Writing a successful resume may seem a time-consuming and boring process but it is critical to getting employers on your side. Most recruiters only spend a few seconds skimming through applications and will simply discard your file if it doesn’t impress.
More importantly, creating a successful resume is much easier than it sounds. As we’re going to show you today.
Find out how to quickly and easily make your resume a winner, whether you’re writing your profile manually or are using an online resume template.
Tip 1: Omit Unnecessary Information
A resume needs to be focused and to the point. If it strays into irrelevant details you’ll lose the reader.
Make sure that each word you use carries its own weight and answers any questions or doubts that the recruiter may have about you. Use the job advert to get a better idea of what they are looking for from candidates and make sure you target their desired profile as closely as possible.
Tip 2: Big Impact First
You have to get the attention of the reader right away with your resume, so you need to make an impact from the go. There are a few important tricks to easily give your file an edge in doing this.
First and most importantly, you should use an organization method that gives your recent experience prominence. The best option for this is a reverse chronological outline, which keeps your most up-to-date work front and center.
To add even more impact, you should also include a short career summary at the top of the page. This only needs to be a couple of sentences long and carefully tailored to the desired profile of the employer. However, if done right it can hugely enhance your value to the recruiter.
Tip 3: Keep it Short and Sweet – One Page
Despite what some people say about longer resumes being better, it’s advisable not to let yours run over one page. Research from CareerBuilder estimates that 17% of recruiters consider a two-page document a major no-no.
Fundamentally, too much information can be confusing and distracting for employers, especially if they’re pressed for time. It’s better to focus on making your document shorter, more focused, and easy to skim-read.
According to research by Ladders Inc, you’ve only got 7.4 seconds to get that attention. If you don’t succeed in doing this your resume is not going to get results.
Tip 4: Speak Their language (One Size Does NOT Fit All)
The words you use on the page matter almost as much as the experience you include.
You need to make sure you use the most appropriate key phrases that will get the recruiter’s interest.
This will mean using industry-specific keywords and expressions. However, don’t forget to include plenty of action verbs that can add dynamism to the text and really make your resume pack a punch.
It won’t only be the recruiter checking for relevant words and phrases. Most companies today also use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). Job scan estimates 98% of Fortune 500 companies will use filters such as these to trim down the number of relevant applications they receive.
Using too few or too many keywords can lead to a company’s ATS rejecting your application before it’s even been read by human eyes. A happy medium of appropriate terms to do with your job and field is the best approach to avoid this fate.
Tip 5: Use Design to Your Advantage
A successful resume is an exercise in substance over style. However, a little bit of flair never hurts when standing out in the job market.
Using a small amount of color, clear headers and subheaders, and a well-organized structure can help improve the readability and therefore the effectiveness of your document. This can increase your resume’s ability to stick in the memory of the reader.
An online resume builder can help you save time getting this and the organization of your document on point. However, if you do decide to build your own template from scratch, remember that less is often more when it comes to design.
Why Your Resume Matters
If your resume is well-written, a prospective employer will study it from start to finish. If it is poorly written, however, the employer will “glaze over” your resume and move on to the next candidate.
You don’t want to miss out on a fantastic job just because you didn’t take the time to learn how to write a successful resume. Make the most of these tips we’ve detailed and you’ll find the recruiters come calling more often.