Your resume is a critical component of the job search process that helps you grab an employer’s attention, increasing your probability of selection. As such, job seekers must realize the necessity and power of the resume. Therefore, you must learn ways to make your resume catchy and unique so that it can stand out from the crowd.
A well-summarized resume depicts your background, skills, education, strength, and professional experience (if any). As such, you need to create a well-structured and attractive resume.
Individuals looking to write their resume from scratch or updating their old one to apply for a new job may be unaware of the basic dos and don’ts of crafting a resume. Creating a laudable resume requires some unique tips. Here are the best resume tips.
1. Make your resume ATS-friendly
Before your resume ever reaches the recruiter it will have to pass the ATS. Therefore it’s crucial to make your resume ATS-friendly. To improve your chances to pass the ATS the main things are: include keywords from the job ad and use an ATS-friendly resume format.
And that’s how we get to:
2. Pay attention to keywords
This is one of the most important and best resume tip. Read the job posting many times and look for the required expertise, skills, and other areas that seem relevant to the job.
This is important because if there are dozens or hundreds of applications for a job, keywords are often used to go through applications and find the most potential job seekers. This is especially important when the company is using an Applicant Tracking Systems.
Use the keywords in your job description, career summary, and skills section.
3. Use action verbs
It is a good idea to start your job history bullet points with action verbs (for example, “achieved,” “managed,” “resolved,” and “launched”). In this way, you give an active and self-initiated image of yourself and at the same time describe your work tasks better.
- Include soft and hard skills mentioned in the job description
- Start your bullet points with power verbs e.g. delivered, achieved, inspired, and transformed
The recruiter wants to get an idea of the applicant’s skills and achievements and what role he or she has played in the team, work community, or project. That is why it is good to mention these things already in your resume.
4. Try a skills-based resume
The traditional curriculum vitae proceeds in chronological order and is above all a description of the job seeker’s past jobs and studies. A skills-based resume, in turn, offers the opportunity to highlight lifelong skills rather than work experience and training.
A skills-based resume is a good option when looking for a job for which you have not yet gained similar work experience. It is a particularly good option for young jobseekers as well as career changers.
5. List your social media profiles
This doesn’t mean that you need to list all the social media profiles that you own but you’d want to include LinkedIn and other profiles related to your field such as Twitter and even Instagram in some cases. If listing social media accounts, be sure that they are professional. Those accounts that are not professional be sure to make them private because it’s most likely that the recruiter will look you up and find them.
6. Target your resume to the position you are applying for
Tailoring a job application to the job you are applying for is common knowledge by now to which every job seeker is probably already used to. But only a few bother to tailor a resume for the job applied for – and here’s a great opportunity to stand out.
At its lightest, targeting can mean, for example, rewording the career summary of the resume to suit the task, emphasizing the most important skills, and arranging work experience bullet points from the most essential to the least essential.
7. Do not over summarize
Often a tip is given to fit the resume on one page. If your work history, studies, and various education or skills have accumulated a lot over the years, it is not worth slavishly following the one-page limit.
It is important to keep your resume fresh and dated. If you’ve been in the workforce for years, it’s alright to leave out the summer jobs from the last decade and other tasks that don’t match your current job description. Instead, relevant work experience and skills should not be reduced.
Instead, just list the company, title for each job, and the date and tell about the position in few bullet points. The recruiter needs to see what kind of experience you have and what kind of skills you possess.
8. Use an “About Me” or “Career Summary” over an Objective
Start your resume with a concise presentation of your skills, i.e. career summary. Tell the recruiter why you are the right person for the job. If possible quantify your skills. The profile text is an important part of creating the first impression and should reassure the recruiter that it is worth getting to know this candidate and resume in more detail.
In the career summary section, write a well-structured and logical explanation of why you’re the best fit for the job. It is good to tell about your most important skills, strengths and perhaps something interesting about your personality.
9. Tell about your accomplishments
A hiring manager wants to hire someone who can 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 accomplishments there
- Start with a simple job description of a few lines before moving into accomplishments (bullet points)
- 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 you, not the accomplishments of others
- Avoid generic descriptions and buzzwords
10. 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 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.
- If you have specific numbers or percentages to quantify your accomplishments and qualifications, use them.
- Boldfacing growth percentages, dollar figures, and other key accomplishments is also a good strategy.
11. Use the STAR technique when writing the job history
The STAR technique is an effective method of keeping your resume concise and yet completely informative. While writing about any real-life example, using the points below ensures your resume is full of required details.
- Situation: Your job/role at the previous position, including main responsibilities
- Task: What problem did you solve?
- Action: What actions did you take? Did you solve the problem by yourself or as a team?
- Result: How did you add value and achieve goals? Include the value you brought to the company, use numbers, and quantifiable results.
12. Select the correct file format
Always send the resume to the employer in the format requested in the job ad. If the advertisement does not include a request for the resume format, choose a PDF document, as it will keep the formatting in order and will certainly open on different devices.
13. Properly format the resume so it’s easy to read
The resume has long been perceived as a black-and-white and factual text document listing work experience, education, and IT and language skills. If your industry allows it, what if you tried to make your resume both stylish and self-depicting? At its best, a visual resume stands out from the crowd and helps the recruiter to better perceive the job seeker’s skills.
A great resume is easy to read and tells you the most important things about your skills and work experience. A resume doesn’t have to be visual fireworks, but a good-looking and well-thought-out document does help you out.
Resumes are generally glanced at for around 25 seconds. It’s more difficult to scan a document when you organize 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
Don’t be overwhelmed by the layout too much, keep the overall look calm and clear.
14. Perfect grammar – Do the final check before you hit send
Apart from other factors, it is crucial to write a resume and cover letter that comprises perfect grammar. It is best to check them thoroughly before submitting them to the employer. You may also want someone else, such as a friend or a mentor to look it over and correct the grammatical errors.
Alina Burakova is an expert on the job industry and one of our most experienced writers at EduReviewer. By working with aspiring job seekers on their resumes for over 25 years, she has helped numerous applicants land the job of their dreams.