Resume writing is possibly the biggest stumbling block for folks who are looking for a job. While it may seem simple, there are allot of subtle things that really matter. Potential employers are flooded with resumes in response to their job postings, and you only have a few short moments to make it or your resume will end up in the trash.
So, how do you optimize your resume to make it likely to get read? Here are 3 great tips to get you started.
1. Be Comprehensive, yet Succinct.
While your resume should contain a detailed account of your qualifications and accomplishments, you need to keep on topic specific to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a position as an office manager, for example, you don't need to include references to your stint as a rodeo clown. The prospective employer will likely be interested only in the skills and work experience that relates directly to the position they are trying to fill. Give them what they are looking for. Take a thorough account of your work history and skillset and choose to highlight what is relevant, and eliminate or downplay the items that are irrelevant. This strategy of niche resume writing keeps your resume focused and gives you the advantage of appearing to be the most qualified candidate for the job.
2. Your Resume Should be Formatted Nicely
Kooky fonts and such may be okay for personal communications, but your resume should be more "standardized". You want it to appear as neat and tidy as... well, yourself, right? A typewritten resume using standard fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial on high quality plain white paper will be a winner every time. You also need to pay close attention to your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Nothing would be more embarrassing than a resume with typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings. Not only embarrassing, but presenting a resume with errors will not impress potential employers and will likely land your resume in the trash can. Don't rely on computer based spelling and grammar checks. Check it yourself, and if possible, get someone else to check it for you as well. Also be wary of the reformatting that sometimes happens when you upload your resume to an Internet based resume submission service. Allot of times, you will loose your careful formatting only to find it replaced with the wrong margin, strange fonts and worse. Before you send it, check it!
3. Show Enthusiasm
Your resume and cover letter should not be something that you write begrudgingly. You are excited about the job you are applying for, correct? Well, then show it! Your excitement will come across in your resume and cover letter and will impress prospective employers. Whenever it makes sense to, use action words to describe your career history and goals.