There’s a lot of pressure riding on a resume. Usually, it is a hiring manager’s first (and sometimes only) impression of you. It has to stand out. It has to scream talent. It has to catch their eye.
As recruiters with a combined 50+ years of experience, we’ve seen thousands of resumes pass across our desks (and computer screens). We know what works and what doesn’t. We also know how difficult it can be to craft your resume so that it fully represents just how qualified of a candidate you are. It is the deciding factor in whether or not you will get a face-to-face interview for your dream job.
Needless to say, resumes are pretty important. Here’s our best tips for securing that interview and putting your best resume forward:
- Formatting and Organization. Rarely will a resume get a full read-through from a hiring authority. Making those few seconds that you have their attention count is vital. When writing your resume, the most important items should be at the top, clearly and concisely summarized. As a general rule, your work experience should be the first section, with your most recent job first. Be sure to use bold and italics for emphasis and bullet points to help organize your words. Ultimately, your resume should be easy to read. There’s nothing worse than frustrating a hiring authority because they can’t find what they are looking for on your resume.
- Cater Your Resume. It can be easy to type up one resume and distribute it to 20 different companies, but it’s probably not going to be very successful. Take some time to research the company and the particular position you are applying for. If there are a certain set of skills that you have that apply to one job in particular, maybe move those up to the top of that section. If a certain certification is needed for one position, be sure to include it. You want to display all the right qualities, otherwise, they’ll pass right over you.
- Include Achievements Instead of Responsibilities. While some responsibilities are alright to include, your professional achievements are what will make you stand out from the rest. If your job title at your last place of employment was Accountant, chances are anyone reading will know your responsibilities. Instead, by summarizing your achievements, you’ll grab the reader’s attention and prove that you have something unique to offer.
- Proofread. At least twice. Double-check for spelling or grammatical errors, and make sure your formatting is uniform throughout. If one job title is bolded, they all should be. Consistency is key because a hiring authority could see this as a quality that folds over into your daily responsibilities and work ethic.
If you think your resume still needs some TLC, we would love to help! We are offering a brand new, free service to professionals (like you!) for the first quarter of 2016. It’s really easy, too! Simply email your resume to us at email@example.com or submit it here on our website. One of our highly trained professionals will call you with one-on-one tips for improving your resume.