One of the most important components of your job search is a solid resume. A great resume is your first chance to impress a recruiter, so you want it to be perfect.
Perfecting your resume can be tricky, so here are a few tips to help you out.
30 Seconds to Shine
One of the most important things to know is who is reading your resume. Generally, a recruiter or hiring manager will see dozens if not hundreds of resumes for a single position. That means a lot of competition for you, and a lot of time for the person reading your resume. On average, a recruiter will look at your resume for 30 seconds. That’s it.
What does that mean for you?
It means you have to impress them immediately. Make sure your writing is crisp and captivating. Avoid passive, informal language and instead keep your words active. They see so many resumes that your words need to jump out and catch their eye. Their interest is crucial to get your foot in the door.
How you present yourself will help your resume stick out from the rest. That being said, how you present yourself still comes second to what you present.
What Your Resume Needs
Because you only have 30 seconds to prove yourself, put your most impressive information first. Make it clear that you understand the job qualifications and demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate. In 6-10 bullet points, show that you’ve got great skills to handle the job for which you’re applying. (Tip: When applying for multiple jobs, use separate resumes targeting each specific employer.) Once you’ve concisely displayed your skills, tell them about your history.
For your work history, list your past or current employers from the most recent backwards. Be sure to include employer’s name, your job title, and the month and year your employment started and ended. Provide 3-5 bullet points detailing what you accomplished and what changes you affected in the position.
Professionals with over 5 years of experience don't need to highlight their education history at the top of their resume. Instead, you can put it after your relevant professional experience and keep it brief. List your school, area of study and date of graduation. Detail any relevant coursework that would pertain to the specific role for which you’re applying. Include any honors or awards you earned.
Resume Red Flags
Sometimes a relatively small percentage of applicants move past the resume stage in order to be interviewed. There are a few red flags that can cause hiring managers and recruiters to toss a resume on the rejection pile.
Be mindful to avoid these common mistakes:
- Typos are unprofessional and unacceptable, so be sure to proofread your resume. Twice.
- Use a professional email address, such as your name or a combination of your name and profession.
- Save any subjective claims for your cover letter. Focus on your objective professional accomplishments in your resume.
Earn the Interview
If you present yourself concisely and professionally with your resume, you’ll increase your chances of landing an interview and get one step closer to the job you want!