Your resume is the first impression recruiters have of you.
When you want to make a good first impression, you prepare: you dress well, comb your hair, and check for spinach in your teeth 🙂
You want your resume to go through a similar process so it also makes a great first impression!
The perfect resume needs to be well-organized, easy to read, error-free, and be relevant to the role for which you are applying.
In this article, we will walk through five tips to create the perfect resume that you can use right away.
Choose the Right Format
There are many formats to choose for a resume. However, you want the format of the resume to be appropriate to your career and to the type of job that you are pursuing.
The traditional format lists your experience chronologically from most current to least current. It is the most common form of resume and is most recognizable to hiring managers. Due to its popularity, resumes that follow a traditional format may not stand out.
Skills-based resumes focus on the skills you have. Students just out of college might find this format to be useful as it allows them to focus on skills and de-emphasizes their lack of experience.
As you advance in your career, a combination format could make sense for your resume. It combines your skills and experience to show how you have accumulated skills over the years that make you the right candidate for this position.
This option is an effective format for those changing careers or trying to move into a different function within their industry.
Focus on Accomplishments
Too many resumes fail because the writers focus on describing their job functions rather than emphasizing their accomplishments.
Being results-oriented, especially when supported with specifics, can help a hiring manager visualize how you will be able to help their organization.
It may be tempting to describe the daily tasks you performed in each role, however those descriptions should not be the primary focus. Instead, dedicate one line to responsibilities and the rest to your achievements in that role.
Make Important Information Stand Out
Once you have your information laid out how you want it and have written down your accomplishments for each role, it is time to make your resume presentable. One way to do that is to make important information stand out.
You will see many resume layouts that include your basic information in a separate bar, banner, or box that is colored differently. Doing this helps draw the hiring manager’s eye to that information for easy access.
Consider getting a new email address if yours is not professional. One study found that 76% of resumes are tossed out if the email address is too unprofessional.
Consider bold headings for different sections, such as experience, skills, and education.
Scrutinize Your Resume
The last thing you want is to send a less-than-perfect resume to a hiring manager. To make sure it is perfect, do the following:
- Run it through a spell checker, especially if you are not using Word.
- Read it out loud to catch odd phrasings and other incorrect words a spell checker will not catch.
- Ask friends and family to review it to offer suggestions or make corrections.
Once you have been through these steps, you should feel confident in presenting your resume to a hiring manager.
Take it Online
These days, your digital presence is just as important as having a perfect resume. That is something savvy Millennials realize more than any other generation.
Depending on your industry and job, there are different expectations for your online presence. For example, a digital marketing manager would be expected to have a professional LinkedIn profile, social media channels with enticing content, and maybe a digital portfolio.
If you are already on several social media channels, review your profiles and activities to ensure the content is professional. LinkedIn has some easy tips for making your professional profile stand out and look engaging.
The Perfect Resume Is Never Done
Your resume grows and changes with you. As you gain new skills and advance at your company, do not forget to update your resume.
As we mentioned, the perfect resume has statistics and numbers to clearly demonstrate your accomplishments. One easy way to keep track of those figures is to do a monthly reflection at work. During this time, you collect and document your success stories (including relevant statistics) for your annual review or resume.
Find more information on professional development and hiring here.
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