Do you dread updating your resume? Yeah—I’m right there with you! Resumes and cover letters are some of my least favorite things to do. They are definitely a necessary evil in my book! To help the process of updating your next resume a little easier I have a few resume tips that may be helpful. After reading this, you’ll feel like a resume pro. Hopefully, these tips make updating your resume quicker (and maybe even bearable)!
You should aim to keep your resume simple, concise and uncluttered. Whoever is reading your resume will likely scan it to see if anything particularly interesting stands out. You don’t want to seem like you’re all over the place. If you can’t even put together a decent resume to highlight your skills, then why would a future employer want to hire you?
Majority of the individuals that apply to the position will meet the qualifications, but you need more than just meeting the bare minimum. If you have any of those “preferred” skills that is even better! If you use these resume tips, your resume will be guaranteed to stand out! Your resume is basically your opportunity to pitch yourself to your next company so these tips will help you truly market yourself!
This should really go without saying, but you do not want to over promise and under deliver on how you sell yourself in your resume. If the job requirement states that you need to know how to do computer programming and coding, saying you have experience because just because you used to personalize your myspace back in the day will not cut it! You will find yourself caught up in a situation where the skills you promised are needed.
2.Write a compelling Narrative
With all of your amazing qualifications, make sure you share how they are connected in a logical way. Tell the story of why you were able to achieve the things you did. This will help whoever is reading your resume really understand your story and who you are.
Wherever you can possibly use numbers, do it! Numbers help to put things into context. There is a difference between managing 1 person and a team of 50 people. Or even if you worked on proposals to gain new work for your current company, saying “Developed a proposal that led to winning a 1.5 Million dollar contract” sounds a lot better than “Has experience working on proposals.” You will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t highlight the business impact you had by using numbers. Numbers is something everyone can understand.
4.Highlight Accomplishments vs. Responsibilities
Anyone can pull a dry job description and add it to their resume. Being able to do your daily responsibilities isn’t as exciting as showcasing how you added value to a company and were able to help solve problems. If you highlight your accomplishments you’re sharing how you’ve had a history of being beneficial to other companies and that you can continue to add value at your next company. Simply doing your required responsibilities doesn’t show that you’re a stand out employee. Did you figure out new ways to bring in business? Or did you identify any risk and provide innovative solutions? You can speak to these kinds of accomplishments high-level without telling all of your previous jobs insider secrets.
5.Use Keywords from the Job Description
This might sound harder than what it is. But if you really do qualify for the next job you’re applying for, make sure you have what they are looking for included in your resume. You should be able to find ways to highlight your experiences that directly correlate to the job you are applying to. It is also important to include keywords that relate to the job description because your resume probably won’t make it to an actual human if it doesn’t get past the computer system. Most companies use software programs to sort resumes as the first step to weed out the unqualified. I mention in my post on How to write a self-assessment how valuable your actual job description can be!
6.Use positive action verbs
Positive action verbs really help to demonstrate your ability to complete tasks. They are better for explaining what you actually did a few examples are:
7.Try to keep it to 1 page of relevant experience
Whoever is reviewing candidate applications likely doesn’t have time to go through multiple pages of your credentials. You should be able to convince the company that you’re qualified within that first page. If you focus on only relevant examples from your work history, then that shouldn’t be a problem. The general exception to this is if you have 10 years worth of work experience.
8.Highlight Skills at the beginning
Pull the reader in at the beginning. This is also a good place to use some of those keywords mentioned in the job description. You want someone to be drawn in right away as they review your application. Make it easy for them to put you in the ‘yes’ pile.
9.Use a Mix of Paragraphs and Bullets
You want your resume to be easy to read. Switching it up by having a brief description of the role with bullets under it will help your resume flow and read better. You don’t want the reader to be confused about where to find the important details.
On any list of resume tips, you will see that you need to proofread. You should always make sure that you utilize spell check but I also recommend another tool such as Grammarly to help catch a few other things as well. You would be surprised at how often spelling errors are found and how easily that can turn potential employers off from hiring you. If you can’t complete the first assignment of submitting an accurate resume, they may not trust you to complete work for them.
11.List Education and Certifications at the bottom.
These are of course important elements of your resume, but they can kind of be the cherry on top. The reader will see all of your other qualifications and also see your education and additional certifications.
Were these resume tips helpful for you? If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org