You job resume is more than just a black and white piece of paper. It’s a marketing document. One which creates your first impression on your future employer.
In addition to that, recruiters tend to spend a mere 15 to 20 seconds on a particular resume, making it even tougher to catch and hold attention. Hence the decisions you make about how your resume looks, what details to add, which skills to highlight and so on really play a major role in getting a call for the interview. Understanding the format, knowing how to optimize the bullet points, quantifying achievements etc. will help you create a resume which can increase manifold the chances of you getting that dream job you have been waiting for.
To help you out we have come out with a nifty list of 20 actionable points, which can take your resume to the next level.
“Follow these 20 useful resume writing tips and create the perfect job resume that gets the attention it deserves.”
1. Keep It Simple
In the 15-20 seconds that a recruiter spends on your resume evaluating whether you would be a good fit for the job or not, you would want to make a best first impression really quickly. So, stick to one page resume. Keep the format clean and to the point. The recruiter should be able to read and get an understanding of your profile with ease.
2. Fonts Matter
Font type and size are two of the main elements which make the resume easy to read. If the size is too small, it would be difficult for the recruiter to read, while if it’s too big, you would miss out of precious space and the resume may look cramped. There are certain standard fonts and sizes ranges which can be used as a guideline for a good.
You could choose from Calibri, Garamond, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, and Helvetica and stick to one type throughout.
Also, if you keep the text in your resume plain, it will look dry and not easy on the eyes. So, use Bold, Italics etc. to organize your resume better.
3. Mention Only Relevant Contact Details
Your name and other important contact details should be at the very top. It makes it easier for the recruiters to check whose resume they just read, and get your contact details easily.
Along with your name, mention your phone number and an appropriate email address.
4. Is Objective Statement Necessary?
It’s a short statement at the top of the resume right after contact details which showcase what you are in your professional career and what you are seeking.
Though it was a common practice to add an objective statement in the resume, but it’s losing its sheen these days, because of the inability of applicants to write a compelling action based statement, at best it comes out as ambiguous. The employer is interested in your skills & capabilities and an objective statement might not be able to state that.
Hence the lesson here is, skip the objective statement.
5. Mention Only Relevant Content
Not all your experience and skills might be relevant to the job you might be applying for. Filter out the ones which are irrelevant, to make your resume perfectly customized and good fit for the position.
As for recent graduates, instead of listing all the internships you have done, just mention those that would make you seem more suitable for the job.
6. Optimize Your Bullet Points
Try to keep one line per bullet, at max 2 lines. Any longer than 2, will seem like a large chunk of text and recruiters might just skip it. Also, a number of bullets per section should range between 3 to 5, and not more.
7. Quantify Your Work
Quantify your work by adding numbers to your achievements. This is help recruiters understand your strengths and experiences better.
Between the above two, which one sounds better?
Example 2, right?
It paints a better picture of you about your previous responsibilities and also shows that you have added value to the previous company.
8. ‘So What’ Test…
While optimizing your bullet points, analyze your content ask ‘So what?’ to check whether the point highlights your capability.
Write about what difference you made. Did it make a process more efficient than before? Did it save money or time?
9. Use Action Words
Use action words at the beginning of bullet points to catch attention as they showcase your managerial skills. Using words such as managed, super headed, created etc. as compared to was, did and made will help you set the tone of your resume.
Hence make sure you start most of your points with action words.
Action word comes in varied forms, here are some mentioned below:
10. Use Simple Language
Your job resume should be written in a manner that it’s readable by an average person. The recruiter might not belong to the same background as yours and might fail to fail to understand your skills cause of the use of technical terms.
As you never know who’s going to read it, make it easy-to-read for all.
11. Write in Reverse Chronological Order
Always write your current job on the top, followed by previous work. If you are a fresher, and your resume looks empty, introspect on internships done or any other work which you might have done and gained some skills. You may also add your final year research or thesis.
Also, make sure all job responsibilities apart from your current job are in past tense.
12. Educational Achievements
Always highlight educational qualifications after your work experience. Recruiters are more interested in the work you, did than which college you went to.
Highlight achievements such as academic honors, club positions, etc. which might be relevant to your future employer. If you got a scholarship, be sure to mention that as well. This will help them know if you are a self-starter, motivated, or an asset to their company.
13. Mention Online Certifications
Be sure to mention all your certification that you gained online. This shows you are eager to learn and are ready to pursue it after regular hours.
This will create a positive impact on your profile:
14. Talk About Relevant Skills
The recruiter is looking for people with a specific skillset, so adding all the experiences and skills which you have gained might not get you the interview call. Therefore, it’s important to read the job description and carefully list your experience.
Note: Don’t include the ‘MS Word, E-mail, MS Excel, etc.’ while writing your resume. Recruiters assume you possess those skills already.
15. Volunteered at an NGO? Mention It
Volunteering at an NGO is an excellent way to showcase your planning, team work, organizational, fundraising skills etc. skills. Don’t simply state that you volunteered at XYZ, instead highlight the part you played while working there. Also, highlight the part you played while working there.
16. And the Award Goes To…
Be sure to mention any awards which you won in recent past. You can highlight them in their respective sections while writing your resume. Also, add some background information about the award in order to help the recruiter get to know you better.
17. Perfect the Grammar
The resume should be nothing less than perfect, and that includes being grammatically correct. This is the first point of contact with the company and it’s your first impression on them. Resume grammar mistakes can completely sabotage your chances of getting your dream job.
18. How to Deal with Gaps
If you have gaps between two consecutive jobs, you can eliminate start and end dates of the previous jobs in the work-ex section and just mention the year for each of the jobs. If asked during the interview, be honest about it.
In case you did some volunteer work during that period, be sure to mention it in the resume.
19. Proof Read! Proof Read! Proof Read!
You don’t have to be the grammar police! But you cannot make silly grammar errors.
Ask your friend to proofread the resume, run spell check or use tools such as Grammarly. It is free and is a great tool for resume writing & grammar checks, with contextual spell check. These would help you stay away from submitting your resume with errors.
20. Save It as A Pdf
Submitting your file as a pdf will help your resume stay in its desired format. As in word doc, the resume might get distorted if the recruiters don’t use the same version of word as you. This mishap might cost you a good job.
Also, name your file smartly. Name it in such a way that it’s instantly distinguishable from others. For e.g. ‘Julia Doe Resume’ is better than just ‘Resume’.
A poorly formatted resume can hamper your chances, while a right resume can get you a right job.
And a right resume means more than just filling up a page with your qualifications and experiences. It demands a lot more than just information, right from format to ensuring that every bullet point is impactful.
Don’t let your current resume hold you back from getting that dream job of yours. Use these 20 tips to improve your chances of getting a call for that dream job you are applying for.
Looking for more tips? Check out this post on 23 Resume Tips to take your Job Resume to the next level.
About the author Abhyank Srinet
Abhynk Srinet is the founder of MiM-Essay.com. MiM-Essay.com and their team of MiM application consultants are trying to make the process of getting knowledge about Masters in Management (MiM) degrees as painless as possible. There are hardly any resources that provide information about the MiM and so we are trying to bridge this gap, helping students find a one stop solution to their MiM related doubts. Read more about MiM-Essay here.