Writing a good resume is an art. You need to ensure that your resume is perfect, eloquent and well suited to each and every position that you apply for. Here is how to stand out from the crowd with your resume:
- You can’t submit the same resume for different jobs
When you applied for your very first job, you probably didn’t have much experience to put on your resume. Perhaps a bit of volunteering, things you were interested in and education. But now that you’re in the process of refining your resume for your professional career, it needs to be a lot more than that. If you want to be seen as competition for a position, your resume needs to be perfectly tailored to the company and job that you’re applying to.
- It takes skills and understanding of what recruiters are looking for.
In order to best capture an employer’s attention, you need to know the job and know how your skills are suited to it. Employers are always on the search for an ideal candidate for each position. If you decide to include an “interests” section at the end of your resume, are your interests something that would suit the position? If you’re applying for a job in HR or marketing at a gym, do you regularly go to the gym and understand the needs and wants of patrons? Likewise, the jobs that you worked when you were fourteen in hospitality or retail probably aren’t relevant to a position that you’re applying for in your twenties or thirties, unless it is related to hospitality or retail.
Drop the unimportant information. Employers only have a certain amount of time to wade through resumes, and yours is much more likely to be overlooked if you have lots of irrelevant information. It will say to employers that you are lazy and have just submitted a standardised resume to their position. They want to feel special and they want the bare basics, laid out in front of them in an easy to see way.
- It doesn’t have to be long
Be concise. Cut the irrelevant information and stick to the basics. If possible, try to fit your entire resume on to one page, or two pages maximum. If you wanted to, you can always include a note to the employer in the cover letter or email stating that you can send through an extended version of your resume if they required further information, or that you would be happy to discuss it further if they had any questions.
Write and re-write your resume. Read and then re-read it again. You want to make sure that your resume is perfect and that you will be the ideal candidate for the job. Resumes with spelling mistakes or out of date information look messy and employers will see that as lack of attention to detail. Proofreading is no fun, but it has to be done.
- Don’t lie or embellish the truth
Employers do their research and they will find out, whether it’s prior to the interview, at the interview or when you get the job. It will make you seem untrustworthy and word might even spread within your industry. The best thing to do is to tell the truth. If the position requires someone with experience in a certain field, you can even add a section into your cover letter or resume stating that you are happy to learn any skills needed for the position, or brush up on existing skills if the employer feels they are not at the standard they are after.
- Don’t make it overly fancy
Whilst you may be a fan of WordArt, fancy fonts and bright colours, try and keep them to a minimum on your resume (unless you’re applying for an artistic role and want to stand out). The best font for your resume is generally something “sans serif”, as it is easier to read. However, a pop of colour can be good to distinguish yourself, even if it’s just in the form of a border or lines to separate sections.
Keep it simple and relevant and you’ll be set.