When a job position opens up in a given company, there are sometimes hundreds of applicants who apply for that job. The job market is competitive and only those who make an impression actually make it to the interviewing part of the process. From there, you have to make an even bigger impression on the interviewers. When you’re looking for a job, the most important things that you can do is create a stunning application. There’s a difference between a good resume and a poorly done resume. A good resume will help you to stand out and greatly improve your chances of getting hired. Here is what you need to do to perfect your resume.
1. Use a Professional Format
The formatting of your resume is vital. Reading the resume needs to be simple and easy. A professional format means that it is pleasing to the eye, but the focus of the resume is the content and not the visuals. The headings should be easy to see and follow. Imagine looking at the resume for the first time, does your eye naturally flow to what most important? Or do you get sidetracked by things that don’t matter as much? A good way to gauge this is to give it to someone who hasn’t seen it before (since you might be prone to objectiveness). Have them record their first impressions of the resume and the format. Ask them where they look first and what draws their attention. They should be drawn to your accomplishments rather than to the format itself. You can also use a resume template that has been pre-made for you. These will already have the key features highlighted.
2. Quantify Your Successes
When you’re listing your successes on the resume, it’s more effective if you use quantifiable data rather than general ideas. For example, rather than saying, “Developed financial plan that reduced expenses,” say exactly how much you reduced expenses by. Say, “Developed financial plan that reduced expenses by X%.” This will make your accomplishments look more impressive because those who read your resume will understand exactly how much you helped the company you were with before.
3. Highlight Your Rewards and Recognitions
People commonly say that you should let others brag for you rather than brag about yourself. When it comes to your resume, this is very true. You should highlight the rewards that others have given to you rather than just saying what it is that you’ve done. You should include a list of formal honors, rewards, and other recognitions that people have given to you. This can include anything from service awards to academic awards. In your descriptions of the awards, use keywords that imply recognition, like “selected,” “elected,” and “recognized” to show the extent of the recognition. If they ask for written recommendations, give them the contacts of the people who have the most to say about you.
4. Tailor the Resume to the Job
If you’re applying to multiple jobs, you might be tempted to use one resume to fit all of the jobs. However, that move could actually decrease your chances. You should create a different resume for each job you apply to. It doesn’t have to be vastly different, but it should include the things that mean the most for each position. If one job values editing skills over math achievements, then include the one over the other. For most jobs, it’s also beneficial if you keep the resume to one page. It makes it easier for people to read and concentrate on. This will make it so that you have a neat, compact one-page resume that hits home for the company.
If you follow all of these guidelines, it highly increases your chances of getting hired by any job that you apply to. Hiring companies want to see that you’re dedicated, organized, and willing to follow instructions. Show that through the format and organization of your resume.