The main goal of a resume is to land you a job interview. Maximizing your resume “real estate” is critical, and so is conveying relevant skills and experience in a simple and direct way. Here are 5 resume tips that will help you get a call back.
1. Forget the fancy formatting.
We find that simple and straightforward resumes are still the most effective. Creative resume templates often sacrifice space for design. Maximizing your resume “real estate” is critical and the top half of the first page is what matters most, so it’s important that you pack that section with as much relevant content as possible so that hiring managers don’t have to work too hard to find it.
2. Don’t write in paragraph form.
Hiring managers don’t invest a lot of time in reading resumes and will spend an average of 10 seconds skimming the first page. If they don’t see what they need easily, they will move on to the next resume. If your accomplishments and key skills are buried in the middle of lines and lines of text, your resume is less effective. Bullets are the way to go!
3. Tailor your resume by job type, as opposed to one specific job.
If you’re applying to one specific job, definitely tailor your resume to that job! However, if you’re in a general job search and you’re applying to jobs in different fields and not getting call backs—then success becomes more about application volume and less about making each resume match up perfectly with one job. Create a few different resumes that are tailored to different kinds of roles—like sales, marketing, customer service, project management, or technical support. Then, make a couple of minor tweaks each time you apply.
4. Incorporate critical keywords.
Most applications are online and software programs scan your resume and hone in on those with the highest number of matching keywords. Those resumes get put at the top of the pile. If you don’t already have an “in” at the company, a keyword match is often what gets your resume to a real person’s desk. A bulleted “Skills Summary” section on the first page of your resume is a great way to address this and it makes it easier for you to swap out a few relevant keywords when you apply to a new position. If you’re using your LinkedIn profile to apply to jobs, be sure you have a skills section on your profile and that it’s filled with strong keywords.
5. Be specific about your accomplishments.
Resumes that focus on accomplishments and results pack the most punch. Avoid making general statements like, “Worked closely with clients and grew sales.” A more effective way to say this would be, “Grew sales by 20% in 2017 by developing an understanding of each client’s business and working to deliver customized service and expertise.” Results are eye catching and being specific about what you did that got you great results adds credibility to your claims.
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