Updating your resume can be a daunting task. You may not know where to start, what trends are happening nowadays, or if you really do need to stick to one page. As part of the recruiting process, we see resumes on a daily basis – and the range of creativity across them is wide. We have seen many people, at all levels, struggle with their resumes – that’s why we have selected four of our best resume writing tips to help you achieve the same success:
- Check for spelling and grammatical errors
This one should go without saying, but you’d be surprised to know that even the most eloquent of writers will miss a mistake or two on their resume. Get an extra set of eyes (or two!) on your resume to make sure all of the little details are buttoned up. Don’t rely on spellcheck to catch everything for you! Pro Tip: Read it from the bottom up
- Sell your successes, not your day-to-day routine
Your future employer cares less about what you do, and more about how well you do it! You can showcase your successes by listing one or two of your strongest achievements under each position. Keep them numerical whenever possible, and keep them short and sweet. What did you do to advance the business through growth percentages, revenue increases, cost savings, etc.? For example; “Exponentially grew sales” vs. “Grew sales over 75% in less than 6 months”. Pro Tip: Bullet points are your friends.
- Make it scannable
Use the right keywords! According to an article released by TIME, a recruiter, on average, will take 6 seconds to look at your resume. While this is not the case for us, we DO look for targeted keywords to quickly match candidates to job openings. These keywords will also ensure that your resume is searchable on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn. What keywords should you be using? Good question – check out the job description and choose some qualifiers that the hiring manager is looking for that also match what you have to offer! Pro Tip: Strengthen your adjectives while you’re at it.
- Tailor it for the job
Keep it relevant, keep it short. Myth: Resumes need to be one page. Choose appropriate experiences to showcase how you will add value to the specific position you are applying for. While your ‘Underwater Basket Weaving’ hobby might raise a few eyebrows at a dinner party, it will not impress a hiring manager who is looking for a VP of Sales and has limited time to find one. If the role you are applying for has a major focus on project management, and your last role only focused on that for 20%, make sure you highlight what successes you had in that pertinent 20%. For example, if you’re applying for a Dealer Developer position but your titles have been “Territory Manager,” make sure the first couple bullet points under each role are tailored to the dealer development work you did as a Territory Manager (including your successes!).
Pro Tip: Make multiple resumes if you are pursuing multiple career tracks.
While these 4 tips will help with the initial construction of your resume, we recommend that you continuously update it, even while you’re happily employed. Of course you need to spend time making sure it looks polished when the time comes, but keep this quote by Charles R. Swindoll in mind – “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail”. Timing is another factor – Having your resume ready to go at the drop of a hat can allow an organic opportunity to be exploited that you may otherwise have missed. Always remember that your resume is your first chance to make a strong impression on a future boss – make yourself stand out!