The resume is arguably the most important part of job applications. It’s your chance to showcase your skills and experience and convince employers to add you to their shortlist for an interview. While your resume plays a big role in getting an interview, it’s only the first step—the interview is where you seal the deal. An impressive resume earns you an interview. It’s not just about landing the job, but also about showing the interviewer why they should hire you. Employers only look at resumes for approximately 15 seconds before they move on to the next applicant. This means that your resume must make a good impression during this time.
With job hunting season well underway, making sure that your resume stands out is more important than ever. However, creating one can be a tedious task, but it’s necessary for getting a job. Your resume will make or break you, so it pays to take a few extra minutes to get it ready.
Here are some tips on how to make your resume stand out:
- Choose a Format and Design – The format of your resume is an important factor concerning your application. Some employers look for chronological resumes, which list the contents of a person’s employment history in reverse chronological order. For example, your most recent job will be displayed first, and the first job you had will be listed last. Other employers, however, look for functional resumes, which list the contents of a person’s employment history in a more linear fashion and can be organised in a variety of ways, such as by skills, work experience, or education. What’s more, they are also geared toward highlighting a person’s transferable skills.
- Add Your Contact Information – You will be surprised to learn that many people actually forget this step, but it is of the utmost importance to add your contact information at the bottom of your resume. If your name is John Smith, you want to write John Smith as your name. If you’re John Smith, Jr., write Jr. after your name. Don’t put nicknames or variations like Jr., Jr, or Jack. It’s vitally important that you spell your name correctly as if you make them when applying for a job, it is very likely that potential employers will look over your document.
- Craft a Killer Professional Summary – Your resume is often the first impression a prospective employer gets of you, so the information you provide here should be accurate and concise. When crafting a resume, the biggest mistake people make is not spending enough time on their personal summaries. This is the opening statement and should be a brief introduction telling the hiring manager who you are, and what your professional experience is. Usually, this will be the first thing they see, so be sure to make it as good as it can get.
- Shine a Spotlight on Your Skillset – It’s not just a piece of paper: your resume is the first glimpse a potential employer will get of you, and it’s one of the best ways to sell yourself. So, it’s natural to want your resume to shine, and a great way to do this is to focus on your skill set. It is very likely that you are applying for a job that you are qualified for, and showing the hiring team that you possess the qualities and skills they are looking for will put you in good stead when it comes to being considered.
- Focus on Necessary Experience – A resume is one of the first things a potential employer will see, so it’s important to ensure it is straightforward, easy to read, and time-appropriate. But writing a resume isn’t as simple as putting your name, job description, and accomplishments on a piece of paper. (Although, if you really wanted to, you could.) There’s a format to follow, and once you have outlined your skills and perfected your summary, you will need to include any necessary experience you have. For example, have you worked in a similar position before, or have you completed a work experience placement in a similar position? If you have, you must include these on your resume, as this may be just what the employers are looking for.
- Outline Your Education – You finished your education, and you know you’ve got the skills it takes to be successful. But the employers don’t know this, which is why you need to include your education and any other qualifications you have to show to them that you are the right person for the job.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and your resume is your first chance to introduce yourself to potential employers. By following the tips above, you will be able to transform your resume into one of the most important documents in your professional life. You will be glad that you spent time working on this when you see the job offers come flooding in.