There are many frustrating things in the world of work -- and one of the hardest parts? Getting hired! Trying to make an impactful, professional self image and getting your shoe in the interview door is a hard task to achieve. And guess what? It starts with your resume.
So let's go though a few simple steps that will get your resume noticed by recruiters!
Top Resume Pointers:
1) Resume Template Time.
It all starts with your resume template. Aka. it's time to invest in a great resume design for a big payout. They say first impressions are everything and this is your change to make a great impact. Look for a resume that is well balanced and is complimentary to your career title or profession.
2) Make No Mistake!
Spelling and grammar errors are two of the most frowned upon mistakes. One of the most common cut-offs for hiring staff is to find spelling and grammar errors in a resume. Ask at least one or two people to double-check your spelling and grammar. If you are editing your work alone, take a break between edits to give yourself a fresh perspective.
3) Perfection Matters.
HR’s job is to look over your resume and scrutinize for layout mistakes as well. Check to make sure everything is aligned. Things can get moved around pretty easy so get your ruler (MS Word Align Tool) ready when you are finalizing your resume.
4) Make Each Application Matter.
Relate your content directly to the company’s job application. The more work experience and educational history you can correlate to the job requirements, the easier it will be for the HR and hiring manager to envision you in the role.
5) Brevity is Key.
Cut out the filler. Trim off the fat. Remove all unrelated tidbits and elongated words or sentences where short ones will do.
Moving on, let's dive into a little bit more detail:
1) For your CONTACT information, you need a professional email mailbox name and domain. Keep the name related to your name or profession, i.e. jeff@jeffmi*ls.com or electrician@jeffmil*s.com.
2) If you are applying for certain jobs, like a technical company, @yahoo and @hotmail domains might automatically get you rejected. Gmail is considered to be the better option if that is the case.
EXAMPLES from 1) and 2):
a) BEST (Pro): email@example.com
b) BETTER (Advanced): firstname.lastname@example.org
c) NOPE (Rejected): email@example.com
3) Have a personal website? Great! However, it is not necessary unless you are a designer or you need to showcase a portfolio, then it is a must! A LinkedIn account is highly advisable in today’s professional world. The more they can learn about you, your work history, and your career trajectory, the better.
4) If you change your information on your resume, make sure it is changed on all other online platforms. Your website, resume, LinkedIn, etc. should all match like your favourite pair of socks. A mismatched look does not make a good impression for prospective employees.
5) When filling out all of your resume sections, use reverse chronicle order. Your first point should always be the latest job or experience you’ve had.
6) Bold, CAPITAL, and italic formatting should be used to make a readable resume. To keep your resume looking fresh, however, there are some other tricks to combine with typical formatting that are more modern and attention-getting. For example, try two similar fonts together, such as Helvetica Neue and Garamond, or two shades of color in headings and subheadings to create a more subtle, stylish effect.
7) Make your font size is easy to read -- minimum font size should be 11 points.
8) Stay away from fancy fonts like Curlz, Papyrus, or Comic Sans unless you are applying to be a comedian.
9) Keep your WORK EXPERIENCE list to the most relevant and recent jobs; you do not need to go back to the job you had in high school 12 years ago.
10) If you haven’t finished your Degree, you probably do not want to include it. Your GPA should only be used if it’s above 3.0.
11) “References Upon Request” should not be on your resume. A place work will automatically request the list if it is a requirement by that company.
12) Depending on your profession, one page is long enough for all the necessary information. If your experience runs to two pages, make sure that there are no unimportant words and phrases. Simplicity is much more appealing and saleable when someone hiring.
13) NEVER LIE!
14) Add statistics if you can. “Increased sales by 25% for Q02 2017” is professional and more alluring than “Increased sales”.
15) Do not include every detail possible- being brief on details will give an employer the chance to solicit information from you, which you can talk about in an interview.
16) Adding your hobbies and your interests will give the company a better idea if you will fit into their culture. Make sure you add volunteer work and any hobbies related to your field of work.
17) Find the name of the HR manager or hiring manager by calling the company- use it in a personalized email and cover letter.
18) Include a cover letter that matches your resume and summarizes why you want to work for the company as well as your objectives for the company (using your talents, of course!).
19) Go through your contacts. Find a connection and drop a name or two in your cover letter. You are more likely to get hired if you have friends on the inside. Companies hate to hire strangers so hit up your friends/ acquaintance list!
20) Never use passive when active can be used. “I had filed all of the daily reports” is a NOPE while “All daily reports were filed” is YES!
21) A big question is if you should use a profile photo on your resume. The answer depends on your profession. If you are an actor, model, stylist, author, a profile photo is needed. Applying for an administrator? Baker? Best to leave it out.
22) Tailor each resume for each company. One resume should not be for multiple companies. This type of resume is easy to spot out. Companies are not looking for a generic, handed-out-to-everyone resume. It is a symbolic warning sign of someone who puts little effort into what they are trying to achieve.
23) When you are adding your key skills or what you have accomplished, give an example of why it is true. Don’t just say “good at communicating”; instead say “collaborated with a large team of 15 and finished all projects within deadline.” Much better to show your money is where your mouth is!
24) Use some BUZZWORDS! Check out this list for the top 10 best:
25) When you are saving your resume, the format is very important. Try this for example: “FirstName_LastName_JobPosition”. Always use your first name, last name, and position you are applying for. That way, HR can identify your file easily in their email or folder.
26) Finally, and most importantly, take your time. It is much better to submit a polished, well-crafted resume than a sloppy, mistake-filled one. Take pride in your accomplishments and showcase them as such!
Happy beginnings to a great new career!