As simple as it may seem to make, an effective resume is always hard to come by. If you want to make a resume that instantly catches the attention of recruiters, you would have to deal with the shroud of confusion of the present-day recruitment process.
This is because, in reality, many recruiters don’t really know what they are looking for; they just pick candidates on first impressions and any required skillsets. As a result, whatever works in one interview might not work in another. If you want to build a resume that stands out among hundreds of others, you need to do everything you can to truly impress the hiring managers.
Here are some easy tips and tricks that’d help you to highlight your accomplishments and market yourself better in a resume for your next job.
- Avoid being generic
- Don’t make things too complicated
- Customize your resume for each job application
- Include the bigger achievements
- Short and sweet
- Don’t mislead or exaggerate
- Indicate the crucial details from the start
- Ensure that it’s printable and readable
- Avoid resume templates or tables
- Get help from professionals
- Aligning your resumes with online profiles
Avoid being generic
As one would expect, the best way to be distinct is to always avoid being generic. You can do this by steering clear of overused words, such as ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’, and ‘ambitious’.
Additionally, you can optimize job descriptions in your resume to make it stick out more by using, for example, color highlights for crucial details, professional designing, and providing concise information.
Don't make things too complicated
In most cases, you only really need your resume to include three things: your education and relevant certifications, history of qualifications, and any other relevant experience or technical skills. However, in the case of creative industries, you’d also most likely need a portfolio or any similar documents that showcase your unique skills and expertise.
In general, regardless of the format and details you opt for, you should simply think about how readable your resume would be to a hiring manager. You should, therefore, ensure that no details are misleading or inaccurate, and provide valid proof for each skill.
Customize your resume for each job application
Though this may sound tiring or even time-consuming, the effort can definitely pay off. If you customize your job application according to each job’s required qualifications and experience, chances are that you are going to be the perfect candidate for it. This can also help you trim down unnecessary details and remove irrelevant or outdated experiences, especially if you are applying for a job years after working in a certain organization or industry.
Include the bigger achievements
A job application is the last place you’d want to act humble. In fact, you should highlight the importance of former roles as much as you can; this can be done through the subtle use of power words, such as “influence”, “launched”, “led”, or “increased/decreased”.
In a similar context, a common practice is adding numerical values to quantify your accomplishments. This helps recruiters have a better understanding of your expertise and achievements. Though all achievements are not quantifiable, numbers would help set a determinable value for your skillset. moreover, it’d even serve as an ideal negotiation tool for when the topic of expected salary arises.
Short and sweet
One should remember that reviewing resumes can be a tedious and physically-draining process. As a result, to ensure that you maintain the hiring manager’s attention, we recommend keeping resumes to a maximum of two pages. Though this may be a challenge for some of us, we have to understand that managers, on average, spend only about six to seven seconds to review each resume – so one has to be exceedingly careful and concise when creating a winning resume.
The only exception to this rule can be in IT-based jobs, where, due to the competitive nature of the industry, longer resumes are usually preferred.
Don't mislead or exaggerate
Falsifying information can never end well, and it always tends to backfire later. Simply put, you just shouldn’t do it! Misrepresenting work experiences or qualifications in a resume is generally a reproved practice, and it is extremely frowned upon in any profession.
Indicate the crucial details from the start
As stated earlier, recruiters only have a limited timeframe for reviewing each resume from dozens of job candidates who apply for a position, so there is no need to be low-key about it. In particular, to ensure that the hiring managers don’t miss you, you should include your degrees and significant achievements in the summary of your qualifications early on in the resume.
Ensure that it's printable and readable
Despite the widespread adaption of online recruitment processes, you should note that many recruiters still tend to print resumes. As a result, we recommend opting for a simple font and size: preferably Arial or Times New Roman, with a font size of no more than 11 points.
Similarly, a recommended format includes letter size paper with margins of at least .5 inches.
Avoid resume templates or tables
Though their accessibility may be tempting, resumes in tables tend to be exceedingly difficult to change without disrupting any prior formatting. In addition, simple and efficient formats would always be popular, so keep it clean and presentable.
Get help from professionals
When in doubt, you should know that there’s no harm in asking for help. In fact, creating a winning resume may require more proficiency and designing skills than you would expect. Besides showcasing accurate and concise data, an ideal CV would require a fair amount of artistic, technical, and business-related skills.
Keep in mind that this would arguably be the most crucial document during a job search, so it’s definitely worth ensuring that everything’s perfect.
Aligning your resumes with online profiles
With your resume ready to go, a crucial final step is to ensure that the information correlates with your LinkedIn profile too. In these competitive times, practically all hiring managers are familiar with LinkedIn to some extent.
Similarly, if you can’t fit everything you want on a two-page resume, you could always just add a link to your LinkedIn profile in your resume.
We know that job hunting can be a challenging and emotionally draining process, but just know that it won’t last forever. With the right amount of skillset and a strong resume, your dream job can almost be guaranteed.
With that being said, we hope this article serves as a helpful guide to the process of creating an effective resume for your next job.
Good luck and happy job hunting!