The perfect resume. Does it even exist? With so much advice out there, and an amazing amount of it contradictory, how do you know what and what not to believe?
The reality is that the perfect resume will change from jobseeker to jobseeker, and from application to application. There are, however, a few things that will always ring true if you’re looking to improve the look and feel of your resume.
Here are the ten top tips to writing the best resume that you possibly can.
Make your resume ‘scannable’
Put yourself in your potential employer’s shoes. You have hundreds of resumes to scan through, and only a limited amount of time in which to do so. Estimates vary, but it’s thought that most resumes get scanned for anything between 10 and 30 seconds. As such you want to utilise bullet points, you want to highlight the most important parts in bold, and you want to keep the whole thing to one or two pages.
Remove your ‘objective’, ‘summary’, or ‘personal profile’, and replace with why you’re a perfect fit for the job
These sections of your resume are pure fluff. Remembering the point above, you only want to offer the interviewer things that are relevant to them, so explain why you are just the puzzle piece they’ve been looking for!
Highlight specific achievements and accomplishments
Don’t just offer up a general job description or list responsibilities when talking about your previous work. Give specific examples of achievements or accomplishments to make your past more relevant and tangible.
Dress your resume appropriately
Just as you’ll dress nicely for the interview, so too should your resume be clothed appropriately. If you’re going for a creative role take the time to add a bit of pizzazz. If you’re applying for something a little more straight-edged, ensure that your resume is crisp, clean and professional.
Avoid meaningless terms like ‘customer-oriented’, ‘excellent communications skills’ and ‘creative’
These have been overused and thus have become meaningless filler. By avoiding them, and replacing them with differently worded phrases – even if they mean the exact same thing – you’ll ensure that your CV stands out from the crowd.
The world is going digital and recruiters are following suit. Your resume needs to be database-ready, which puts the onus on inserting the appropriate keywords. If you don’t put in the right keywords your resume won’t be called up in a recruiter’s database when a job opportunity presents itself. Check out this list of resources for identifying appropriate keywords.
Take out the picture and birthdate
Consciously or not, those tasked with hiring new workers for a company can so often be discriminatory. By taking off your birthdate and removing that picture you’ll ensure that only the information that’s relevant to the role is considered.
Highlight the numbers
There’s no better way to show your worth than to offer up hard, quantifiable numbers. ‘I achieved growth in sales of 30% in Q3 of 2017’ says so much more than ‘I achieved good sales growth in my time at the company’. Perhaps you came well under budget one year, or won an employee award multiple months running. Put these numbers in bold to draw the eye.
Never send out the same resume twice
This is perhaps the most difficult tip to enact, but doing so will do wonders for the effectiveness of your job hunting efforts. No job is exactly the same, so the resume sent out to your prospective employers should be just as unique. While sending out bulk resumes might be efficient, it is far from effective. Take an extra 10-15 minutes to mould your resume to fit each job, and your likelihood of getting an interview will skyrocket.
And proofread again. Then proofread once more. Then ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume for you. Depending on who ends up looking at your resume it could only take one stray keystroke for it to end up in the bin. Typos are entirely avoidable, so there’s simply no excuse for having one in such an important document.
So sure, the ‘perfect resume’ may not exist, but by following these tips you’ll be well on your way to gaining the attention of a new employer.
breakthru is an expert in Employment Support Services. We support people at all stages of their employment journey including Resume Development. We can provide assistance developing a professional resume to help you show off your skills, attributes and experience. Contact the breakthru team now for help!