Resumes give you the opportunity to put your best foot forward with a prospective employer. If crafted well, it can be a great tool. Here are some tips to consider when developing your next resume:
1. Customize your resume.
Avoid sending a generic resume. Focus on the specific job for which you are applying. Make sure that all information in the resume is targeted toward that position.
2. Reduce clutter.
Remove unnecessary distractions like photos. Make sure the content does not feel squished together. Appropriate spacing will solve this issue.
3. Experience before education.
Unless you are a recent graduate, place your work experience before your education. Employers want to know your education. However, employers tend to care more about your past 10-15 years work experience than your alma mater.
4. Be specific.
When describing your work performance, be specific. How many individuals did you supervise? What size budget did you oversee? Provide numerical improvements if possible.
5. Use action words.
Avoid using “Responsible for.” Use words like “Supervised” or “Trained.”
6. Reflect job description keywords.
If there is an available job description, reflect its keywords and phrases.
7. Avoid spelling erors.
Find someone who can proof your resume. Make sure all spelling, dates, and contact information are correct. Mistakes within your resume create a poor first impression.
8. Do not include prior salaries.
This is rude.
9. Be concerned about content, not page count.
Too many people concern themselves with whether their resume should be one or two pages. Your priority should be to provide clear and concise content, not a certain page count. Do not try to stretch out your content to cover another page. Limit yourself to 6 or 7 points under each heading. Page count does not impress employers. Relevant and concise content does.
10. Make your cover letter polite but confident.
You cover letter content should convince employers of your ability to do the job. However, avoid sounding arrogant. Be confident but polite.
11. Creative resumes should look incredible.
There are many different types of resumes now. Resume formats like video and infographics are increasing in popularity. If you choose to go this route, make sure it looks very professional. A mediocre video or graphic will not excite employers. If it does not look amazing, stick with the traditional format.
12. Say “thank you.”
Be gracious. Conclude each email and cover letter with a statement of gratitude.
What about you? What are some tips you recommend?