1. Spelling and Grammar Check
This sounds like such a no-brainer, however I have seen so many folks get rejected for a role due to spelling and grammar errors. There is normally a large pool of job applicants for employers to choose from, so even just one error on your resume can be an easy way for hiring managers to weed out candidates.
2. Stand Out From the Crowd
Throw away those standard resume templates. Be creative and make your resume stand out. Now I’m not saying to use tons of crazy bright colors on your resume if you are applying for a management role, however you should make your resume look different. Hiring managers and recruiters sift through so many resumes a day that most resumes begin to blend together. When we see a well written and creative looking resume, we pay a bit more attention and spend more time considering the candidate.
3. Relevant Information First
Add your most relevant information to the top of your resume. For example is a job ad calls for someone with a degree in Accounting and skills with Excel Pivot tables, note this information at the top of your resume, not at the bottom. Easy enough right? You just won’t believe how often people look over doing this.
Use enough keywords in your resume. Look at the particular job description you are applying for and make sure that you are including the same keywords. For example if the position is asking for someone with skills in computer programming, use the word ‘programming’ instead of ‘developing’ or ‘building’, when describing your computer skills. With new technology sometimes an applicant tracking system automatically places your resume to the bottom of a list due to the number of keywords listed, so if you are using different keywords you may be at a disadvantage. Often times a hiring manager is looking for keywords to weed through a large number of resumes.
5. Have Someone Review
Make sure that your resume is clearly written so that someone in another profession can understand. This is very important because if a hiring manager is unable to clearly read and understand your resume, they are less likely to consider you for a role. Keep in mind that the person reviewing your resume could be from a different industry than what you are applying. Having someone review is also another chance to check for any mistakes within the resume.
6. Save, Save, Save
Have your resume available at all times by saving it to your home computer, usb/flash drive and send a copy to your personal email address. And also be sure to have the resume saved in both pdf and word format. We know that computers can be tricky at times...let's say you send your resume directly to someone via email and they have some computers issues, sending both a pdf and word version helps. Trust me - you'll be better of having your resume in both formats.
7. Keep it Current
I know, I know! Who has the time to constantly update their resume? However if you are actively looking, this can be important. You will want to capture any changes in your title, responsibilities, etc. Sometimes even small additions can make a difference.
I hope these tips are helpful in your job search! Happy Hunting!
For more resume tips and job hunting advice, leave me a comment below.