Writing a resume can be stressful– but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these 7 tips to stand out and land the job you want.
1. Use Bullets, but Not Too Many
Bullet points are a great tool to organize your resume, but recruiters get bored if there are too many. Anything past point four or five, and they are no longer reading the information. Keep it to the most relevant points that detail your accomplishments or skills. If you have too many, you’re probably stretching things a little bit.
2. Specifics Are Your Friend, Even If You Don’t Have Any
If you’re new to the job market, everything can seem vast and unknown. You may struggle to give concrete examples of what you’ve achieved in your past experience, but dig deep to find something. Show your actions had concrete results, whether as part of a school project or part-time job.
3. Your Life Experience Can Increase Your Job Suitability
Your resume is about hard and soft skills, but it can also be a place for your life experience, when it’s relevant. Applying for a job with a hostel or travel agency? Be sure to mention that year you spent backpacking abroad. Want to write educational materials? Talk about the years you spent homeschooling your own children. If the experience fits, make sure you give it a mention.
4. Most resumes are skimmed
Before you apply to a job, ask yourself if someone who doesn’t know you can gather all they need to know if they take a quick glance at your document. They should know within moments the benefits of hiring you. What makes you perfect for the job should be on top of the page in straightforward language.
5. Know Your History, but Only List What’s Relevant
Let’s face it, you’re going to apply to a lot of different jobs. Don’t send them all the same resume. Swap out relevant experience for each position. Keep track of what you’ve done with a master list of jobs, skills, volunteer work and hobbies. When recruiters have to do the tough work of picking out what matters to them, they will favor the on-point resumes over the more general submissions.
6. List Those Courses Even If You Fall Short of a Degree
All education has value, especially if it’s directly relevant to the job. You may fail to recognize the work you put into continuing education and online coursework by leaving it off your resume. Be proud! Know the skills you gained in those programs are of interest to a potential employer, even if you didn’t complete a degree.
7. Refresh regularly
Your resume is a masterpiece and work in progress all at once. It’s never really complete, because you’re constantly developing new skills and growing in your profession. Take out the time to update your resume regularly. It may be wise to set a goal to review it every quarter. Use this time to include any great results or milestones you’ve attained at your current job. Also, freshen it up with new community service experiences, skills or continuing education you’ve undertaken since the last update.