Recruiters and hiring managers alike are reporting seeing more badly written resumes than they’ve ever seen before. The following 6 tips for writing the most effective resume will help you to land that all important interview and, best of all, ensure that your resume isn’t holding you back.
1. Properly format the resume so it does the work of hiring managers for them
Resumes will ever be read fully by a hiring manager at first look, even if it’s the best written resume in the world. Resumes are generally glanced at for around 25 seconds. It’s more difficult to scan a document when you organise it poorly, make it longer than two pages, and make it difficult to read.
- Give the resume a logical format; use wide margins, clear headings, and a clean font type
- Use bold typefaces and italics selectively to draw attention to a particular section
- Draw attention to the most important areas with bullet points
2. Accomplishments are as important as job descriptions – if not more so
A hiring manager – particularly one in a technical field such as engineering – wants to hire someone who cans solve problems and fill gaps in the company workforce. It’s impossible to show a hiring manager that you can solve their problems unless you tell them how you’ve been able to solve problems similar to theirs during your time with other companies, and in similar situations.
- Don’t focus so much on what the job was; instead you want to focus on your own personal accomplishments there
- Start out with a simple job description of a few lines before moving into accomplishments
- Ask yourself the benefit of each point you make; what was made better by your actions?
- The accomplishments you list should be things unique to yourself, not the accomplishments of others
- Don’t give the jobs you’ve had in the past generic descriptions
3. Quantify accomplishments
What do you think a common mistake made with resumes? It’s that people are too general in their claims. They rely too much on industry jargon, even though it doesn’t do a good job of selling them. The resume should be considered a form of marketing. It has to sell you and your skills. It’s not a biography of you; it’s a guide to what you can do.
It should include specific achievements used to showcase your marketability. You must quantify achievements in order to make hiring managers more confident about you and more interested in you. Achievements can be quantified by looking at what might have happened if you hadn’t achieved what you did.
4. Cater the resume to the industry
Design and advertising professionals may have more creative freedom when it comes to designing resumes, but you don’t. Mechanical engineering is an industry that won’t be too impressed by a distinctive design on a resume. If anything, it reduces your chances of getting a call back.
You can make an impression through accomplishments and by writing a grammatically-correct resume free from errors.
5. Use a “About Me” or “Career Summary” over an Objective
The career summary should showcase the person you are. It tells hiring managers what it is you do. An objective sounds similar. Say that you are looking for a challenging position where you have the chance to use your skills and make a contribution.
It’s important to grab as much of the manager’s attention as possible, as quickly as possible. You only have around 25 seconds to form a solid first impression. Create an attention-grabbing summary that shows you can be the solution the company needs.
6. Networking is key
Unemployed people should consider giving resumes their job. Many mid-and-major-level jobs get filled thanks to networking. You need to be talking to everyone in your circle, as well as recruiters who can either hire you or offer some insight. The following encapsulates networking:
- Your own business contacts; people that you worked for and those that you’ve employed yourself
- Sales representatives and vendors you’ve done business with in recent years
- Fellow alumni from your alma mater
When you’ve got a great resume, you’ll have much more of a chance of getting the interview and job you’ve always dreamed of.