When you apply for a job, you start out as nothing but a piece of paper. The resume you submit for a position is the only representation of yourself that you will be able to put in front of your prospective employer. While there is a lot more to you than just what is listed on that page, you need to make sure the resume you submit does a good job of highlighting your best qualities. If you keep getting passed over for positions that you know you could handle with ease, there is a good chance your resume is letting you down.
To make sure your resume is holding up its end of the bargain, consider the following seven tips.
7 Tips for a Strong Resume
#1 – Keep It Simple
It is tempting to pick out one of the fancy, complicated formats from Microsoft Word in order to create an eye-catching resume. Most of the time, however, this is a mistake. Rather than trying to wow the hiring manager with fancy design, let your education and experience do the talking. Focus on choosing a design which is clean and minimal, highlighting what it is that you will bring to the organization.
#2 – Work with a Pro
There is an art to writing an effective resume. If you aren’t confident in your own abilities to handle this task, turn it over to a professional. Someone who writes resumes for a living is far more likely to present your qualifications in a professional, organized fashion. Also, using a pro will make it far less likely that typos or grammatical errors will sneak into your resume. You may have to invest a bit of money upfront to have your resume created by a pro, but that investment will be more than worth it if you land a well-paying position.
#3 – Focus on Your Accomplishments
You need to approach your resume from the perspective of the hiring manager. If you were hiring someone for this position, what would you be looking for? Most likely, you would be interested in learning about what each applicant had accomplished in his or her past. For instance, if you have earned any awards on the job, or you have met certain sales or performance goals, highlight those accomplishments. Focusing on what you have achieved rather than just listing your job titles is a great way to stand out.
#4 – Leave Out the Negatives
This might go without saying, but there is no room on your resume for any negative incidents which may have occurred in your career. Even if there is a good explanation for the issue, it still does not need to be included in your resume. If this matter needs to be addressed at all, do so in the interview when you will have a chance to explain your side of the story in a face-to-face setting.
#5 – Avoid Clichés
Do your best to avoid the many resume clichés which are passed around time after time. Terms such as ‘team player’ and ‘people person’ do nothing to add to the quality of your resume, and they are likely to elicit eye rolls from the hiring manager in charge of picking out a few resumes to invite in for an interview.
#6 – Include Unpaid Work
Even if you didn’t receive payment for work in your past – such as volunteer positions or internships – they still have a place on your resume. If those experiences have helped contribute to your qualification for the position in question, you should absolutely include them on your resume. Remember, the goal here is simple – to paint a complete picture of your work and education history in order to encourage the hiring manager to pick up the phone and give you a call.
#7 – Easy-to-Find Contact Information
When your resume is picked from the pile, it should be immediately obvious as to how the company can contact you for an interview. Your phone number should be prominently displayed, as should your email address and any other contact info you choose to include. Don’t make your prospective employer search for this information or they may simply decide to move on to another candidate.
Now you’re ready to win your Dream Job!
With a freshly scrubbed resume, you should be on the right track to finding a great new position. If you would like help finding the job that is perfect for your skills and experience, contact The Job Sauce right away. We are a career advancement company, and we have plenty to offer your job search. Thank you for visiting, and we look forward to helping you land that dream job!