How many of you are familiar with the term “resume”? This expression was first used in the United States and after that, it took place in the well known Latin expression Curriculum Vitae or CV. In other words, resumes are used to make the best impression on a potential employer. Consider it as an essential tool for marketing yourself. However, it is not just paperwork, it is more than that. It outlines not only your accomplishments but also your skills and your education. It helps others to see how your experiences contribute to a company’s success.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to how you write your resume – and some of them conflicting. Therefore it could be pretty difficult for you, the job seeker, to decide which one is right. Still, having a rock-solid resume is critical to landing your next job.
We know it can be confusing, so most of you stick to the old traditional layout. It can be a great option! But how can your resume catch the eye of a hiring manager? An executive once said: “HR managers serve on the front lines of a company’s recruitment efforts and are often the gatekeepers of the interview process. Because they can receive a large volume of applications, you may only have a matter of SECONDS to make a lasting impression. “. For that reason, try to make sure that you have already included a career summary at the top, which provides a quick snapshot of your skills and accomplishments. It is your responsibility to make things easier for them.
However, should we stick to the old traditional outline? There is nothing wrong with that, but let us give you a few tips before you get started. Having a great standard resume will help you every single time than a mediocre creative one. Here are 10 steps for you to make your resume stand out in the sea of applicants.
1. Be honest.
If you are wondering if it would be alright to invent false stories on your resume, we assure you that it would not help you. Maybe in the short term, but you don’t want to take that risk.
There’s never a good reason not to be honest when you’re writing it. You will get caught, and that would not make you feel great about it, you would probably get a bad reputation and, of course, not allow you to move forward in the recruiting process. Choosing the truth is important. The 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, once said: “ I know only one method of operation. To be honest with others as I am with myself”. You don’t have to be perfect to make something great. Be confident in your achievements, let the audience see the real you, in time you will gain respect and also inspire others from your team.
2. Don’t make it about yourself.
We constantly believe that a resume is all about us, so we focus on showing all of our skills and abilities while we neglect the interests of our readers. According to a leading career advisor, Marc Cenedella, that would be a complete failure. However, he recommended focusing on how your work impacted your previous boss and how it could help your future employer, rather than what it meant to you. He also said: “You want to show your ability to succeed at the kind of job you’re looking for by advertising your past success in the kind of skills required for the job you want.” The plan is to get your foot through the door and not tell your life story. For recent graduates, professional experience can be replaced with memberships at university clubs and other social groups that denote your ability to be a top performer.
3. Write about your experience.
This might be the most crucial component of the whole application. When employees are asking for your resume they are actually asking about your job history. The number one rule is to show only the most recent 10-15 years of your career history and also stick with the most relevant experience for the position to which you are applying. Keep it recent and relevant. Avoid listing irrelevant experience. Nonetheless, if you are early in your career, not all your work experience is related to your next job. It is your experience that can tell a story. Whether that is your ability to commit to a job for a long period of time, or simply the knowledge you gained through jobs during school, it’s worth mentioning. While you show off every accomplishment, keep one another thing in mind: do not exaggerate. Readers can spot exaggerations in a second.
4. Focus on relevant keywords.
As we all know these days, the job market is tougher and your responsibility is to discover a way to stand out among the competition. To accomplish that, the first step is getting the person who is in front of you to focus on your resume, instead of throwing a lot of “maybes”. It is very important to avoid using empty words such as team player, hard worker, and detail-oriented. Your skills and achievements talk more about you than these words. Also, aim to use proactive action verbs. Some effective verbs are: supplied, developed, created, invented, stream lighting, trained, thoughtful. Furthermore, analyze your job description, see what words are used frequently and put them into your bullet points, and that will help you get noticed by the applicant tracking systems.
5. Careful attention to quality over quantity.
Throughout your resume, pinpoint similar responsibilities presented in the job description as much as you can. Check your bullet points and see if there are any useful details for the company. You can also polish certain qualities by focusing on how you present the details.
Before adding what, when and where: what roles and duties were performed, for how long did you work there, and where, remember that a large resume tells the audience the same thing. They do not expect that. You must go beyond telling what and start showing how. You can show your audience how you have added value to companies in the past by quantifying your accomplishments. From our perspective finding one highly qualified candidate is far more important than finding two good candidates that could fit the bill. A business author and speaker, Tom Peters, said: “You will be remembered, for the quality of your work, not the quantity of your work. No one evaluates Picasso based on the number of paintings he churned out”. We know that for every employer in the world it is hard to remain productive and engaged. Therefore we encourage you to be passionate and perseverant, it shouldn’t be hard when you are in the right place.
6. The power of bullet points.
If you’re someone with a pretty plain career history and path, bullet points are here to the rescue, rather than a type of paragraph.
Each bullet point is important, try to focus on your quantifiable achievements, not just on your tasks and responsibilities.
It’s essential that your current job is as detailed as possible. As you go back in time, use a limited number of job description bullet points and add only relevant duties and accomplishments. Under no circumstances write about every task you’ve performed. Make each resume bullet point earn its place!
7. Show your personality by writing about your hobbies.
Candidates commonly have a section at the bottom of their resume to describe what they like to do in their free time. Every hobby is unique and that is a good option for the employees to see what they have in common. But before rushing to fill it with your part-time hobbies, you can use it to show more about you than tell about what you like to do. Don’t get us wrong, your hobbies are important, but we care more about who you are. If you volunteer or have another important part of your life, sum it up, and say why you were enthusiastic to spend your time on that activity. This section gives you the opportunity to show a better perspective of you as an employee and indirectly describe your personality. While adding personality to your resume shows that you are a person and not just an employee.
8. Add the finishing touches.
Is it necessary to include references or not? It’s questionable and not really that important. If a hiring manager deems you to be a great fit for the job, they will ask for them at the right time. Pay attention to your spelling and grammar. Save your resume properly, don’t forget to save it as “Mary Joe Resume” instead of “Resume”. And save it in PDF. It is one less step for the hiring manager to take. We highly recommend getting it reviewed by a professional. Also, we advise you to refresh it on a regular basis. Add any other new responsibilities and new skills, and keep it updated. And even if you’re not trying to find a new job, there are many good reasons to keep this document streamlined. Once a time, do yourself a favor, spend at least 30 minutes and give your resume the finessing it needs. No matter how enthusiastic and involved you are with your current position, always be prepared to take a step forward for a more senior one.
9. The more concise, the better.
Your resume length shouldn’t be based only on your experience, you should also include the type of job you are looking for. For entry-level applicants, less is more. You should definitely drive for a one-page resume. When you’re trying to keep things to one page, you should know that only so many things can fit in on your resume. This can also work for most employees transitioning to a new career field. Except for mid-level candidates, with about 5 -10 years of related experience, you might need to write a two-page resume. This allows you the space to mention all relevant information and work history, while still making your resume definable. Being into a department that requires technical skills, your resume should be no longer than two- pages. This space is exactly what you need to include all your technical skills and experiences. As for executives or senior-level managers, they often have an extended list of accomplishments and experiences that they have to include. This is also applicable to people who are practicing science or academia. They will need additional space in their resume if they want to include their licenses, patents or publications. These job seekers cannot write a resume that is one or two pages, they will probably stick to the two or three pages or even longer.
10. Be ready for the interview.
Don’t forget to have your application written properly and go get that dream job! And after you get the job, be the person who creates masterpieces. And inspire everyone from your team. Don’t do good things, make good things greater.
We created this piece to provide you all the information you need for writing a resume from scratch or, why not, updating the old one. Don’t forget that the first impression matters most, it says everything about you. The true fact is that the ancient Greeks spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the effects of one personality on another. They broke down the process of communication into three parts, which they called ethos(credibility), pathos(emotional) and logos (logical).
We know job searches can feel overwhelming, regardless of what stage you’re at in your career. Breathe. Take it one step at a time, and make sure you give your resume the right amount of attention.