Believe it or not, not everyone knows how to make a proper resume, yet we are all required to submit one to apply for a job. A resume is what showcases your experience and expertise and helps push you into the hands of the hiring manager. It is basically your ticket to the job world. Working with our recruiting team, I have seen all sorts of resumes where some were great and others…not so much.
Having a great resume is extremely important because it can make or break your chance at standing out from the rest, getting a job interview, and landing your dream job. This being the case, you want to put your best foot forward.
Below are 9 ½, yes you heard that right, 9 1/2 tips and tricks that’ll help you look your best for your potential employer.
- Don’t Overembellish your experience!
Always Tell the Truth! You never put something on your resume that is not true. This could immediately knock you out of the running, even if its something minor! Within interviews, you will have to expand and justify your resume and experts will be able to decipher whether you were honest or not. The truth always comes out in the end, so it’s better if you present it up front.
2. Be Relevant
When applying for a job, be sure to really read the job description and its requirements. You want to be able to tailor your resume to reflect the necessary experience that is listed with your own personal experience. Writing your resume based on the job you want allows hiring managers to easily see the necessary information needed to move forward.
3. Don’t Repeat yourself!
Make sure you are being specific and unique in explaining your previous work history and not repeating the same bullet points. You want to be able to express the different opportunities you have had within each role and point out the specifics. Many employers have applicant tracking systems that will point out key words or phrases they are looking for so it is important to express the specific technologies or programs you may have used and how you used them.
4. Don’t Generalize!
Make sure to present Quantifiable Results throughout your resume. If you want to express how large of groups you worked with or how much money you were able to save your previous employer, make sure you present these results as a number! Hiring managers love to see quantifiable results you were able to produce. However, make sure you are honest and realistic in your numbers.
5. Be specific
Yes, in more complex roles, it may be difficult to express everything you have accomplished and completed. However! You want to be able to pick out the key points and list them as bullet points. You never want to have your resume written like a novel! You want to make sure the hiring manager can digest the important information quick and easy. Remember, they want to hire fast, so they need to be able to read fast and get the high-level information needed to proceed with you.
6. Don’t be inconsistent
Make sure you are using the same font and text size throughout your resume. Although you may want to stand out and use colors and bold fonts, you want to look professional and not give hiring managers headaches. Your experience and skills are what makes you stand out!
7. Use Past Tense
When creating a resume, you want to make sure you are using past tense when explaining what you’ve done throughout your previous employment. For example, you want to say, “Helped with XYZ” rather than “Helping with XYZ”. Since this is your previous employment, you want to reflect it as such. Even if you are still working with a company, you want to keep your resume concise and keep it all past tense.
This is one of the most important steps in creating your resume. Make sure your spelling and grammar is correct, especially when it comes to names and any technology you may have used. Believe it or not, hiring managers want to know the effort you put into your resume so they can determine the effort you would out if for their company. So, always take your time to proofread and make sure it’s perfect!
9. Write a Short Story NOT a Novel
The gold standard when it comes to the length of a resume is typically two pages. But don’t be afraid of trying to hit that mark as long as the information is important and relevant. I have gone through resumes that were 5 pages long and it was all relevant for the job that they were applying for. However, as previously mentioned in Tip #5, stick to those bullet points of importance, not paragraphs. This will strongly assist in your resume length!
And finally, the one you’ve all been waiting for…
9 ½. Don’t Copy and Paste Someone Else’s Resume!
We’ve seen it before, and it will be tossed in the bin. So please! Make your own, authentic, and unique resume.
In following these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to showcase your talents, stand out, and shine within the competition! Now, pop open your Microsoft Word and get to it!
From all of us at EPMA,
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