Here are some helpful tips on how you can ensure that your resume not only highlights your accomplishments and skills, but also captures employers’ attention immediately.
1. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Your resume should showcase your skills and accomplishments as it relates to the role you are applying for. Even if your employment history is not aligned with the role, it is important to find elements that match the requirements of the position you are applying for. This will show employers that you have the potential to grow within the role, and therefore will be more inclined to move forward with your candidacy.
2. A good self-introduction can do wonders. Before you dive into the technical details of your past roles and education, try to add a short introduction of no more than 2-3 sentences. This is your place to tell employers a little about yourself and don’t be afraid to be creative. A few sentences can give employers a chance to get to know you and your potential contribution to their companies. Also, a self-introduction can be useful if you are applying for a role that is outside your current field - use this section as a means to tell employers why this specific position or field interests you.
3. Remember to use a reverse chronological order when listing your jobs, degrees and/or projects (from new to old). Your resume space is limited to one page (unless you have particularly extensive experience) and employers read it from top to bottom when looking for the latest employment experience at the top.
4. Do not use first person in your writing, such as "I made presentations", or “I managed people". This is incorrect and it makes the resume seem like a story. Since this is an official document, it should speak a professional language. For example, you should write that your role in a certain company included: "Preparing presentations", "Managing employees", "Creating collaborations". These should appear as bullet points and neatly organized.
5. Be brief! It is not necessary to list all the roles you have ever held. You want to showcase your most recent experience as it is most relevant to who you are today, and share your less relevant experience in one line at the bottom of your resume. Refrain from including short-term positions that are not relevant to the skills that are required for the position you are interested in (working as a waiter during the studying for a degree, etc.). Also, be careful not to leave "blanks" in your resume, or period during which you did not work. This can make employers wonder about your credibility and reduce your chances of being considered for the role.
6. Use quantitative information to outline your accomplishments. People find it easier to grasp quantitative information, so try to use numbers and percentages when describing your professional experience. Using data will not only specify your experience, but also make it sound more powerful by using concrete examples. For example, instead of saying "budget management", try using "budget management of 10 million dollars per year". Or instead of "employee management", you can say "managing 6 employees". This tip is also useful for entry-level jobs - instead of saying "responsibility for handling customer inquiries", try saying "responsibility for handling about 10,000 customer inquiries a month".
7. Don’t forget to include your soft skills. In your skills section, you should emphasize both your technical and analytical skills, as well your human relations skills. Employers want to know that you will be able to get along with others on the team, so even if you are a security expert with extensive knowledge on the most innovative software, your resume should also emphasize your ability to work in a team environment and communicate well with others.
8. Incorporate keywords into your resume. Use keywords that derive from the job description, from recruiting company’s website, or from descriptions of similar jobs in other companies. For example, if it says that candidates must have knowledge in Microsoft office, add it to your resume - do not let the employer make assumptions about your experience. Be mindful to not overdo it - stay true to yourself and your experience.
9. Pay attention to the smallest details. Impressive design, no spelling errors, a uniform font, bulleted chapter headings, and spaces between paragraphs with reasonable margins. All of these finer details show that you not only invested in your resume, but also you are organized and attentive to detail – which are important qualities to have in any position.
10. Make sure your resume is neat, easy to read and symmetrical. You will have a lot to say about your accomplishments, but the important highlights of your career will be lost if your resume is cluttered and tires the employer. Choose a professional design that highlights your experience and capabilities, and do not be afraid to add a little color so that your resume stands out from other candidates.