As a recruiters, we've read countless amounts of resumes daily. So, I feel like I can say that there are a lot that go by that could use a face-lift and maybe a nip and tuck.
So, you’re either unemployed, employed and seeking a new challenge or something along those lines. I mean kudos to you, applying for jobs is a time lengthy process that takes it out of you both physically and mentally. I understand – I have been there. If you get your resume up to scratch from the get-go, it’s one less thing you need to worry about and hopefully, it will give you a better chance of proceeding into the next stages. It will mean that all that is left are those pesky cover letters (let’s hope that they aren’t even required).
Now I can’t speak on behalf of everyone as most people have different preferences however, in my experience I believe the below tips and tricks are traits of successful candidates:
1. Update your LinkedIn Profile
We live in the 21st century - most of your life is already online (I’m sure). Your LinkedIn profile is your short online summary that recruiters and potential employers will check once they receive your resume, so you must keep your profile up to date. Ensure to keep your listed skills consistent and updated with your current role.
2. Order / Layout
Keep the important parts at the top. This includes any qualifications/achievements followed by your work history. This is what we want to see. Most of the time we are looking for something, if this can be found easily it’s a tick box checked off in our minds and we will continue reading.
So you’ve been in your desired industry for 10+ years [which is great don’t get me wrong] but I don’t need to know about the one time you volunteered at a music festival when you were 18 … Well unless that is your only experience. Keep your experience relevant for the jobs that you are applying for, if you need or want to list others, make sure you note down some transferable skills you gained and how they can be used to get you where you want to be.
4. Simple, Clear and Concise
As I said, I spend a fair bit of time out of my day reading resumes, over and over so I’m sure you can understand that a lot of other recruiters and talent acquisition specialists will be doing the same. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but no one wants to read your 8+ page autobiography with every iconic power phrase thrown in to fluff it out. You’ll be making it a lot easier for yourself and for the person reading it if you keep it simple, clear and concise. It allows us to develop a better idea of your current status in a shorter amount of time and will assist with your application as we will be more likely to pick up and locate the key information.
5. Grammatical Errors
Reading a resume with grammatical errors is almost just as annoying as a table next to you getting their food first even though you arrived and ordered before them. You need to put your best foot forward in your resume, and you aren’t doing this by saying you have ‘Excellent written and verbal communication” which is followed by typos throughout. Spend the time to check your resume, is it up to date? Is it accurate? Does it read well? Have you read it out loud? Get someone else to go through it after you to double-check as you often don’t pick up your own mistakes.
Hopefully, the above tips make you take another look at your resume and make a task that can feel overwhelming at times, a little less stressful.