Is Your Resume the Best that it Can Be?
Ever thought about how your resume is like a first date?
Maybe not before…but now you are! You want to put your best foot forward, look your absolute best, and leave a lasting impression. Your resume should be “dressed to impress” every hiring manager it comes in contact with. So, how do you ensure you get a “second date?” Here are five tips to rid your resume of unnecessary information and enhance it with attributes that employers are really looking for.
PAINT THE STORY OF YOUR CAREER PATH
Simply put, tie it all together. Potential employers are looking for your resume to tell the story of your career. Seeing the path that has led to you applying for an available position will help them decide whether or not you will be a good fit. Each of your previous jobs should add to your skillset and prepare you for more complicated tasks and challenges in the future. Under each job description on your resume, include skills, and as important – quantifiable accomplishments you achieved and how they are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Your experience and previous success is invaluable when it comes to searching for a new job – so, use it wisely.
SHOW OFF YOUR SKILLS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
If you’ve got it, flaunt it (eloquently, that is)! This may sound very simplistic, but be confident that your resume fits the job you’re applying for. Did you know you shouldn’t send out one general resume to every single job you apply for? Now you know. In contrast, your resume should be specifically tweaked to fit whatever position you are hoping to reel in. Hiring managers are looking for specific skillsets, and accomplishments so a general resume won’t cut it. Be sure to include any skill that could coincide with the job requirements. It’s often tempting to apply for the job we want instead of the job we are realistically qualified for. But if you can manage to send out tailored resumes for each position you pursue, you’ll be sitting pretty on interview isle.
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DON’T BE THE CANDIDATE WHO CRIED WOLF
Ever experienced first-hand how lying can get you in trouble on a first date? Contrary to popular belief, lying on your resume is a terrible idea. Hiring managers aren’t expecting you to be the master of all things, which puts them on high alert for people who claim they are “perfect.” There is an alarming excess of exaggerated accomplishments on resumes today, and employers are skilled at weeding through these lies in a heartbeat. So, don’t embellish. Be as honest as you can while highlighting your abilities. If it doesn’t genuinely reflect your professional abilities, just skip it. The truth shall set you free!
SOCIAL MEDIA: GREATEST ASSET OR WORST ENEMY?
If it’s online, it must be true, right? In our media-driven world, what you post online actually does matter. Potential employers peruse your personal web presence because they want to learn more about you as a candidate and as a person. They are often curious to see if your online voice is professional enough for the workplace and if your information actually matches your resume.
So, how do you make an all-star online impression? Make sure you include links to your personal online portfolio, your LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, or any other social media outlets you actively update. While this might seem a little excessive, statistics show that almost ¾ of employers have vetted potential candidates through social media. As long as you keep everything professional and appropriate, you should be good to go!
HAVE SOME COMMON SENSE
Lastly, here are a few “forget-me-not” pointers to remember while shaping up your resume.
- Spellcheck, spellcheck, spellcheck. If your resume is filled with typos and grammatical errors, it’s a direct reflection of your lack of attention to detail.
- Format your resume in an easy to read, traditional manner. Employers shouldn’t have to work to figure out that you’re a good fit for the job – serve it to them on a silver platter.
- Keep your non-workplace interests and hobbies off of your resume. Unless it relates to the job, keep it to yourself unless they ask.
- Make sure your email address is professional and not something you created when you were out partying with friends.
- Keep your contact information up-to-date and give several methods of communication – your email address and your phone number should be sufficient, as long as you check them both fairly regularly.
- Don’t tell your life story. A resume is the “sound bite” version of your career.
Keeping your resume in all-star shape makes it easy to tweak for each opportunity that comes your way. So, keep it clean and crisp, and you’ll be on your way to a plethora of second dates, or interviews that is!