Handing out your resume to 10-20 companies might land you a job, but ensuring your resume is highly polished and professional for 3-5 job postings might get you an even better job opportunity. Creating an effective resume takes time and finesse, but it can make all the difference. Next time you sit down to apply for a promising job posting, take time to tailor your resume with proven resume writing tips.
Simple Resume Writing Tips
Use these 5 simple tips to update your resume and stand out from the crowd.
1. Pick a good layout
No two resumes look the same, but a cramped and messy layout might make a recruiter decide that reading through it would be too much of a strain and too time-consuming. Many websites like canva.com or www.resumecoach.com have a range of great resume layouts you can choose from.
Tips: Make sure the font is approximately 10-12pt, white space is separating sections of content, and titles are easily distinguishable in a larger size, underlined or bolded. Always use a simple professional font, such as Calibri or Calibri light. Do not compromise the layout integrity to fill space if you have less job experience. Hiring managers know this trick and will see right through it. Be honest in your job search, and in your resume layout.
2. List accomplishments, not just job responsibilities
Mentioning your job responsibilities is good, but what matters most to employers is what you accomplished in your role and how you made the company you worked for better in some way. Did you increase sales or twitter followers, or did one of your ideas or projects get implemented? Let your potential employer know what you can do for them and make sure to use numbers and figures when possible.
3. Tailor your resume to match the job
Read through the job description very carefully and highlight the main things the employer is looking for. Add those details to your resume if you can and put the most important things first. Look for keywords and desired skills and adjust your language accordingly to include them. This restructuring per job posting can make a big difference, as HR Managers scan your resume at first glance. Do this with your cover letter as well, as customizing it will show you put more thought and care into applying for the position than the next person.
4. Keep it at two pages maximum
Employers can spend as few as 10 seconds reviewing a resume – that’s because they probably have a huge pile to go through which can be time-consuming, especially for a very appealing job with plenty of applications. Having a four-page resume will throw employers off; there’s no need to list everything you’ve ever done. Focus on your highlights and relevant experience and save the rest for the interview.
5. Spell-check it
Nothing looks worse than having a resume filled with typos and language errors. Make as many drafts as it takes to perfect it, and have several of your friends read over your resume to evaluate if it makes sense. You can also use online spelling and grammar checking, either within Microsoft Word or on grammarly.com. You don’t want a tiny language mistake to cost you a good opportunity.
Tips: Print off your nearly final copy of your resume, read it aloud and double check the layout. Layouts can change from the screen to the printer, and if your potential employer prints off your resume, you want to be sure it will still look good.
Taking 30-60 minutes to review your resume can seem like a daunting task when you are chasing job leads, but this simple practice can put you miles ahead of the competition. Follow these 5 simple resume writing tips to put your job application into the interview pile and get you one step closer to finding your desired career path.
Looking for more career advice? Head over to our employment tips section of the blog. Good luck on the job hunt!