The first thing a hiring manager or recruiter ever sees about you is your resume. You need to make it stand out, keep it professional, and make sure it highlights all of your correct experience. Keep reading to see our favorite resume tips, from formatting to content, you’ll have the perfect resume at the end of this blog!
When you are applying to different jobs, you should be creating different resumes for each position. When you are applying, go through the job responsibilities and details. If you have had any experience with any of the duties required, make sure they are on your resume! If you’re applying to a customer service position, you better explain all of your past customer service experience with each applicable position.
This one may seem self-explanatory, but you’d be amazed at the number of resumes that recruiters receive with overexaggerated or false information on them. If you haven’t done something, don’t put it on your resume! If you’ve done something similar and want to note that, you can, but do not say you have experience with a particular task or software if you do not.
In today’s technology-fueled world, a lot of resumes are first seen by automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that check for keywords before any human person will even get to look at the resume. If you’ve been applying and applying and applying and you know you have the experience, you might not have the right keywords in your resume! Check out this article for more helpful tips on how to get past the ATS and straight to the recruiter.
Again, today’s world is fueled by technology, which means your average computer skills don’t help you stand out. Unless the position specifically asks you to list your computer skills, or you have skills that the Average Jane and Joe wouldn’t have, you don’t need to try and squeeze them into your resume. They take up space that other, more important skills can be using!
I cannot stress this one enough! Proofread it yourself, have a coworker or friend proofread it, have a family member proofread it, and then proofread it again, and maybe even just one more time for good measure. When you’re proofreading, don’t just skim, read it out loud. When you’re reading things out loud you will catch minor details that may not have come up if you were to simply skim. Things to look out for when proofreading: spelling mistakes, improper use of words (there vs their vs they’re etc.) improper use of punctuation, continuity of narrative (if you use ‘I’, use it the entire time, don’t switch to third person, and vice versa). I highly recommend downloading Grammarly, you download it as an extension to your internet browser and can use it in Microsoft Word and Outlook too! The free version checks grammar and spelling (it will even tell you if you’ve used the wrong version of a word like your or you’re!) and the paid for version has a plagiarism check and many more advanced features.
While you don’t want your resume to be boring and mundane, you also don’t want it to be too over the top. Choose a modern and easy to read font, and don’t go too overboard with italics and bold, use them for what is important, not every single word. Once your resume is perfect, print it out to make sure it looks just as good on paper as it does on the computer. Most resumes are first looked at on computer screens, but when it comes time to interview, paper resumes are best to hand to your interviewer, so make sure both versions are easy to read and look good!
You don’t need to put every single detail in your resume, especially if it isn’t relevant to the job you’re searching for. You don’t need to put in every detail of every entry-level and summer job you’ve had for your entire life. Don’t leave them out, because showing that you were employed during those times is important, but you don’t need to give a long description of the position unless it has relevance to the job you are searching for, keep it short.
Make sure you are writing out the full meaning of any acronyms on your resume, and then put the acronym! For example, if you’ve worked with KOLs, write out “Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs).” This will not only help recruiters understand what you are talking about, but will help Applicant Tracking Systems pick out the keywords and move your resume forward.
Again, this may seem like a simple task, but make sure you are including all of your UPDATED contact information on your resume. Include your address, phone number(s), and email address(es). You would not believe the number of resumes I receive that do not have working phone numbers or phone numbers at all! As well as making sure everything is current, make sure you can receive communications from each of these methods. Make sure your voicemailbox is set up and empty so that hiring managers can leave messages if you are unable to answer the phone right away.
When writing your resume, focus on your accomplishments instead of your responsibilities. If you’re a Receptionist applying for another receptionist job, you’re most likely not going to have been given any different daily responsibilities than what any new position you would get. You should still write out your responsibilities but add in your accomplishments. Did you help introduce a new computer system? Did you create any new responsibilities for the role? Did you receive any awards or praise for certain attributes of your responsibilities? These facts will help you stand out to hiring managers.