How to write a resume that stands out
Thousands of employees were stood down or lost their jobs because of the pandemic. After we reach some sort of normalcy, finding employment could possibly be a tougher competition. In a pool of aspiring and equally qualified candidates, how can you stand out? With a resume that screams ‘hire me!’, of course.
Our advisors have years of experience in recruitment and have seen their fare share of resumes. Here we compiled a list of what they think makes an exceptional resume and how you can achieve that too.
Open strong – The summary or job objective should catch the employer’s attention. Start by showcasing your expertise and how you can be an asset to the company but keep in mind that this should also match what they are looking for in a candidate. You should also avoid clichés at all costs or its straight to the reject pile.
Customize it for each application – Make sure to study each job description for relevant keywords that an employer is looking for in a candidate. Check whether you are fit as listed in their job requirements/qualifications and highlight your skills or experiences that match up with the requirements of the job.
Write with verbs that mean something – Use words that actually describe what you have accomplished such as “managed”, “completed”, or “designed”. Writing ‘worked on’ or ‘contributed to’ doesn’t convey much and will not stand among the hundreds of applications that companies receive.
Formatting is important – Readability is the key! Use a clear and common font that will make your resume appear professional. Keep the font size between 10 and 12 points, one-inch margin on all sides. Line up bullet points, dates, and headings. Use a single space between the lines to eliminate wacky spacing or extra white/blank space that will distract the reader.
Old jobs can have less details – Hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time reading each resume so it’s important to keep it as brief as possible. Put the most important information first and include experiences, skills, and achievements that are relevant to the job. For jobs from over five years ago, just pick important details that could be applicable to the position you are aspiring for.
Look out for typos – Make sure your resume has no spelling or grammar errors. These simple mistakes make you seem careless, sloppy and lacking the important skill of giving attention to details. There are a lot of spelling/grammar tools that you can use to proofread or you can ask your friends to review your resume first before sending it out.
Mention career objectives or outside interests – Some jobs have unique requirements, if they are looking for a specific hobby or interest, include that in your resume. Otherwise, keep your resume professional. Tweak your resume according to the job requirements.
Put them in the right order – Prioritize relevant information higher in your resume. Include an “Accomplishment” or “Achievements” section right after the summary/job objective that will connect your experiences with the job requirements. Employment history, education, and other skills should follow.
Be selective – Before applying, make sure that you have the qualifications needed by the employer. Your resume speaks for yourself and its best to highlight your skills and achievements relevant to the position you are applying for. If it’s not relevant, then its likely safe to leave it out.
Focus on sharing accomplishments – Select your top 3 most important achievements based on the position you held instead of listing your duties and responsibilities. Include metrics in your achievements if you can because the measurable proven value will gain the interest of the employer and will help to better understand how you can contribute to the company.
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