Helena Durante, Negosentro | You might hear that it’s easy to write a resume – but the truth is it’s easy to write a bad resume. Indeed, it doesn’t take much effort to compile a brief account of your employment and education history, to jot down some skills, and to dash off a resume objective. However, a resume should be more than a list of facts; it should be a persuasive tool to help you find a better job. With every word, your resume should argue that you are worthy of a position and high salary – or at least an interview. To that end, here are some ways you can improve your resume today.
Focus, Focus, Focus
Your resume has one goal – and it’s not to get you any job. Every time you submit your resume, it should be slightly different to target the specific position you are applying for. To help focus your resume, you should consider including a goal or objective statement at the top. This statement should explain how your skills and experience can help your potential employer improve. While you are writing or reviewing the rest of your resume, you should keep your goal in mind.
Cut the Fat
The vast majority of resumes should be one full page in length. The best way to focus your resume while keeping your length low is to get rid of any fluff and keep your relevant entries as trim as possible. This means eliminating florid descriptions of job duties as well as eradicating entire elements if they don’t apply to the specific position you are trying for.
If you aren’t a good editor – or you are having extreme difficulty getting your resume below the one-page mark – you should strongly consider using professional resume writing services. Because resume writers know exactly what hiring managers are looking for in application materials, they can objectively identify what you need to include on specific resumes and what you can safely delete, so your resume can stay slim and strong.
Search optimization isn’t just useful for web assets. By including strategic keywords in your resume writing, you can attract more attention from hiring managers and win more interviews for the positions you want. Typically, you can find the most influential keywords by reviewing applicable job postings. Beneath their required qualifications and responsibilities sections, important words and phrases can be reflected in your resume. Often, hiring managers will do a massive keyword search for these terms to eliminate any applicants without desired skills, so it is vital you include them in your application materials.
If you can find the word “responsibility” anywhere on your resume, you need to reconsider. Your job experience section shouldn’t be focused on the errands and chores you accomplished in past positions; rather, it should highlight your accomplishments and how you left your previous employers better than when you started.
As much as possible, you should use numbers to bolster your purported results. This means quantifying the effect you or your projects had. For example, perhaps you developed a new inventory management system that decreased cost overruns by 13 percent. Though you might not be able to include numbers in every entry, they make your achievements – and your potential benefit to employers – more real and more impressive.
Punch Up Language
At your last job, maybe all you did was fetch coffee, make copies, and take phone calls, but that sort of language is depressing and unattractive. To prospective employers, you want to seem upbeat, eager to please, and (most importantly) capable and competent, which means hiding your responsibilities behind active and energetic nouns and verbs.
Generally, you should avoid weak words and phrases, like “to work,” “to do,” and “to be,” as well as sentences that don’t place you as the subject. Thus, instead of “Duties include fetching coffee, making copies, and taking phone calls” is transformed into “Assisted co-workers by delivering necessary tools and facilitating communication with clients and associates.” Resume writers can help you find more creative terminology.
Make Contact Easy
If you manage to impress a hiring manager enough to earn an interview, you don’t want to lose that opportunity because they couldn’t find your contact information. At the top of the page, near your name, you should have several methods of contact in clear view. At the very least, you should include a phone number and an email address, but many forward-thinking employers also like to see your social media accounts. You might even draw attention to this information by putting it in a different (but thematically appropriate) font and color. The less work a hiring manager has to do to contact you, the better.