The thought of thinking everything through and creating an interview-worthy resume can be exhausting. Here are some tips to help.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost, in order to procure a great resume, you have to know who what company you're applying to and what they’re looking for (and then tailor it accordingly).
Tailoring doesn’t just mean switching around your skills and experience. If you’re a specific kind of job seeker (read: new grad or career changer), a traditional resume isn’t always your best bet.
The skills section is super important in showing what tools you bring to the table, so make it exciting rather than meh.
When tailoring your sections, your hobbies aren’t necessarily the first thing to go. You may want to keep them around. They might just boost your credibility or show off transferrable skills.
Tell a Story
Keep in mind that you don't want your resume to be just a bunch of words and bullets. Make sure it tells a compelling story that’s worthy of a new job.
Before you click submit, there might be some red flags (like gaps, job titles that are hard to understand, or locations that don't make sense) you want to look out for that could be giving off a bad (or confusing) impression. You may want to add additional explanations or consider editing these items.
Some Quick Additional Tips...
Keep it to One Page
If a hiring manager’s spending six seconds looking at your resume, he or she might not even get to the second page!
Avoid Spelling or Grammar Errors
There are some employers who will discount your resume the second they see a spelling or grammar error.
Watch Your Tenses
As a general rule, if something on your resume is in the past, use the past tense and if you are still in the role, use the present tense
Avoid the First Person Pronouns
As a general practice, don’t use words like “I” or “me” or “my.”
Don’t List Everything You’ve Ever Done
When you’re writing and editing, ask yourself this question, “Will this sentence help me get the job I want?” If not, you should consider editing that sentence or removing it.
Think About the Person Reading Your Resume
How can you write your resume in such a way that she gets excited when she sees it, thinks you’re perfect for the job, and is willing to put herself out there by presenting you to her team.
Format in a Logical Structure
While chronological the default, it’s not always the best way to make your case.
Make Sure It’s Easy to Read
While you can adjust the size to some degree, never go below 10-point font.
Keep it Organized and Visually Appealing
Help employers maximize the time they take on your resume by making your it super clear and easy-to-read.
Keep it Consistent
Just like you want your verb tenses to be consistent throughout, it’s also important that the formatting is, too.
When you list out your experience, be sure to include context.
Quantify as Much as Possible
Anyone can say that he or she excelled at his or her last job. So, you need to prove to the hiring manager that you truly did.
Name Drop (and Title Drop)
If you got a promotion or a raise because of your performance, you should mention it.If you worked with the CEO of the company or were a point of contact for a large, corporate customer, mention their names!
Don’t Include References
Your resume is for recruiters to decide if they want to talk to you, not your references.
Think About What Makes You Different
Don’t hesitate to show who you really are, your likes and interests, your personality, what makes you unique, and so on.
Think About the Specific Job You’re Applying To
The best way to help communicate that you are the perfect person for a job is to read the job description and list out key phrases.
Label Your Resume File Correctly
Remember that employers can see the name of the file that you send them and also remember that they get tons of resumes every day.
Send Your Resume as a PDF
Saving your resume as a PDF freezes it as an image so that you can be sure hiring managers see the correct formatting.