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.
Most resumes are thrown out before they’re even read completely. A few go on to generate interviews.
Here are five steps you can take 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 trash.
1. Target your resume
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 targeted resumes than 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. You can also rearrange and tailor the content of the other sections for every position.
2. Avoid spelling / grammar mistakes
This may sound like an obvious point, but a lot of job applicants skip this important step. Take five or ten minutes and double check before you send our your resume. Your resume goes on file for years with some companies. Something as simple as a spelling or grammar should not be the reason you do not get an interview for a job.
3. Format your resume
A resume that runs together, doesn’t have bullet points, and isn’t consistent is hard to read. A hiring manager typically skims the top 1/3 of the 1st page of a resume before deciding to keep reading or not. That’s not a lot of reading or attention.
Formatting your resume makes it more likely the content will grab the reader instead of getting tossed into the trash..
4. Talk about your achievements, not just your duties
Listing all your past duties 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 show whether you went above and beyond at your job.
If you have a lot of repetition on your resume, try to consolidate it and 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 work. 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, 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!