You’ve shown your resume to several people and each provided you with some similar advice. They may also have given you tips that seem to conflict with each other. It’s true… resume advice isn’t absolute, black and white, or universal.
It’s great to get feedback from people you trust, and ideally some actual resume experts. Ultimately however, the person’s opinion of your resume that really matters is that of the HR or the Hiring Manager who reviews your application. But you don’t even know them. So how will you write a resume they’ll like?
Luckily there are some simple ways to make your resume more recruiter-ready.
Keep It Visually Appealing
Use a simple format and layout. That means don’t use really fancy fonts or lots of unnecessary lines or borders. Also make sure there is enough “white space”. Use at least 1/2 inch margins on the left and right and bottom.
“One Size Fits All” Works for Socks, but not Your Resume
This is very important: tailor your resume to fit each job posting you apply to. This means using keywords from the job posting. And make sure your experience clearly matches what the job posting asks for. Yes, this takes time, but it’s worth it. You must show the recruiter that you have the skills that directly apply to their need.
It’s Show and Share Time
Just like kids going to school to show off their new toy or special teddy bear, you want your resume to show and share the best of the best you have to offer. Use accomplishment stories on your resume. No one should be using job responsibilities to describe their work on the resume. Boring. Use strong keywords and verbs that describe the skill or action you want to highlight for the employer.
Too Much of a Good Thing Equals “Over-qualified”
You will never see a job posting looking for someone with over 20 years experience. (OK, I did see one once looking for an interior designer with over 20 years experience, but that was truly an exception.) Don’t flaunt what they aren’t looking for.
Your work history section doesn’t need to include your first job out of high school if you’ve been working for a number of years. The resume is not your autobiography. It is a document to prove you have the experience and skills to do the job you are applying for. The general guideline is to use the last 15 years.
Have you ever been in a movie theater when the film was out of focus. It’s distracting. If you include everything you CAN or HAVE done on your resume, you are distracting the reader. Sure, we can all do a lot of different things. But the reader of your resume is most interested in what you can do as it relates to their job. That is your focus.
Delete or consider eliminating accomplishments, certifications, experiences that do not directly tie into the job posting. But don’t leave gaps in your work history. Without lying, include information about that job that would or could relate to the job you are applying for.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!
Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk… thank you!