A resume is a never-ending, ever-changing work of art. Resumes are the heart and soul of everything that you do throughout your career starting with your work history, experience, skills and accomplishments. Your resume should display the work you have done and your relevant experience to each specific job. It will highlight your strengths and can even provide excellent talking points during the interview process. Updating your resume consistently is key to keeping it relevant.
For starters, in order to craft the perfect resume you will need to include the following for each job: the company name, where it was located, your job title, start and end dates, and a bullet list of the things you did while in that role.
Ultimately, your resume says a lot about you. It’s one of the first things an employer will notice and therefore you will want to make sure it leaves a good impression with them wanting more. This document is most definitely a work in progress. Whether you’re switching roles, positions, or adding more to your daily routine, everything should be documented consistently on your resume.
It’s important to note that your resume could make or break getting a job interview lined up. Interviews are normally a direct reflection of something an employer saw in your resume. This is why most employers ask for a resume while you’re applying to the job because they want to ensure that they will be getting a qualified candidate that could be the right fit. We’re here to help you add polish to your paper! Following these ten 10 will help you craft a perfect resume.
10.) Use Action Verbs to Start Each Bullet Point
Using a different action verb to begin each bullet point is crucial in perfecting a resume, as it helps accurately convey your skills. For example, if you constantly use the vague, passive words “assisted” or “completed,” those won’t necessarily help an employer understand you.
However, if you use words like, “managed,” “implemented,” “created,” “coordinated,” “planned” and “produced,” then you will be giving an employer a better understanding of your skills. This is important to be mindful of, because most times employers use words like these in their own job listings when they are looking for people with management experience or for people that are creative or who can produce. Seeing similar words in your resume will give them the words of affirmation they are looking for and will set you apart from someone else who may not know this trick.
Formatting is extremely vital when crafting the perfect resume. This is like your pulse – you never want it to be off. Some key pointers include making sure that all of your margins are the same across the board, using the same font throughout your resume, and using the same size for corresponding sections. For example, if you make your company name for each of your jobs font size 12 then the other company names also need to be font size 12. Using a standardized format is helpful in getting your message conveyed accurately and in an organized manner.
Times New Roman is a safe font to use for any resume. With each of your bullet points,you should never turn them into sentences, and they should only take up about one line. Bullet points are made to be brief statements that don’t necessarily tell your life story. Each resume might have a different format depending on the job you are applying for, but all formatting must be consistent throughout.
8.) Cater Your Resume To The Job You’re Applying For
It’s important to perfect your resume in a way that is geared towards a specific role or industry. If you’re applying for a role in the sports field and your resume speaks to employers about how well you can create a blog post, then it will send the wrong message. Making sure you’re reading through the provided job description can help you craft your perfect resume in a way that will speak to the employer. Use their language and incorporate that into your bullet points.
Demonstrating your knowledge for the things your future employer is looking for will shine through on your resume. For example, if you are applying to a social media role and you put on your resume that you have worked in numerous social media roles, that will a prospective employer that you already have some experience. Also, if they want someone who knows how to use Instagram, then make sure you display on your resume that you know how to or have used Instagram before and in what capacity.
7.) Put It All in Order
A perfect resume can only be so perfect until you complete the order of which the experiences and jobs are outlined. Make sure the order of your resume is in reverse chronological order. That is, make sure the job you are currently in is at the top of your resume. The very last job on your resume should be one you held the longest time ago.
6.) Put Everything On Your Resume
Remembering to mention and highlight internships, projects and special assignments can really help you out in the interview process. Displaying your talents and your hard work is considered key by employers. They want to see what you have accomplished and what you can handle. They want to see your experience more than anything and your ability to multi-task. Your employers want to know your every move especially if you have done contract work. It is better to demonstrate that you have consistently worked than have gone long periods of time without any work.
Employers always like to hire people who are currently in the job market because it shows them when you apply for their job that you truly want a career or profession, not just a job to get you by. Also, if you took on a special project in the past that required you to speak a different language, that is a huge accomplishment deserving of a mention, and something that can also set you apart from everyone else.
5.) Use Quality Paper
Should you need to print out a resume instead of or in addition to emailing it, this is an important step. If you want to get the part, you need to look the part, and great resume paper can help.
Using heavier weighted paper that is of higher-than-printer-paper quality to attract your employers is of utmost importance. This shows that you took the time to perfect it and that you truly care about the work you give them. Most office supply stores have paper designed specifically for resumes.
4.) Update Your Personal Information
Making sure the name you use on your resume is the name you use on your LinkedIn will eliminate any confusion an employer might have. If you go by Bob on your LinkedIn but your resume says Richard, that could be a little misleading. Leave no room for question marks or concerns on your resume.Provide all information to the fullest in a professional manner. Your cell phone and e-mail are two very important pieces of information that need to be on your resume. This allows your employers to contact you if need be. Using a professional e-mail address is a must. In fact, some job seekers even create an e-mail specific for the job process.
3.) Use Numbers and Figures Where It Counts
Numbers can make or break your resume. If you don’t use them, your resume can seem to broad. However, where applicable, using numbers on your resume will attract employers. For example, if you report that you managed people at your last job imagine how much more powerful and meaningful it sounds if you specify that you managed several groups of eight people at a time.
Being as specific as you can with how often you managed and how many people you managed is important to note. This will certainly help you stand out from other applicants.
2.) Use Spell Check
If you take anything away from these steps, let it be this one. Spell check is not a maybe. Spell check is a non-negotiable, must-do step. This allows employers to successfully read through your resume and know that you are detail-oriented and free of errors. It also demonstrates your professionalism. If your name is tied to something with a bunch of errors or misspellings, it can hurt your chances at moving on to the next step in the job search. Especially with how advanced technology is, nowadays it doesn’t take much to click on a spell check button inside Microsoft Word.
Having another person read your resume through will give you another set of eyes, which can be helpful. They can help catch anything that might sound funny or need more clarification. Chances are, if someone reading through your resume is confused, so will the employer.
1.) Don’t Lie
Out of all tips, this one is one of the best. I’m sure it has been said time and time againand seems a bit obvious, but most people tend to exaggerate their positions, titles or job descriptions. Chances are, the employer will always find out. Especially if they hire you and realize that you are not all you said you were. Then all of your hard work will go down the drain, and you could face termination. If you barely know how to do something, it is better to leave it off your resume.
Overall, your resume should be a direct reflection of your work history and experience and an overall document of what makes you special and what makes you the perfect fit. Speak to the person you are and be honest. Honesty goes a long way.