Think of a resume as a handshake. Like a handshake, a resume is the first contact you make with a potential employer. First impressions like this can either make or break your chances of getting a job. Before delivering your rehearsed and thought-out answers, eyes are on you, examining whether you mean business or not. Nail the resume, land the job.
Writing a good resume is challenging. However, you don’t have to worry. To help you ace your interview, here are top 10 tips to writing a successful resume:
Companies have to deal with a sea of resumes. For this reason, employers take seconds scanning each resume before accepting it or throwing it in the trash. Quickest way for your resume to end up in the trash is telling your whole life story. Save the details for the interview. Keep your resume concise with points. Give a clear vision of what you have to offer.
The usual pattern job seekers make is sending out the same resume over a hundred different companies. Result, zero response. Research the company you’re interested in and find out what skills they are looking for. Customize your resume to the opportunity for a greater chance of standing out.
You have your accomplishments, don’t just stick to words. Use Math. Show your accomplishments in numbers. This is a great way for employers to notice you from most of the competition (since only few people do this). Don’t exaggerate. Remember, your employers will look into your history and make calls to know if you’re telling the truth or not.
Don’t wait for the recruiter to see how your experience fits the job. Explain your personal statement with a specific career goal. Demonstrate what you can do for the company. Pinpoint your strengths and mention what current position brings you most excitement. If you’re not too sure or picky with the division you’ll be assigned in, draw attention to your final-year project and work experience related to your industry.
Avoid gaps in your resume. Gaps implicitly mean you didn’t take your career seriously. Instead of showing progress, gaps show stagnancy and lack of ambition. How do you explain these gaps? Be honest. Emphasize why it was that you were let go or why you left your previous job, whether you were freelancing, volunteering, traveling or handling family issues. Even so, remain positive. Your employer doesn’t want to hear about the drama in your previous job.
Do yourself a favour. Regularly update your resume. This serves as your most updated information to prove your capabilities. Not only is it handy for job searching, it’s a way for you to present yourself as an expert for promotion at work or pitch yourself to the media or conference organizers.
The worst resume mistakes are easy to make yet difficult to repair. How are you getting that interview if your first impression’s unprofessional? Common pitfalls include typos and grammatical errors, bad summary, no action verbs, confusing us of font, and incorrect contact information. Avoid errors by checking your resume with a spellchecker or ask someone else to double check it for you.
Thought about lying a few bits in your resume to look impressive? Don’t do it! A lot of things can go wrong if they do a background check on you. Let’s say you dodged the bullet and got the job. Once the company finds out you lied, you’ll be kicked out for sure. You might even be caught in your lie during the interview if you aren’t able to answer the subjects you claim to know. The fact is, any information you write on your resume can be questioned deeper and deeper. Take your honest resume and say it in a way that reflects you in the best light to your potential employer.
Get your resume noticed in seconds. Place emphasis on the format. Put extra effort on the design and formatting of your resume. You need to work on making your resume stand out from other. The layout should be easy on the eyes. Use alternate fonts, highlight sections with slight changes (subtle colour changes, extra spacing, bold text, line breaks), keep sentences short, and use bullet points.
Applying for jobs not only stresses applicants, it’s also daunting for recruiters. To filter large groups of applicants and simplify the lives of recruiters or hiring managers, they use tracking systems to scan the applicants’ qualifications and skills for them. These applicant tracking systems rank applicants by keywords. To beat resume scanners, you need to review the job description for keywords and place those keywords in your resume.