Creating a flawless resume is more challenging than you may think. Recruitment sites offer ready-made templates to structure your descriptions properly, but sections and bullet lists are not everything. The recruiter will still discard your application if you fail to follow the basic rules of self-presentation. Follow the tips below to make your resume stand out in any field.
1. A Strong Start
HR managers are often pushed for time, as they have to sift through hundreds of applications daily. If you fail to grab their attention from the first paragraph, they may simply discard your resume. Thus, include an impressive summary in the beginning. Outline your skills and key accomplishments relevant to the vacancy.
This personal profile section is a crucial element of your resume. It must create a positive first impression. For example, you could describe yourself as an effective team leader with a proven track record of managing people, strong soft skills and technical competencies relevant to the position. You may write that you are eager to be challenged in order to grow and get better at what you do.
2. Emphasize Results Rather Than Responsibilities
A perfect resume may not include more than two pages. Make the most of the space you have by focusing on things that will attract the manager’s attention. Recruiters want to know what you achieved in your previous job, not what you did daily.
Instead of describing responsibilities, focus on accomplishments. Whenever possible, support them with quantifiable data. For example, if you have helped to boost social media engagement, mention the exact percentage of added growth.
3. Customize for the Job You Want
If you are applying for several positions, create different versions of your resume and customize each one to the corresponding job description. The experience and skills you highlight should be relevant to the vacancy. Delete anything that does not relate to the field. The purpose of your resume is to explain why you are the ideal candidate for the role.
Relate your achievements to the elements of the job listing. This will show that you understand what role you are applying for. The more tailored your approach the more likely you are to get invited for an interview.
Most recruiters do not care about personal interests like a passion for photography, basketball, or violin music. Remember that your resume should not be longer than two pages. Make the most of this limited space by highlighting things that will pique the reader’s professional interest.
At the same time, mind that an HR manager does not have to be an expert in your field. For instance, if you are applying for an IT position, the amount of jargon should be limited. Instead, focus on widely used terms that all people in the industry can understand.
4. Highlight Growth
A resume is a description of your work history, and it must reflect progress. Show how you have changed as a professional. Focus on growth, different roles, and accomplishments. The hiring manager should see that you have learned a lot from your previous positions and that you are willing to continue improving your skills.
Show off your industry awareness, too. Your potential employer should see that you are able to stay abreast of trends and adapt easily. Profound knowledge of the news and changes in the industry is an asset to show off, and it will make you an attractive candidate.
5. Use Power Words
Some words are more powerful than others, and they add impact to descriptions. Adjectives like adaptable and innovative, or verbs like implemented or achieved do make a difference. Use them for each of your roles and include impressive results that show what exactly you have accomplished or delivered.
Look at the job listing to identify relevant keywords. For example, if the recruiter is searching for a candidate with specific skills, use the same words in your resume — of course, if you really have the required competencies. Keywords do not only help the hiring manager evaluate your resume faster. Many companies use database software that sifts through candidates based on keywords. Thus, tailoring every resume to the job description is a must.
The Bottom Line
These are the most basic principles of resume building. Take your time to create a document that is bound to get noticed. Tailor the contents to the job listing and modify your descriptions to highlight skills and accomplishments related to the industry. The resume is your chance to explain why you are the perfect candidate for the position. Show off relevant accomplishments so the employer can understand what you can bring to the table. Good luck in your job search!