RESUME TIPS: STEPS AND EXAMPLES TO MAKE IT COMPELLING
Writing a compelling resume is key when applying for a new job. There is a big competition out there, and standing out can increase your chances of being hired. You need to show the recruiter why you can be the candidate they are looking for. On average, a recruiter spends around 10 seconds to screen an applicant’s resume and job application. Yes, it is a really short amount of time to decide if a candidate will move to the next step or not. That is why the first impression is crucial. Keep reading and learn how to write the perfect resume. If you prefer to watch a video about these resume tips, just hit the play button.
HOW TO START WRITING YOUR RESUME
You should start by writing your resume tailored for the specific job position you want to apply for. Think about why you are suitable for this job and how your qualifications and experience can match what the employer is looking for. As every job post is unique, the same should apply for your resume. By doing this, you can avoid missing out on important job opportunities coming your way. It can also be useful to research and study resume examples in the industry you want to apply for. This can give you useful ideas and inspiration on how to start. Something important you should stick to when writing a professional resume is to keep it friendly, by making it simple, straightforward and easy to read. Start by choosing a professional and clean font. We recommend using Helvetica, Times New Roman or Calibri with a size between 10 to 12. This will allow the recruiters to read it with ease.
Depending on the company’s size, recruiters can go through hundreds of resumes a day, so choosing the right structure and design is a good start.
DOS AND DON'TS
When following these resume tips, there are some things you should do and some you should not. Keep each section of the resume concise, including the summary and the experience description. You should point out how your qualifications and previous experience can benefit the new employer. Instead of writing your resume as a doer, do it as an achiever. What does it mean? Most recruiters are interested to know how you benefited the company with your achievements.
Examples of what doers do:
- Entered data on a daily basis with a special software
- Defined many KPIs to keep control of the main metrics
- Being in charge of planning the weekly maintenance of the plant
Even though this would be the logical thing to write, it is clear that during your job routine, you are going to perform tasks. In the end, that is the purpose of every job. Instead, you should explain how and what you did to succeed and benefit the company through your innovation and skills.
Examples of what achievers do:
- Helped the organization to increase over 15% of the revenue by reducing costs
- Managed to reduce dead times 10% by proposing certain processes optimization
- Improved efficiency by integrating critic departments
By writing your experience this way, you will be making your resume more appealing and the recruiter will know the value you added during your previous position. As a recommendation, try adding numbers and values that can be measured. Employers sometimes require proven and relevant experience through measurable results.
To put all this in perspective, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did I perform at the job better than the others?
- What challenges or problems did I face? What did I do to overcome them? Were the results positive?
- Did the company benefit from my performance? If yes, how?
WHICH QUALIFICATIONS SHOULD I INCLUDE?
If you received an award, special recognition, or a promotion thanks to your achievements, do not hesitate to include them. Do not be shy when stating your skills and knowledge. If you are not specific on this matter, the employer will not know if you are the perfect candidate for the vacancy and the recruiter might assume something different. On the other hand, do not oversell and avoid including too many professional skills that are not relevant to the job requirement. Irrelevant information that does not fit the job description will just cause harm to your application. If you have done volunteer work before, during, or after your time in the military, include it if it can highlight certain skills the employer is looking for.
WHAT ARE RESUME KEYWORDS?
When writing your resume, it is essential to use fitting keywords. Resume keywords are specific skills and qualifications recruiters are looking for in a candidate. We recommend you read different job posts to see examples of what the employer is looking for. Nowadays, more and more organizations are using software tools to help them sort and find resumes by keywords. This way, they can accelerate the initial process by filtering and excluding resumes that do not match the keywords they are interested in. If you include too many keywords unrelated to the job vacancy, the chances that a recruiter finds you are going to be lower.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
It is time to summarize these resume tips. Even though this might sound obvious, do not forget to include your contact information. Details such as your name, phone number and email must be listed at least on the first page. Avoid giving a random name to your resume file. If you are saving many versions, make sure that the definite one includes a descriptive name. This way, the employer will be able to find it easier among the rest. Pay attention to the style of your resume. As mentioned before, the simpler the structure, the better. No recruiter wants to read a 5-page resume. They will not even bother to go through it if the length is over the recommended limit. Up to 2 pages are considered as an accepted length.
Do not forget to proofread and edit your resume before sending it. Everybody can make mistakes, such as misspelling and inadequate grammar. These mistakes can scare the employer away and your resume will be skipped. You can use online tools like Grammarly and Ginger, they are easy to use and free. A good idea is also to ask a member of the family or a trusted friend to read your resume as a way the employer would do. Getting a second opinion can always be helpful if you missed out on some important topics that you needed to add. Something to point out is that your resume is not a static document. Keep it updated every time you consider it necessary. If you acquired new skills, certifications or courses, add them to your resume. Below you can see an example of how to structure a resume.
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