The resume you submit to prospective employers is normally the first time they will learn anything about you. It is important therefore, that it makes the right first impression. Remember the old saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. Rather than being hodge-podge collection of your academic history, work achievements and skills, your resume should be easy to navigate through and readable. If you are struggling to write that killer resume, the following tips and suggestions will hopefully help you.
Look At Examples of Standard Resumes for Your Field
Although most resumes follow the same format, it is often recommended that you tweak and tailor your resume and accompanying cover letter for the specific company or industry you are applying for a job in. To get an idea of what the best practices are in that given sector, you could research and study resume examples.
Three keys to creating a solid and effective resume, regardless of industry or sector, are, though:
- Keep it simple and make it readable
- Keep it concise only mentioning the most important and relevant details. You will be able to expound more on your experience and skills at an interview, if you offered one.
- Use Numbers Where Possible, as prospective employers will be interested in understanding your abilities and skills in terms of measurable values.
Use Keywords Mentioned in Job Postings in Your Resume
When looking at job adverts, note any keywords and phrases that are used by the employer and use these in your resume where possible. Particularly paying close attention to the sections of job postings marked as ‘qualifications’ or ‘requirements. It’s likely when employers are scanning through the piles of resumes, they will be looking for these words and phrases.
It is especially important that you use any sector- and industry-specific terms, as this shows you understand the field you are looking to work in.
A Professional Font is a Must
As we’ve noted previously, you need to make your resume as easy to scan and read quickly as you can. Employers do not have much time to pour over the many hundreds of resumes they may receive in relation to a position. Rather than trying to be fancy about it, therefore, stick to a classic, clean and very basic, but professional font for your resume like Times New Roman or Arial and keep everything around the 10 to 12-point size.
List and Mention the Most Important and Relevant Information First
It’s true that you may have a lot of academic and work experience. However, remembering what we said further up the page, it’s important that your resume is brief and concise. Therefore, you want to make sure that the most relevant and important details are front and center. It can be difficult to cut out something you are proud of, but you need to look at it through the eyes of the potential employer.
Anything from jobs you had more than a decade ago or achievements and qualifications that are not relevant to the post you are applying for, should be left out, or placed towards the end.
It can be challenging to create a resume that’s easy to read without missing out the most important information. With the above tips, however, we’re sure you will be able to get it right.