When you want to make a resume, it’s easy enough to get free advice from your friends and family. It’s also easy to think that you can always just do this yourself, because it doesn’t seem all that difficult.
Your better option is to listen to the experts instead. These pros are very much aware of what hiring managers and potential employers are looking for in a resume. So here are a few of their tips:
- Keep it short. One of the polarizing disputes in resume writing is the issue of whether the resume should be a single page or not. Here, many experts say that it really depends on just how long your career industry has been. The standard rule of thumb is that you have a page for every 10 years you’ve worked in the industry.
- Don’t have a half-empty page. When you make a resume, you have to organize the information properly. It doesn’t speak well of your organization skills when you can’t arrange the info on a single age and you only have a single paragraph on the next page. Try to keep it succinct for a single page.
If you really need that 2nd page, then make full use of it. Don’t just keep it half-empty. Use that valuable real estate to tout more of your accomplishments and to emphasize more of your skills.
- Use company buzzwords. Check out the website of the company you’re trying to join. Exactly what words do they use most often? Use the same words on your resume as well. Reflect back their values. You want to show them that you’ve done your homework and that you share the same values. It’s as if you’re already one of them.
- Be detailed in your explanations. That usually means you use numbers, which more people understand. Just saying you performed tasks doesn’t make you more impressive.
So if you were a salesperson in a shop, you can say you “served the needs of 30 customers a day with zero complaints”. You can mention how your activities or suggestions resulted in greater sales, profits, or savings in expenses.
- Don’t put personal info. Your name and contact info are sufficient. Don’t add your gender, age, religion, marital status, or photo. The problem here is that companies don’t want to be accused of bias or discrimination based on these details. Some even disregard any resume that include these details, so they cannot be accused of discrimination.
- Have someone else read your resume when you’re done. The other person can check for grammatical and spelling mistakes. They can also tell you if your words make sense. If your friend doesn’t understand something in your resume, then it’s likely that a potential employer may not understand it either.
What you have to understand is that your resume won’t get you a job right away. That’s not its real function. The goal when you make a resume is to get a job interview, which then leads—hopefully—to a job offer.