Start Big and Pare it Down
The resume you put in front of prospective employers should be brief. However, to make sure you get all your notable skills, achievements and experiences on this vital document, it pays to start with a big list. In a plain text document, note down anything and everything that you might want to include on your resume.
Distinguish Yourself with Creative Word Choice
Steer clear of all the old, stuffy, traditional words and phrases like “responsible for” and “successfully.” These terms don’t stand out and will contribute only to getting your resume sidelined. Try using “power verbs” to describe your achievements and generally experiment with unfamiliar wordings. They don’t need to be wacky, just different from the norm.
Create an Advertisement, not a List
If you’re a university graduate with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, you’ll know about the need for powerful advertising. If you’re not, this tip may help. Your resume is a marketing document selling you as a must-have asset. Think of your resume this way when you create it, instead of trying to list every detail of your experience. For each job you apply for, try to amend your resume to show skills and accomplishments relevant to that position.
Including numbers in your resume is a great way to show employers specifically what you are capable of. If you led a team project as part of your master’s degree studies, state how many were in the team. If you generated cost savings in a previous job, tell prospective employers exactly how much you saved. This is one of many ways to avoid your resume appearing too general.
Use a Simple Font and Format
Your resume doesn’t have much time to capture a reader’s attention. It’s more likely to be scanned than read word for word. Help employers by keeping the font and format simple. Don’t try to create a visual impression with flashy fonts.
Replace the Objective with a Profile
“Ambitious and driven graduate with master’s degree in economics seeks management position in leading financial institution” may look good to you, but it doesn’t tell employers what you can do for them. The resume objective is an outdated characteristic and is better replaced with a brief profile telling readers what you can bring to their business or organization.
In tailoring your resume for a particular position, try to include keywords matching those used in the job description. This helps to align your resume with the job advertisement and is more likely to get you noticed.
Be Honest With Your Information
Don’t try to embellish details of your achievements and experience. Integrity is important to all employers, and little white lies or inferences will count against you, not for you. For example, stating that you studied for a bachelor’s degree at an online college is a waste of words if you didn’t actually graduate.
Explain Employment Gaps
If you have gaps in employment, it’s better to detail them in your resume than to try and cover them up. Briefly explain what you did in between employments and try to include any notable achievements or experiences that could be useful to an employer.