Your resume is one of the most important assets you can have while job hunting. It acts as your introduction and serves as your cheerleader. Your resume is your opportunity to sell yourself and show your potential employers just how wonderful (and qualified) you are. That’s why it’s so important to get it right.
If you’re applying to what looks like an amazing job, chances are that there’s at least hundreds of others who are vying for that same position, too. In order to stand out, your resume has to be killer. Recruiters spend an average of just 6 seconds scanning a resume (source), so be sure that your resume is written well enough to make those seconds count. Here are some tips that will help you write a kick-ass resume.
Step 1: Choose the Right Resume Template
You could be the perfect candidate with years of experience but, with a bad resume design, the recruiter is likely to dump it in the “next” pile. Designing the ideal resume template takes skill, time, and a lot of patience. Thankfully, there are a ton of free resume templates available that will get you started without all of the hassle of doing it yourself. A few of our favourite websites with these resources are:
Monster: It’s a good idea to tailor your resume to the industry that you’re in. Monster’s free resume templates are categorized as such, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
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Google Docs: With a Gmail address, you can have access to a gallery of free resume templates. Each one is rated by users, allowing you to sort them by quality.
Instant Resume Template: This site has 248 free, standard resumes for you to download and make your own.
A lot of companies use automated recruitment tools that sort through resumes, only picking out the ones with relevant keywords. To ensure that yours gets seen by human eyes, make sure you’re including some of the skills and trigger words that were listed in the job description. Every resume you submit should be optimised for the specific posting you’re applying to, so be sure to tweak these keywords so they align with the ones the company uses.
Include Relevant Experience Only
In that 6 seconds that a recruiter is looking at your resume, you need to show them that your experience makes you the ideal candidate for this job, so include relevant experience only. If you’re sending your resume to a financial firm, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to see that you were a 5-star dog-walker in your teenage years. Select the two or three recent positions that have best prepared you for the job you’re applying for.
Adding concrete, numerical accomplishments to your resume is a great way to grab the attention of recruiters. If you managed a team, quantify it. Don’t just write that you juggled multiple clients, detail how many. Numbers act as tangible proof that backs up your experience so look for ways you can include them.
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Don’t feel defeated if you don’t have a long list of experience! You can bulk up this section by including any internships or volunteer work that is relevant to the position. For recent graduates, including a short list of related course work is acceptable, too. Use what you can as long as it would be viewed as valuable to the company.
By using all of these tips when creating your resume, you’ll substantially increase your chances of getting an interview and potentially into your dream job.
I hope you found this useful and if you want more posts and career advice, check out the posts below.