As most job seekers will tell you, the job market in 2017 is extremely competitive! What most people fail to think about is the sheer number of applicants vying for the exact same opportunities that you are- which means that in order to be considered, your resume has to be the very best that it can be! The days of mailing hard copies of resumes are a mere memory at this point, and most employers have software that automatically scans resumes that are being sent in- so while YOU know you may be the best fit for a job you’ve applied to, even the slightest change in the wording you use can cause even the best resumes to fall through the cracks.
Better your chances (and hone those writing skills!) by following these ten resume writing tips:
- CONTACT INFO
It may seem super simple (and common knowledge!) but the number of resumes that come through without contact information is quite alarming- most employers can appreciate the quick eagerness that accompanies sending in a resume, but if there’s no contact information, how do you expect anyone to contact you? Make sure that prior to sending any resume that your name, email address, LinkedIn info and only one phone number is at the top of your resume, along with your name.
Be sure to keep page margins at .5” all the way around
- YOUR 30 SECOND COMMERCIAL
The top of your resume should have a summary of your skills, accomplishments and abilities- also known as your “MSA”- “Made, Saved, and Achieved”. Hiring managers spend so much of their time filling open positions and sifting through resumes. So while your resume could possibly be stronger than many other applicants, the way it’s worded is so important. This is where you need to sell your top skills and make your achievements look as enticing as possible.
- CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Under each position that you’ve held, there should be a minimum of three bullet points highlighting your primary responsibilities, especially depending on the length of time you were at a specific job. If you were at the same job for say five years, there should be at least five bullet points. While its important to highlight all of your top achievements, its just as important to summarize appropriately- please remember that hiring managers often don’t have the luxury of time on their side- meaning if you can’t sell yourself in approximately 30 seconds, chances are you won’t be getting an interview.
Only go back 10-15 years of employment history. It’s important to keep your resume short!
- NO GAPS
Be sure that any time gaps in your resume are accounted for (ie: took time off to go back to school, cared for a sick relative, etc)
If you were laid off from a position, the company downsized, you relocated (or whatever the case may be) be sure to put that in parentheses next to your job title
This should really be common knowledge, but checking for spelling and grammatical errors is PARAMOUNT in order to be successfully considered for a position. Why? Because hiring managers want to be sure that you are the type of candidate who can follow instructions, pay attention to detail, and ensure that you are the type of worker who can complete tasks thoroughly.
This pretty much goes hand in hand with spelling, but the number of resumes that come through with typos, missing information and other grammatical mistakes can prevent you from finding the right fit. Your resume is essentially your first impression, which you won’t ever have a second chance to make.
Be sure to have the correct keywords that resume scanning software will look for. Meaning if you’re applying for a Customer Service position, then ideally, your resume should be detailing any customer service related tasks you’ve done throughout your working history.