Did you know that an average recruiter spends a total of 8 seconds reviewing a single resume?
Imagine spending hours and weeks trying to create a perfect resume and then not being able to make an impression.It could happen due to a number of reasons.It could be because your resume wasn’t optimized enough, or maybe it was in an unstructured format, or maybe because there was some redundant stuff in your resume.
Another common mistake job applicants make is not tailoring their resume according to the job profile.Most people simply refer to a similar resume, edit it to suit their requirements and apply everywhere with ‘their resume’.It’s not surprising that around 80% of applicants never receive a callback for interview owing to a weak resume.
In today’s world, with so much competition you need to absolutely sure that your resume makes a good first impression on the recruiter. To make that happen, you need to abstain from the ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ approach when it comes to writing your resume.
Follow these useful tips given below to create the perfect resume in 2017.
1.One Page Resume
Having a simple format which is easily skimmable will go a long way to increase one’s chances of getting shortlisted.In order to do this, your resume must be well optimized with clear subsections, a clean scannable format, and well-optimized bullet points. That also means, making sure your resume fits on one page.Don’t get overly creative by using watermarks, designs, and graphics on it.
Fonts that are legible and easy on the eyes such as Calibri, Garamond, Trebuchet, MS Georgia, and Helvetica are always a good option.As for the font size, the header should be sized between 20 and 22, section head could range from 12 to 14, while the main body should be between 10 and 12.Just remember not to mix-and-match fonts. Use a standard one throughout the resume. And use bold, italics, etc. to organize your resume.
Mention your phone number along with the country code and an email address on your resume.Refrain from including email address like Princesstara@gmail.com in your resume. Instead, make a professional email address that can be an alteration of your name. Something like TaraSharma21@gmail.com would work fine.
Also, skip the objective statement. It does not do much to highlight your skill set and often ends up looking ambiguous.
Like discussed earlier, add only relevant work experience and refrain from crowding your resume with details that might not be important to the recruiter.For e.g. Your experience as a Sales Manager won’t matter if you’re applying for Software Engineer post. So it’s best to skip that.If you feel that your work experience section looks small, you can describe your recent and relevant work experience in a bit more detail by adding more bullet points to it.
Limit yourself to 3-5 bullet points per company. Make sure each point doesn’t go beyond 2 lines. Also, highlight achievements wherever necessary. Then again, don’t go overboard and end up highlighting everything. Use quantifiable achievements and facts in the bullet points.
Before: Responsible for the substantial increase in sales by identifying business needs and implementing relevant techniques.
After: Grew sales 15% in just 4 months, reversing long-standing sales decline by personally meeting with each customer, identifying business needs, and using solution-selling techniques
Both statements essentially mean the same thing. But Statement 2 tells a better story and represents data that the recruiter can relate to and skim easily.
Replace overused words like “Responsible for”, “Made”, “Participated” with stronger action words like “Spearheaded”, “Delivered”, “Delegated”, etc. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) process resumes submitted by applicants. If your resume contains the keywords the employer wants, then the ATS will rank you higher in the search results. The keyword searches by recruiters also include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening.
Action words are basically keywords that the recruiter is looking for while browsing through resumes.
Also avoid using vague terms like a – Team player, Hard worker, Detail oriented, Thinks outside the box, etc. Almost everyone uses them in their resume and they mean nothing to the recruiter.
Before: Responsible for inventory control and ordering products.
After: Optimized inventory by monitoring for product shortages and ensuring efficient service usage.
Your current job role comes first, followed by previous job/ internships/ Projects/ Freelance-Work.Make sure all job responsibilities apart from your current job are in past tense.
Always remember, employers, are more interested in knowing if you have gained any relevant skills in your previous job than where you went to college. That’s why work experience section comes before education. But if you are a recent graduate, it’s alright to list your education first followed by internships. Highlight achievements such as academic honors, club positions, etc. which might be relevant to your future employer. You can also include any online certifications done in your resume. Employers tend to view scholarships as an endorsement of the candidate’s capability, so if you have won a scholarship be sure to highlight it.
While you might like to show that you know a thing or two by throwing some technical lingo, it usually backfires. You never know who’s going to read your resume next. The task of skimming through the resumes might be done by the office staff, assistant or the recruiter himself. Make sure your resume is structured in such a way that it’s readable by an average person.
Your future employer is looking for people who have the necessary skills to thrive in the new job and the prerequisites are usually mentioned in the job description. Therefore, read the job description carefully and make a list of the skills that they are looking for in a candidate. Mention them in your resume if you have any.
For a Digital Marketing Associate position, your resume skills section could look like this,
Tools: Google Analytics
Technical: HTML, CSS
Certification: 1) Inbound Certification – HubSpot Academy Analysis
2) Instagram Marketing: Quick Growth Hacks
Spoken Languages: English (Native), Spanish (Fluent) & Hebrew (Basic)
Most companies look favorably upon employees who contribute in a positive way to the surrounding community. Also, highlight the part you played while working there. Don’t simply list ‘I volunteered for XYZ organization’. Statements like ‘Coordinated and led work parties that constructed 15 homes for low-income families in need of housing’ showcases your leadership and management qualities and adds significant value to your resume. Also, it’s not necessary to include every possible hobby you pursue, in your resume. A good tip is to go through the job description and analyze what kind of person are they looking for the job and edit your interests section accordingly.
If there’s an opening for a sales representative, then they are mostly looking for someone with an extroverted personality with good communication skills. In that case, mentioning hobbies like knitting and painting might put at a disadvantage. Instead, mentioning that you are a state level basketball player or that you love camping with your friends might be a good idea.
You can use the standard terms of proficiency such as ‘native’, ‘basic’, ‘fluent’, ‘intermediate’ or otherwise to describe how well you speak the languages listed on your resume.
Spoken Languages: English (Native), Spanish (Fluent) & Hebrew (Basic)
If you have a few months of gap period between two consecutive jobs, you can make it less of an issue by eliminating the start and end dates of the previous jobs in the work-ex section. Give a concrete reason as to why you took time off and how you utilized the gap period. Make sure you mention any volunteer work, skills that you have picked up during the gap period.
Resume grammar mistakes can completely sabotage your chances of getting your dream job. Make sure you don’t make any silly grammatical or formatting mistakes while writing your resume. Tools like Grammarly and Reverso can provide a reliable feedback on your content. You can also ask your friends and family to proofread your resume. And always send your file in a pdf format. It helps avoid any formatting errors that may occur on the recruiter’s end. With a typical recruiter spending only a few seconds going through your resume, the importance of a good resume cannot be debated. The above tips have been tried-and-tested over hundreds of applicants and they are sure to take your resume from good to great. Use it as a checklist to really get out there and create a winning resume.
Want more tips? Check out this post on 23 tips to take your work resume to the next level.
Now go get that job you were eyeing!