The right resume can open the door to your future career. Often the first thing a hiring manager sees, it’s critical that your resume makes a good first impression – or it may also be the last. So, how can you make your resume stand out from the crowd?
Know what an employer is looking for.
Hiring managers have specific ideas of what they’re looking for in candidates. Your resume should be tailored to the job description. This includes keywords, which are essential in the event your resume needs to pass through an automated applicant tracking system (ATS).
- In addition to the job posting, review the company’s website with a focus on company culture and what may be expected of you in the role for which you’re applying. On your resume, prioritize experience, hard and soft skills, and other information that showcase your applicable qualifications.
Start off strong with the right header and summary.
A potential employer will spend only a few seconds on the first scan of a resume, so capture their attention quickly with a strong header and summary statement.
Be sure your name and contact information are at the very top. Right below this, include your summary or objective. Both should be short, compelling, and to the point. The goal is to have hiring managers learn about you quickly and be interested enough to continue reading.
Focus on your accomplishments – and quantify them.
Rather than regurgitating the job description, focus on your accomplishments as they relate to the employer’s ideal candidate. Describe specific times when you have excelled and gone above and beyond. Use numbers whenever possible to paint a clearer picture of your strengths and unique capabilities.
Keep it relevant.
Include only relevant information on your resume. Listing irrelevant jobs or experience or extraneous achievements just adds noise. Hiring managers won’t want to fish through it to find what they’re looking for; they’ll simply move on to the next candidate.
As a rule of thumb, your resume should be no longer than two pages. Keep this in mind as you edit out any redundancies or flub.
Make it visually appealing.
Think “professional” as you consider the overall look of your resume.
- Use a legible font such as Georgia, Times New Roman, Calibri or Helvetica.
- Keep your resume design minimal and aesthetically appealing. Don’t let visual elements distract from content.
- Color is important. Use whites or creams as background and black as your primary text color. If you prefer a third color, use something like dark blue or hunter green.
There’s no room for error on your resume, so proofread it thoroughly, in hard copy form as well as via spell and grammar check. As a final review, have a trusted friend or colleague read through it, as well.
The experienced career coaches at PrideStaff Fresno can help you perfect your resume, as you take all the steps necessary to land your next great job. Reach out to us today to learn more.