your skills, ask a friend or industry professional to look it over and proofread it. The second set of eyes will never hurt!
Reverse Chronological Is Best
No one really cares where you worked 4 jobs ago, for the most part. List your current and most relevant work experience first, and work backward from there.
Skills-based resumes are a thing of the past. They were popular for a moment, but now they’re gimmicky, and worse, often used by people who are trying to hide something in their work history. Reverse chronological order is upfront, honest, and best!