Your resume is one of the most important factors in getting the right interviews and offers. But what should your resume look like? What should it include? Just as importantly, what should it not include? How can you make the most impact with it? To help you answer these questions for yourself, here are five easy tips for a resume that gets the job done.
1. Keep it Short and Simple
In an effort to make their resumes stand out, some applicants go to extra lengths to include every accomplishment, every job, or every skill. They may use flowery words or an eye-catching design on paper or in fonts. In general, though, simplicity and directness will reach the hiring manager’s eye more than fluff. Keep your resume as short as is feasible. Use bullet points rather than long paragraphs. And use simple fonts.
2. Pick the Right Order
What order should you use to list your jobs, experience, accomplishments, and more? Chronological order is best for most resumes. Your most recent skills and training are usually the most relevant to today’s workplace. However, there are exceptions if you are an older worker, new to employment, or have gaps in your resume. These applicants may want to highlight their skills rather than the order of their jobs.
3. Know What to Customize
Once you craft a resume, your work is not done. Make yourself stand out by customizing some of that resume to each job you apply for. This takes extra time and energy but helps you stand out better.
Make this customization work easier by identifying and limiting where you make changes each time. This turns your original resume into a template with specific areas you adjust as needed. For example, you might only need to personalize the beginning summary and a few bullet points in your most recent job to tailor it to a specific skill set. Keep a list of bullet points you can interchange as needed.
4. Make It Tangible
Employers want tangible, identifiable accomplishments rather than just a list of job functions. Begin with a short summary of what makes you the best candidate. This is just a sentence or two at the top of the resume, which highlights your experience and skills. Consider this a short sales pitch that whets the appetite for details to come below.
When describing your skills and experience, use action words rather than being passive. Tell employers what you’ve done, built, spearheaded, led, and conquered. Look for statistics that illustrate your accomplishments, such as the percentage of sales you generated or how much paperwork you reduced in your last office. Did you take the initiative to learn a new skill? Point that out.
5. Proofread and Get Feedback
Think you’re done with your resume? Not quite yet. Now, it’s time to go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Proofreading prevents silly mistakes that will stand out to automated filtering systems and hiring managers. Check your dates, the spelling of all names, as well as email addresses and phone numbers. Use — but don’t rely solely on — automated spelling and grammar checkers.
Then, hand your resume to a trusted friend, family member, or staffing specialist. Ask them for feedback about what they find confusing, overly wordy, too short, or missing. Learn what they take away from looking at your resume, then tweak it based on this honest feedback.
Where Can You Get Help?
Want help polishing that resume, customizing it, or just getting started? Meet with the hiring pros at Tulsa’s Green Country Staffing. We’ll put our experience matching employers and applicants to work for you. Call today to make an appointment or learn more.