Ever heard that old saying, “Good enough, isn’t it?” Well, it’s not a solid rule to follow when it comes to your resume. What you’re going for is “outstanding.” Because, literally, you want your resume – and your entire presentation as a candidate – to stand out positively from the rest of the competition.
So, how can you take that “good enough” resume and turn it into a surefire tool to grab the attention of a prospective employer, sell your strongest skills and accomplishments, and get your foot in the door with an interview? It doesn’t take a rewrite … just some relatively simple, but potentially game-changing adjustments.
Be sure your resume reflects exactly what an employer is looking for.
Review the job description carefully, and tailor your resume to the position. Include keywords from the posting; many companies conduct keyword searches or use an applicant tracking system (ATS) when they initially review resumes.
- Prioritize whatever highlights of your skills, education, and experience showcase your relevant qualifications. Use numbers and statistics whenever possible to emphasize your achievements.
Keep it concise.
The magic word is “relevant.” Everything else is just noise. Keep your resume to one page if possible, and two pages max, and avoid any redundancies or fluff.
- Hyperlink to your portfolio and/or LinkedIn profile as a way to preserve space.
Make sure your resume is professional and well-designed.
A clean, legible resume helps ensure a hiring manager’s ability to read it easily and without any confusion.
- Make sure visual elements don’t distract from the content. Keep the design of your resume minimal and aesthetically appealing.
- Do you want to talk fonts? Go with something like Georgia, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Helvetica. And 12 points is a good rule of thumb for font size.
- Do you want to talk colors? Black and white on a white or light grey or ivory background is your best option. If you feel strongly about a third color for type, use something like navy blue, charcoal, or dark green.
Include a cover letter.
Cover letters are not old school; rather, they are an additional way to highlight your relevant job criteria and show your interest, professionalism, and attention to detail. So, even if it’s not required, submit a cover letter with your resume – and make sure the look, design, and feel match.
There is no excuse for errors on your resume or cover letter. Period. So, in addition to proofreading your resume several times yourself, have a trusted friend or family member do the same.
Find Your Next Opportunity
You’re a recruiter … or that’s your goal. So you, of all people need a gold-medal-winning resume for every opportunity you pursue. (Hey, in the wake of the Olympics, who can resist an analogy that spells victory?) For more tips on how to make this happen, as well as any and all aspects of your successful job search, reach out to the Search Wizards team today. Talent acquisition is all we do, so we can match you with the right prospective employers, the right network, and the right resources and expertise. We look forward to sitting down with you to discuss the possibilities!