First impressions matter and never more so than with your resume. We’re used to making quick decisions in the blink of an eye. Get your resume bright and sparkling and you’ll already be a step ahead of many others.
“But I have insufficient experience to create a resume that’s meaningful,” I hear you say.
Don’t give up from the get-go. Resume writing is a skill. We’re here to give you the tips you need to ensure your resume is sharp and catches the eye of those you need to impress.
1. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Start with a short and snappy professional summary rather than a career objective. You can portray yourself as a specialist in your field. Career objectives by their very nature show what you’re looking for. What they don’t do is specify what you offer.
Use this summary to demonstrate your writing skills. If it’s well-written, you’re all set to impress. Highlight what makes you a great catch. All it takes are a few sentences that are evidence-based and outline your skills and achievements.
If writing is not one of your greatest assets, then you should think about hiring someone to create your resume for you. There are plenty of choices online, like this resume service, which can help you get to the right people and fast.
2. Make Your Experience Relevant
If you’re a recent college graduate, it’s natural to feel that your experience is a bit thin. Don’t be tempted to try and fill in the gaps by using complex formatting or oversized fonts. This will merely flag up the problem.
It’s vital to do your research first. If you’re looking for career advancement, make sure you understand what the companies you want to work for are looking for. Focus on the parts of your training that are a good match.
Highlight specific classes you’ve taken. This will demonstrate knowledge relevant to the jobs you’re applying for. Coursework, volunteering, membership of clubs or associations can all offer valuable experience.
3. Create a Professional Online Profile
Think of this as your online portfolio. You should use it to show off your best work. If you’ve written articles, created artwork or designs then this where to show them off.
This can go hand in hand with a social media presence on other sites. You may able to link to these and demonstrate your interest in your chosen field. Most recruiters will check social media profiles so ensure yours are engaging and relevant.
A word of caution: always be very careful what you post on social media. You don’t want potential employers to be able to see you at your worst, no matter how amusing that may have been at the time.
Professional online sites are also a great way to check out the resumes of others in your chosen field. They will help to give you pointers and ideas to shape your resume and make it relevant.
4. Include Keywords in Your Resume Writing
People who are hiring will be looking out for certain keywords. Using these is proof that you’re a understand the business you want to work in. Always make sure that you use words that connect with brand names, your skill-set, and experience.
If you have experience of using specific digital systems, then spell out what those are. Read all job descriptions carefully so that you’re across the right words to include all the way through your resume.
5. Key Things Go First
Always ensure that you don’t bury the top line. When you’re providing a list of bullet points under any jobs you’ve held, put the most significant things first.
Those who hire are busy people. As much as you would like them to, it’s highly improbable that they’re going to read every word on your resume. They’ll be scanning through a pile of applications like yours.
Ditch chronology, and go for the most relevant and important points first. If you’ve held several posts, even jobs you’ve done on vacation, then get the balance right. Write more about the work that best fits with the field you’re aiming to join.
6. Stick to One Page
Your resume needs to be concise and to the point. You don’t need to list every single thing you’ve ever done. If you do you, you’ll end up with something rambling and dull.
If you can keep it tight, it proves you’re able to prioritize. That’s a skill many employees will be looking for.
You must always check and check again for grammatical or spelling errors. If you can’t get those things right, then your resume will go straight into the garbage bin. It’s a great idea to get family, friends or a teacher to proofread your resume.
If you’re creating a file to email to potential employers, do not name it ‘resume.’ That is a missed opportunity. Use your name to brand yourself.
7. Plainer is Better
Use a simple black font on a white background. It’s a mistake to think that flowery fonts are going to impress anyone.
If you’re going to print off hard copies then stick to plain white paper. A scented paper is also a big turn-off. Turn your resume into a PDF so that the formatting is consistent.
There is no need to include references. They’re simply unnecessary at this point. If a recruiter is interested in you, then they’ll ask for references in their own time.
Stretching the truth is also not a good idea. If you make things up and get caught out, you’ll be passed over forever.
8. Your Chance to Shine
Your resume should be somewhere you can ‘big up’ all your real achievements. You need to appear assertive but not arrogant when you’re writing your resume.
Use leadership language where possible. That means incorporating strong words which inspire action. If you can also demonstrate proven results from any plan you’ve implemented, then even better.
Get Set, Go!
Embarking on your career is an exciting time. It all starts with resume writing and creating something that’s sharp, and punchy. Get this bit right and the rest will follow naturally.
Check here to learn more about some of the most popular careers around and see where you could fit in.