You’ve probably asked yourself, “How do I make the perfect resume so that employers notice me?”
Well, making the perfect resume is a myth, because nothing is perfect. However, there are things that you can do to bring your resume closer to perfection.
Below are 10 tips for achieving not perfection, but resume success:
#1—Check spelling and grammar.
Proofread. And proofread again. Yes, spelling and grammar seem quite elementary, but you won’t believe how many people make these mistakes in their resume. After reading your own resume multiple times, you will probably develop a “blind spot” for errors and overlook small mistakes like spelling and punctuation. To avoid this, ask someone to review your resume. An outsider’s eye is often keener in spotting mistakes than your own.
#2—Craft your elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a quick 30-second summary of yourself, your ambitions, and your skills. You should be able to relay it to a potential employer in a brief introduction. Not only does it help your employer, but it also helps you understand yourself and what you want to be able to achieve. Once you’ve crafted your self-summary, paste it into the top of your resume. Most employers don’t want to read your life story, but if they can understand you in three lines, you have a better chance of securing the job.
#3—Strive for quality, not quantity.
As mentioned above, don’t write your life story. Only include experience and interests that you think are relevant to the job. If you’ve worked as an intern for a competitor, that’s more relevant than the fact you worked weekend shifts at Walmart (nothing against Walmart).
#4—Include experience, aims, and achievements.
So you’ve got some personality and your experience is listed. However, most people forget to include their aims, goals, and ambitions on their resume. A company not only wants to know if you’re right for them, but also if the company is right for you.
#5—Go “back in time.”
Write your experience in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Your employer is more concerned with the job you just had then something you did five or 10 years ago. In fact, do this for all forms of time scale throughout your resume. Consistency is key.
#6—Remove your older work experiences (sometimes).
Most experts generally agree that the last 15 years of your career are enough. In some cases, it is wise to cut everything before that unless it deals directly with the position for which you’re interviewing.
#7—Pair it with a “killer” cover letter.
Use your cover letter as your initial opportunity to make a great impression. Do more than recap what’s on your resume. Highlight some of your proudest professional accomplishments, provide a window into who you are as an employee, and really delve into your unique skills.
#8—Use social media to your advantage.
In this day and age of social media and quick Internet searches, be certain that hiring managers WILL view your social media pages. Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and ready? Make sure that your work history is current and that your profile headline and summary are optimized.
Reference checks and Google searches are easier than ever. Lying on your resume is never worth it. It’s just wrong—and any lie you tell will follow you around. An old lie can get you fired later in your career.
#10—Keep it short.
The ideal length for a resume is a controversial subject. Most employers and recruiting specialists say that it should contain one or two pages at most. However, provided that all of the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better.
Remember: short, detailed, and truthful are the keys to resume success!