The cornerstone of any job hunt is the resume. It’s no surprise the number of books available that provide a variety of suggestions on how to make that killer resume. I’ll admit I’ve invested in a few of them myself.
Working at a tech recruiting company I hear comments regarding resumes, on a daily basis, and much of what I hear is not good. I know that writing a resume is quite an undertaking and if you’re working on building one, it’s pretty unlikely it’s because you have nothing else to do with your time; you’re probably actively looking for a job.
Although there are laundry lists of resume writing do’s and don’ts, I’ve listed some that are helpful and effective.
Analyze and customize
Review the job ads thoroughly before applying to any position; this will help you determine how to best present your skills and experience.
➢ Use titles that effectively describe prior positions.
➢ Make sure to use action verbs when describing previous work.
➢ Put the current and most relevant information first.
Sell your achievements
➢ Prospective employers are interested in past achievements not just previous responsibilities.
➢ Ditch the objectives on your resume. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression, unless you find a way to create added value with the objective.
➢ A summary paragraph at the top of your resume highlighting meaningful skills and traits can be a nice touch if done properly.
SEO your resume
➢ Many companies run database searches based on keywords. It’s always a good idea to include specific keywords that relate to the position you are applying for.
Keep it Concise
➢ The number of resume pages varies according to industry. In the tech industry resumes with several pages is commonplace.
➢ If you are lacking experience but have volunteered, or have other types of non-paid training that relate to the position make sure to include it.
➢ Focusing on pertinent work experience related to the position will provide leverage and keep your resume concise.
Ditch the templates
➢ Your resume should not look like other candidates. If you decide to use a resume template try to modify it; avoid doing a cut and paste.
➢ Make sure to format margins evenly.
➢ Don’t use a font size over 12 and stay away from fancy font styles.
➢ Read your resume, reread your resume, and then get someone else to read it for you.
➢ Don’t put anything on your resume that is not true.
➢ Most companies do background checks. You don’t want to get an offer and not seal the deal because of dishonesty.
Remember as you’re building your resume the objective is to get an interview. Any combination of these resume suggestions should help to increase your chances of getting the response you want, and in no time you’ll have plenty of interviews lined up.