You’re not a newcomer to the world of resumes — you’ve already sent off a dozen or two in your day. You understand the basics, such as adding keywords, highlighting soft skills and formatting appropriately. Now it’s time to level up your resume. Follow these tips to transform a mediocre resume into one that gets you noticed, interviewed and hired.
Speak of your achievements rather than duties
- You’re not a robot who simply shows up to do his duties without any flair. You lend your unique perspective and spirit to each job you undertake — be sure to let potential employers know that.
- Don’t use your resume to list out responsibilities from your previous jobs that tell recruiters nothing about you. Use those bullet points to translate responsibilities into achievements by describing how you excelled at them.
- For example, instead of saying “Created new filing system,” say “Developed filing system that cut down on lost productivity in reception.”
Skip the objective
- Every inch of your resume is important real estate. Don’t waste precious space describing your career objective.
- Saying something like, “Wonderfully talented employee seeking challenging employment with incredibly dynamic employer…” seems standard and mandatory, but it’s not.
- Why delete the objective statement? It’s redundant. Anyone holding your resume already knows that you’re seeking a new job. Plus, most employers never read this section anyway.
- The only exception for using an objective would be to explain a career change. Otherwise, use that important real estate to elaborate on your skills and qualifications instead.
Divide up a long list of skills for skimming purposes
- Is the Skills section of your resume really long? If so, break this section down so that the person viewing your resume can easily digest all that you have to offer. Otherwise, some of your attributes may get overlooked.
- Divide your skills up into meaningful sections, such as creating a Programming section and listing “hard” skills like “Experienced with UX design” or “Proficient in Java, SQL and Python.”
- Other sections might include those for Languages, Software, Design, Data Analysis, etc. You might also have a broader section for “soft” skills that aren’t easily quantified.
Make your case with numbers
- Unlike vague descriptions such as “eager salesperson,” numbers are cut and dry. Provide as many facts and figures as you can to demonstrate what makes you a worthy candidate for the given position.
- Employers want results, so show them what you are capable of by quantifying your accomplishments. Use statements like “Saved $10,000” or “Boosted sales by 28 percent” when describing your professional experience.
- Be sure your numbers can be supported by evidence. Lying (or exaggerating) is an absolute no-no.
- 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.