HR managers and recruiters alike say they’ve seen more poorly written resumes cross their desks recently than ever before. It is no secret that a well written resume attracts more interview offers while ensuring you don’t get eliminated from being considered by employers.
1. Format Your Resume Wisely can Go a Long Way
In general, even well written resumes don’t get a thorough reading the first time through. Generally speaking, a resume gets scanned for 25 to 30 seconds on average. Such scanning is more difficult for the HR manager when the resume is formatted in a way that is is hard to read, poorly formatted, or exceeds two pages. Here are some tips:
Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings
Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye
Call attention to important points by using bullets
2. Emphasize Accomplishments and not merely Job Descriptions
HR Managers are looking for candidates that are goal oriented and can help them solve a problem. Thus, one cannot be a solution to their problems without emphasizing how she solved a similar problem in past companies and situations:
Focus on the tasks you performed and not what your job was
Following one or two top line job description list your accomplishments
Convey for point what was the benefit of having done what you did.
Accomplishments should be unique to you and your qualities.
3. Try to Give Your Accomplishments a Quantitative Measurement.
Making too many general claims and using too much industry jargon is one of the most common resume mistakes. A resume is a marketing document designed to sell one’s skills and strengths rather than just portray a bio of the candidate. Try to follow these tips:
Highlight specific achievements that demonstrate a picture of your marketability
Quantify such achievements to ensure greater confidence in the recruiter
Work backwards to quantify your accomplishments by asking, If I had not done X, what could have happened?
4. Format Your Resume for the Industry You Are Trying To Fit.
If you are applying for a position in the advertising or design fields, you have greater creative license in designing your resume. However, other industries such as mechanical engineering for example, won’t be impressed and may even be turned off by any distinctive resume design. Nevertheless follow these pointers:
Make sure your formatting is consistent throughout: font size, style, and type.
Make sure your writing is error-free, grammatically-correct, and clean. A crisp type and paper will make a good impression for you.
5. Network. Network. Network.
For unemployed candidates, handing out resumes can be a full-time job. Statistically, most mid- to senior-level positions are filled through networking, word-to-mouth, and social media contacts. Contacting absolutely everyone you know in addition to recruiters would be the smartest way to go in this day and age. Here are some networking ideas:
Leverage your personal business contacts, people you’ve worked for or who worked for you.
Tell vendors and sales representatives you’ve dealt with in the past five years that you are open for offers.
Use digital networking platforms such as linkedin and bumble bizz.