Resumes: Everyone has their own preconceived notion about what should be included. In this competitive job market, you need to create a resume that stands out for the job you are applying for.
The truth is that most employers spend less than a minute looking at your resume before deciding to put yours in the first-round pile or not.
The following are key things to remember when creating a resume:
1. Keep your resume to one or two pages maximum.
2. Use bullet points and short sentences to describe your work experience. Employers don’t want to read through a large amount of text.
3. Use keywords in your resume. A lot of Human Resources (HR) professionals use digital databases that skim over your resume to find specific keywords. Usually, these words can be found in the job posting. Make sure to not just cut and paste from the posting.
4. Write an eye-catching objective. It should state the position you are applying for and two of the most compelling skills you have that are required for the job.
5. Include a summary of your skills or qualifications. These would be your abilities, achievements, and qualities that would make you a great fit for the job.
6. Make sure your past job titles correspond with the position you are applying for and they reflect the work you did. Including unrelated job titles can make you appear unqualified.
7. Update or modify your resume every time you apply for a job. A potential employer will know if you are sending out a standard resume. Try creating several resumes that you can use when applying for different positions.
8. Do not include your photo unless specifically asked.
9. If you don’t have much work experience, make sure to include your volunteer experience, summer jobs, and internships. Also, you can include your role in high school or college extracurricular activities. If you haven’t completed your diploma or degree, make sure to include it along with the date you are expected to complete it.
10. Don’t include colourful backgrounds, unusual fonts, images, coloured paper or experiment with font colours. These things will be too distracting.
11. Use action verbs in your resume, such as coordinated, managed, or created. These are more noticeable to potential employers.
12. Don’t list all your work experience if you have had more than eight jobs in the past. Try to narrow it down to your most important or relevant work experience. Be mindful to not leave unexplained gaps in your resume.
13. Get other people to look over your resume. They may suggest something you haven’t thought of or see some spelling mistakes you missed.
14. If all else fails, get professional to help write your resume if you are not getting any interviews or responses from potential employers. They will know how to frame your work experience and market you in the best possible light.