In the current job market, where job openings often receive a flood of applications, your resume can get lost. Your resume is where you get to make a great first impression with potential employers. A well formatted resume is the ticket to securing your next gig. Your resume is your first line of defense, as it paints a vivid picture of your qualifications and achievements, making it crucial to include features that display tangible results and provide insight into the type of employee you are. Having a resume that you are proud of will give you the confidence to secure that job you’ve been eying. We’ve asked our team for their best resume advice and compiled everything you need to know down below:
Resume Contact Information: How to Stay Reachable and Professional
Start your resume with your contact information, as this will serve as your resume's anchor. This information should include your full name, phone number, professional email address, and location (city and state). The best way is to make sure the contact information is easily accessible and appears towards the top of your resume. Ensure that this information is up to date as it makes it easier for hiring managers to get in touch with you. This section of your resume should be simple and adding things such as your full address or a headshot are unnecessary. No one needs to know where you live.
Crafting a Persuasive Resume Summary
A captivating and concise professional summary is the best way to summarize who you are as an applicant. Your professional summary should be short and sweet, around three to five sentences. It should include a tailored reflection of your long and short term career goals, achievements, and how each of these factors align with the job you are applying for. Your professional summary gives employers a glimpse of your qualifications and aspirations.
The heart of your resume is your professional experience, which showcases everything you’ve accomplished in each position you’ve held. Now is the time to brag about yourself, don’t be bashful. List your professional experience in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent work history. Each job should include the following:
i) Job Title
ii) Company Name
iii) Dates of employment (month and year)
iv) Responsibilities and achievements
When outlining your responsibilities and achievements aim for 3-5 impactful statements that truly highlight your contributions. Impact statements are your secret sauce for showcasing your accomplishments in the best light possible. It’s all about demonstrating how you made a positive difference in your previous position. For instance, you might mention that you oversaw a remarkable 37% growth in new talent acquisition, effectively managed and supported the development of 5 talented direct reports and boosted the SEO authority score by an impressive 27%. These specific quantifiable results will make your resume stand out. A statistic for 2022 found that the use of action verbs throughout your resume increases your chances of moving forward through the hiring process by 140%
Your Educational Background
i) Degree earned
ii) Institution Name
iii) Relevant awards or honors
A graduation date is optional. If you are a recent graduate, then it's probably best to include a graduation date as it may explain your lack of work experience. However, if you have been out of college for more than five years, a graduation date is not necessary on a resume.
Resume Skills: Showcasing Your Unique Abilities
When optimizing your resume for your next job, spend time highlighting both hard and soft skills that are relevant to the job that you are applying for. Hard skills encompass skills that are trainable while soft skills encompass qualities like communication and teamwork. 40% of hiring managers/recruiters feel that most applicants lacked soft skills. So, it’s a good idea to truly spend time highlighting soft skills critical for a particular position.
Remember, hard skills are the technical abilities you need to complete job tasks, while soft skills are the personal characteristics that affect your work approach. Consider hard skills “teachable” and soft skills “unteachable.” While hard skills are necessary to successfully perform technical tasks in a job, soft skills are necessary to create a positive and functional work environment.
Do not overlook the importance of including your soft skills! There’s nothing “soft” about them. Soft skills provide insight into your demeanor and attitude about work.
Resume Formatting and Design Tips
The most successful resumes are easy to read and organized. Well organized and designed resumes gain more attention, but let’s not get carried away. Too many frills or other elements that distract from your message and may land you in the reject pile. Did you know that 59% of hiring managers are likely to reject a candidate because of poor grammar or a spelling error? Use a professional font (Arial, Calibri, Times) and maintain a sense of consistency in headings, bullet points, and overall formatting. Visually appealing, error-free documents reflect your attention to detail.
Choosing the Right Resume File Type
The most common file type for resumes is either Microsoft Word (.doc) or PDF files. Word documents are the most common and widely used file type, however PDF files ensure that your formatting stays intact after submission. File names also make a big impact in the application process. Pay close attention to your file name, which should ideally follow the format “FirstName_LastName_Resume”.
Keep In Mind
In any job market, but especially the tumultuous one we’re experiencing now, hiring managers often don’t have much time to review resumes thoroughly. It’s said that most recruiters spend on average 6-7 seconds reading a resume.So it’s best to optimize your resume for quick skimming to ensure you are maximizing your 6-7 seconds. Sprinkle your resume with keywords pertaining to the job you're applying for or the industry. 63% of recruiters prefer tailored resumes for an open position. Therefore, using key words from the job listing leverages applicant tracking systems but also informs the hiring manager that your previous experience follows the expectations of the job.
Your resume is more than just a document but rather a reflection of your professional history so it’s important to invest the time and effort needed to ensure that it outshines the rest. With a successful resume in hand, you’ll not only exude confidence but also ensure that you are well on your way to securing the career opportunities you’ve dreamed of. It is important to remember that resumes are meant to highlight your best skills and accomplishments, so they include things that are important to your career, such as certifications, training, achievements, and honors. In the competitive world of job hunting a well-structured resume can be your biggest ally. Including these key components can better your chances of standing out to potential employers.
Ready to make your resume shine? Reach out to us for resume expertise and career guidance so you can achieve your career goals!