12 Steps To A Better Resume
If someone put you on the spot and asked you to write a resume that highlighted all of your experience, education, volunteering, and even about you, could you do it? Would you know how to write about yourself in a way that promotes who you are and what you do without bragging? Most people would say they could, but the resulting resume isn’t anything that they should ever show a prospective employer. The majority of people turn in resumes that are automatically rejected for the smallest details. The thing is, if you don’t have the skill to write a winning resume, it’s time you learned!
A resume is something everyone should be able to write. There are currently unemployment issues that are affecting people across the world, with hundreds of people applying for the jobs that are available – and those are scarce. Employers have to sift through hundreds – if not thousands – of resumes every single day, and the way that you write yours has a direct impact on whether you are passed over or not. If you can’t put your skillset down on paper correctly, you will remain in the ranks of the stuck: never getting anywhere!
You need a resume that is readable, concise, and intelligently written. You want short and sweet, but captivating and attention-grabbing. You want exact details included that hit the right notes of a job description, not a generic resume that doesn’t mean anything to a prospective employer. It’s all about what you write, but how you write it also makes a difference. You want to highlight the fact you did further education at the University of Maryland and you want to emphasize that you went back to school in later life to show that you can do better. Your skills are going to be on paper, and they need to be precisely what an employer needs, and you need to be confident that you turned in the perfect resume the first time.
With all of this in mind, you need to consider the fact that there are twelve steps that you could take to make your resume a much better read to those you send it out to.
It is never too late to catch up to the way the world writes resumes.
You can have a resume that makes sense, looks good, and works in paper and online. Job applications being mostly online now, you have to pay attention to the way that your resume comes across on a screen. So, let’s take a look at those twelve steps!
Review The Job Description
We mentioned that you should never have a generic resume and it’s for a good reason. If you have a job in mind that you are planning to apply for, then you should get your hands on the job description and write a resume around that. If you look at what skills the employer needs and you know you can offer some of those skills, write it into your resume. The HR department is the going to vet the resumes that go to the hiring leader, so make sure your resume meets the job description requirements before you do anything else.
List Your Education
That University of Maryland degree? You need to include that first. The most recent education that you have had – especially if this is at college level – should be the first on the list. You want your employer to know that you are educated. Plus, having a college education is impressive; why not add it as much as you want?!
Hyperlink Where You Can
As your resume is online, you need to link into it as much as you can. Add your email address so that when your employer wants to email you, they can click on your address and go directly to the email. Add your LinkedIn profile and hyperlink it so recruiters can go and have a look at what you’re doing. This enables you to be one click away from them if they are interested in you.
Strategic color splashed on your resume are welcome. Changing the headers to another color will help them to jump out to your employer. If you are applying for a job in a creative industry, you’re going to give your resume a jazzy look that will keep your prospective employer interested in you. You should stand out where you can without overdoing it; you want to look good, not silly.
You don’t need to talk about what you’re looking for and in what industry. Instead, you should consider writing a professional statement that will explain who you are and what your experience is. You don’t want to ramble on for pages, just give people an overview of who you are and what you want.
Strategically Embolden Your Text
Big blobs of text in the same size font and the same color? That’s boring to look at. Punctuating the text with bold phrases and headers, breaking it up into paragraphs and editing in Italics and lines will really help your resume to look great and stand out the way that it should to get the attention of an employer.
The keywords that stand out in the job description you read that made you want to apply need to be added to your resume. Keywords stand out, and if they use an automated resume system, they’ll be able to pick up your resume much more quickly. Mirror the language of the employer, and you will be attractive as a candidate.
Mix Work & Skills
You don’t need a section specific to your skills. Mix your skills with your work experience and prove to everyone what an asset you are in each individual job you’ve had. There is no need for a shopping list of IT skills and computer knowledge; just keep it to the experience sections. Remember those keywords!
Break Up The Monotony
Paragraphs of text can read very dull. Using bullet points, active verbs, and common industry phrases can all make your resume look very different from every other applicant.
Don’t be afraid of letting it go longer than the standard 2-page resume if you are using bullet points and other space-saving features. Keep it to one page if you’re a graduate, of course, but make it look good.
Volunteering Is Attractive
Employers love the idea that prospective candidates have had some worldly experience that they can bring to the table. Most employers will choose candidates that have volunteer experience, so you’re really doing yourself a favor by highlighting it.
Add Your Accomplishments
As part of your resume, there will be a bragging section where you can big up all about you, talking about what you’ve done well and when. Make use of it! Talk about the things that you achieved and make it so that you are able to write about those achievements in the context of the job that you’re applying for.
Lastly, you want to be a real person on your resume, not a robot. You’re a person who has done many things, and you should be proud of them all. Make sure that you include your name and contact details along with your reference information. This is your time to shine, and your resume should reflect just how fantastic you are!
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