It’s no secret that resumes are essential. They’re often the first impression a potential employer will have of you, and they can make or break your chances of getting an interview, let alone land a job.
With so much riding on your resume, you must take the time to make sure it’s as good as it can be. Here are some resume-writing tips to help you create one that will stand out from the rest.
Employers are looking for candidates who are flexible and adaptable. In your resume, highlight any experiences you have that show you’re able to change and adapt to new situations. This could include taking on new responsibilities at work, working in different departments or locations, or learning new skills.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, employers have been particularly interested in candidates who are willing and able to work remotely. If you’re open to working remotely, make sure to mention it in your resume.
We Provide a Strong Narrative
A key component of resume writing is that your resume must tell a story about your professional journey up to this point. Start by outlining your career goals and then highlighting your experiences and accomplishments that have helped you achieve those goals.
Be sure to use strong action verbs to describe your experiences and accomplishments. You could substitute “managed,” “oversaw,” or “led” for “was accountable for.”
Calculate Your Successes
Employers want to see hard evidence of your accomplishments, so be sure to include numbers, percentages, and other concrete data in your resume. For example, if you increased sales at your previous job, mention by how much. If you decreased expenses, again, include the specific amount.
If you don’t have any quantitative data to include, you can still use strong adjectives to describe your accomplishments. For example, instead of saying “responsible for customer service,” you could say “providing outstanding customer service.”
Carefully format your Resume
Formatting is an extremely important factor in resume writing. Your resume must be easy to read and understand. Use bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs, and highlight the most important information near the top of the page.
If you have a lot of relevant work experience, you may want to consider using a reverse chronological format for your resume. This format starts with your most recent job and works backward.
If you don’t have much relevant work experience or if you’re changing careers, you may want to use a functional or skills-based resume. This type of resume emphasizes your skills and abilities rather than your work history.
Think Beyond Your Job Description
When you’re writing your resume, don’t just focus on your day-to-day responsibilities. Instead, think about the impact you had in your role and what you accomplished.
For example, if you’re a customer service representative, you may have helped resolve customer complaints and increased customer satisfaction. If you’re an accountant, you may have saved the company money by finding errors in financial reports.
Whatever your role, try to highlight accomplishments that demonstrate your value as an employee. This will help your resume stand out from the rest.
Attach a Cover Letter to Your Resume
A cover letter is an opportunity to elaborate on your qualifications and highlight any skills or experiences that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. It’s also a chance to show your personality and give the employer a sense of who you are as a person. Make sure that whenever you are writing your resume, you don’t forget to include the cover letter.
When possible, address your cover letter to a specific person rather than “To whom it may concern.” If you don’t know the name of the hiring manager, try to find out by calling the company or researching online.
Finally, don’t simply repeat what’s already on your resume. Use your cover letter to provide more information about yourself and why you’re the best candidate for the job.
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Most employers use some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) to help them screen resumes. ATS software looks for specific keywords in resumes and then ranks the resumes based on how well they match the job listing.
To make sure your resume makes it past the ATS screening, be sure to include relevant keywords from the job listing in your resume. For example, if the listing mentions “requirements gathering,” “stakeholder management,” or “Agile methodology,” be sure to include those same terms in your resume.
Avoiding Resume Pitfalls
Now that you know what employers are looking for in a stand-out resume, it’s important to also understand some of the common mistakes that can hurt your chances of getting an interview. Here are a few things to avoid in resume writing.
- Make sure to proofread your resume several times before submitting it. This type of mistake can make you seem careless and unprofessional.
- Make certain that the information on your resume is accurate and up to date. There’s nothing worse than including an old phone number or email address that a potential employer can’t use to get in touch with you.
- Avoid excessive fluff. Keep your resume brief and to the point. Avoid adding filler content just to make your resume longer. Employers are interested in what you’ve accomplished, not how many words you can use to describe it.
Now that you know what goes into a standout resume, you can start writing your resume with confidence. Just remember to focus on your accomplishments, use strong action verbs, and proofread carefully before hitting “submit.” With a little effort, you’re sure to land your dream job.