5 Steps To A Better Resume

If you already have a resume, that’s a great start to your job search. But do you have a really great resume? There are probably steps you can take right now to make your resume stronger. Here are five ideas for making easy improvements which might make all the difference between whether a hiring manager is impressed by your resume or throws it in the waste bin. Most resumes are thrown out before they’re even read completely. A few go on to generate interviews. Where will yours be?

1. Target your resumes

This is one of the best tactics you can take to get a job. You’re more likely to have positive results if you send out ten targeted resumes than twenty resumes that are completely generic. The best way to target your resume is to use an objective statement which is unique for each organization you’re applying to, but you can also rearrange and tailor the content of the other sections for every position.

2. Proofread your resume

Wow, this may sound like an obvious point, but we know job applicants well enough to know that a lot of people skip this important little step. Did you know that your resume goes on file for years with some companies? Do you really want there to be spelling or grammar errors on record with companies for years? Take five or ten minutes and double check before you send our your resume.

3. Format your resume nicely

A resume which runs altogether, doesn’t have bullet points, and isn’t consistent is hard to read. A hiring manager typically skims the top third of the first page of a resume before deciding what to do with it. That’s not a lot of reading or attention. Formatting your resume makes it more likely the content will grab the reader instead of fading into the static.

4. Talk about your achievements, not just your duties

Listing all your past responsibilities only tells a hiring manager what someone assigned you to do. It doesn’t tell the hiring manager what you actually did at your job. It certainly doesn’t convey whether you went above and beyond.

5. Consolidate

If you have a lot of repetition on your resume, look for ways to clean that up. How many jobs do you have on your resume? How many years back do you go?

Generally it’s considered reasonable to put in 10 to 15 years of job history, but that’s if you held a lot of positions. If you have had one job for 40 years, then you should put in the appropriate dates since your long tenure is relevant. Look for ways to condense sentences, and don’t use many words where a few will suffice. Your finished resume should be no longer than three pages. One to two pages is considered ideal, and that’s even if you have a ton of experience.

By following these steps, you can make your resume better right now. You can also combine these steps to even greater effectiveness. Part of consolidating your resumes for example could be to only provide targeted content in each one. If you’ve held ten positions over twenty years, why not focus on the five most relevant ones for each of the jobs you’re applying for and leave out any positions which are just adding clutter? That’s one idea to accomplish multiple improvements at once. Good luck polishing up your resume, and never stop looking for ways to improve it!

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