If you’re on the hunt for a new job, you know your resume is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. A well-crafted resume can catch the eye of potential employers and land you the job of your dreams. But where do you start? Here are some key points new job seekers should consider when writing a resume.
Start with a strong header
Your header should be the first element a potential employer sees when they look at your resume. It should include your full name and contact information (phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL). Keep it simple and straight-forward. Not doing so puts recruiters off and is often one of the many mistakes I see new job seekers making in their resume. You want recruiters to reach out, make it easy for them to do so.
Highlight your relevant work experience
When listing your work experience, focus on your achievements and the results you are most proud of, rather than just listing your responsibilities. Here are some tips on how to show accomplishments and impact on your resume:
- Use action verbs: Start each bullet point with an action verb, such as “created,” “implemented,” “achieved,” “improved,” or “increased.”
- Quantify your achievements: Use numbers and percentages to quantify your achievements. For example, instead of saying “increased sales,” say “increased sales by 25%.”
- Focus on results: Instead of just listing your responsibilities, focus on the results you achieved. For example, instead of saying “managed social media accounts,” say “increased social media engagement by 50%.”
- Be specific: Provide specific examples of your accomplishments and impact. For example, instead of saying “improved customer satisfaction,” say “implemented a customer feedback system that resulted in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.”
- Tailor your accomplishments to the job: Make sure your accomplishments are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Use the job posting as a guide to identify the skills and accomplishments that the employer is looking for, and tailor your resume accordingly.
And lastly, be sure to list your work experience in reverse chronological order (starting with your most recent job) and include the job title, company name, location, and employment dates.
Showcase your education and certifications
Include your highest level of education and any relevant certifications or training you have completed. This can help demonstrate your qualifications for the job you are applying for. When showcasing your education and certifications in your resume, you should include the following elements:
- Name of the degree or certification: Clearly state the name of the degree or certification you have earned, and if it is relevant to the job you are applying for, make sure to highlight that.
- Institution and location: Mention the name of the institution where you earned your degree or certification, along with its location.
- Date of graduation: Include the date when you earned your degree or certification.
- Any relevant coursework: If you have taken any courses that are relevant to the job you are applying for, include them in your resume.
- Honors and awards: If you received any honors or awards during your academic or professional career, include them in your resume.
- Professional development and training: If you have attended any relevant professional development or training courses, workshops, or seminars, include them in your resume.
Try out some of these free resume layouts
List your skills
Listing your relevant skills, such as technical skills, soft skills, and language proficiency, is essential for a standout resume. It’s important to use bullet points to make your skills stand out and to include any skills mentioned in the job posting. Doing so helps potential employers identify what you can bring to the job quickly. By showcasing your abilities and strengths through your skills, employers can easily see how you can contribute to their organization, making you a more desirable candidate.
Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for
Read the job posting carefully and tailor your resume to the specific job requirements. Highlight your relevant skills and experience and use keywords from the job posting. This can help demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job and can help your resume stand out from other applicants.
To effectively tailor your resume to the job you are applying for, follow these action-oriented steps:
- Analyze the job posting: Carefully read the job posting and analyze the job description. Identify the key skills, qualifications, and experience that the employer is looking for.
- Highlight your relevant skills and experience: Look at your own experience and qualifications and identify the ones that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. Highlight these in your resume, using specific examples and achievements to demonstrate your abilities.
- Use keywords from the job posting: Use the same language and keywords from the job posting in your resume. This can help your resume get past applicant tracking systems (ATS) and make it easier for recruiters to see that you have the skills they are looking for.
- Customize your summary statement: Tailor your summary statement to the job you are applying for. Use language that matches the job posting and highlight your relevant experience and qualifications.
- Tailor your bullet points: Customize your bullet points under each job listing to showcase how your experience and achievements match the job requirements. Use specific examples and numbers to demonstrate your impact and success in previous roles.
- Remove irrelevant information: If you have experience or qualifications that are not relevant to the job you are applying for, consider removing them from your resume. This can help keep your resume focused and make it easier for recruiters to see that you have the skills they are looking for.
Use a clean and easy-to-read format
Using a clean and easy-to-read format is of the utmost importance when crafting the perfect resume. The format should be designed to allow for clear headings and bullet points that highlight your qualifications and experience in an organized manner. It’s important to use a standard font, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, in a 10-12 point size, to ensure readability. Additionally, a well-designed resume should consider the importance of negative space and balance, using strategic spacing to create a visually pleasing layout.
Remember, your resume is often the first impression a potential employer will have of you, so it’s imperative it be presented in a professional and polished manner. By paying careful attention to the formatting of your resume, you can make sure your qualifications and experience are showcased in the best possible light, increasing your chances of landing your dream job.
Proofread and edit your resume
Finally, proofread and edit your resume carefully to ensure no typos or errors. Consider having someone else review it as well to catch any mistakes you may have missed. A well-crafted resume can make all the difference when it comes to landing your dream job. So take your time and be sure you are putting your best foot forward!
Hi! My name is Nadia Ibrahim-Taney and I help people design happy and fulfilling careers through authentic career coaching. My expertise includes career exploration guidance, resume writing, interview prep and LinkedIn profile optimization. My pronouns are She/ Her/ Hers and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I focus on how diverse identities impact and influence folks holistically and professionally. Please connect with me on LinkedIn through my website.