7 Resume Tips That'll Help You Wow Potential Employers
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If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself it’s that I love resumes. Unpopular opinion, sure, but I enjoy reading them, and I enjoy editing them. If you’re starting to enter the workforce, or if you already have, you know well the importance of having a strong resume. A resume should detail your relevant work experience, highlight your strengths, and show potential employers why you deserve to interview for the job. Versatile in nature, resumes should be tailored to you and your personality. Show potential employers who you are and what you can offer—on paper, anyway. Though I’m not a professional resume reader (yup, that job exists), I’ve had my resume reviewed by many recruiters and college professors, and I’m sharing some of their most helpful tips that are sure to make your resume stand out from the pile.
1. Tailor your resume to each job.
It’s time-consuming to change your resume each time you apply to a different job; however, it must be done! Study the job description for whatever you’re applying to, and see whether you can connect any of your work experiences to it. Identify key words in the job description and put them in your resume, if possible. Many large companies use applicant tracking software, where they input key words into their database to identify which applicants have those necessary keywords or skills. If you fail to include certain keywords, you’re automatically disqualified for the job. Do your research and know what your potential employers are looking for.
2. Choose your fonts and colors wisely.
Recruiters and employers read tons of resumes each day, so you definitely want your resume to stand out. To do so, your fonts and colors should pop, but not in a way that is overly dramatic. Put yourself in a recruiter’s position, and choose a clean font that’s both readable and unique. Of note, your headers should be a different color so that whoever is reading your resume can clearly see the different sections of your resume. When working on your resume and tailoring each one to a specific job, play around with fonts and colors to see what works best. Depending on the job, you could get creative with your resume.
3. Mind your tenses.
It’s normal to have both past and present experiences on your resume, but it’s important to be mindful of your tenses. If you worked somewhere in the past, the job description and duties therein should be listed in the past tense—and the same thing goes for your present experiences. All in all, be consistent with your tenses. Implementing action verbs are also a great way to highlight your experiences.
4. Make sure your resume is only one page.
Unless you have years of work experience and have been adulting for a while now, your resume should only be one page. Recruiters don’t want to read a five page resume, especially if you’re applying to entry level jobs as a recent college graduate. Believe me, it’s possible to have a strong one-pager.
5. Quantify your accomplishments.
It’s common for people to list their work experience with bullet points, but no matter what experience you have, it’s important to quantify your accomplishments And by this I mean that you want to show potential employers your past successes in terms of numbers. For example, if you helped your company increase their social media following by 150%, include that, and do the same for all of your most notable accomplishments.
6. Create a LinkedIn profile.
It’s 2019, and having a LinkedIn presence is key to landing your dream job. If you don’t already know, LinkedIn is the leading professional networking website, and many hiring managers and recruiters find their future talent on the platform. Since you can’t have a long resume, importing all of your work experience onto your LinkedIn profile is usually a good idea. Of note, it’s also smart to put your LinkedIn URL in the header of your resume so that employers can do further research on you and all that you have to offer, aside from what you’re able to list on your resume. If you do this, though, be sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile match, including the job experiences, dates, and duty descriptions.
7. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Before you finalize your resume, have your resume reviewed and read by others. Friends, family, co-workers, classmates, and professors typically make good proofreaders, and you’d be surprised at how many details or typos someone else might be able to catch. Get a second pair of eyes to look over your resume, as this will help you prepare for the professional world.
How do you make your resume stand out in a big stack?