8 Tips for a Successful Resume

Author Bio: Richard Davis is a renowned HR expert. For more information on resume writing or if you need some help writing great objectives for your resume click the link.

The hard truth is that there are more jobs being lost now than there are being created. One position, depending on where it is, will get hundreds to thousands of interested applicants. The greatest fear is being part of the pile that goes to the trash, but let this fear not cripple you so much that you end up trying too hard.

Think of it like a first date, you want to communicate who you are without coming off as pretentious, but also without leaving out your best aspects and reasons why you think the other party should choose you, right?

Employers have their own nitty-gritty details that they use to weigh the playing field for their best match, and you cannot expect to know them all. You can, however avoid common mistakes and do things that will give you the best chance to make it to the call-back pile, and then you have a fighting chance.

1. Formatting

Ensure your bullet point and headings align from page to page. Spacing should be uniform and your dates align to the right margin. A poor layout will have you thrown out without a second lance at that summa-cum-laude degree you got. Moreover, no typos!

2. Dates

Ensure to account for your entire time. Explain away any gaps in your resume through your cover letter. Every entry should be appropriately date-stamped. Leaving out dates on certain entries can look sloppy or worse, sneaky.

3. Buzzwords

While they’re not so great as far as clarity goes, the buzzwords for your chosen career will stand out and at least get you past the HR screening a few include ‘certified project manager’, SQL, BMN, FLB… every industry has got its own. If you have them flaunt them!

4. Meaningful verbs

Be specific, the more specific the better. Avoid general verbs like ‘contributed to’, ‘assisted’ or ‘worked on’. Instead, say what you actually did: ‘designed’, ‘managed’, ‘wrote’ for instance.

5. Resume for the job

For every job application you send, rewrite your resume to fit your prospective employer’s needs. Include 3-7 highlights of your top selling points that fit the requirements needed. Moreover, if requested for two pages, then by golly, give them no more, not by a single line.

6. Objectives and interests

Ensure you have great objectives, which fit into what the employer is looking for. You can put in any interests you have that is relevant to the job (like playing football if they have a football team). Be careful about being too personal with the interests. Listening to music for instance should not make the cut, unless you are applying to work at a record label. Save those for the interview.

7. Specificity

Go into less detail the further into the past you go. You should not have 15 bullet points from the job you did eight years ago.

8. Brevity

You can have a five-page resume for sure, but justify it with headings and five pages’ worth of a stellar career path, impressive performance and top-notch layout leaving out irrelevant information. Otherwise, keep it as short as possible while including all the important sections. For instance, a CEO does not say “attended meetings, assigned job schedules, oversaw resource allocations”. He ran the company. Single sentence. Period!

 

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