Creating an engaging resume is essential to having the best chance for an employer to reach out for an interview. Every manager is looking for something special in a resume and there are some ways to help make yours one to remember. Here are some tips to get you started:
Formatting is your first impression
When building a resume keep in mind that the overall look of the document is the first impression an employer has of you. Templates are available in Microsoft Word and also online. Choose a design that is clean and consistent. You want an employer to read about you, not be distracted by colors and design.
Read the job description and model your resume after it
Applying for a job online can mean resumes are shuttled through a computer program looking for keywords. Using similar language from the job posting can help your resume make it to the top of the pile. Look for action words in the job description, for example, orchestrate, manage and maintain and change your resume to match. You should be personalizing your resume for every job application.
Prioritize your experience
You have a finite amount of space to sell yourself. Put the most important skills first and be specific. You will know what is most important to the employer based on the job description.
Do not promise skills you do not have. If a job is looking for a specific skill set make sure you possess that skill. For example, if an employer is looking for an expert at a computer program and you have little to no experience with that program, then do not claim to be an expert.
Use action verbs
Use a variety of verbs to keep your resume engaging. If each bullet starts with “responsible for” the reader will lose interest quickly.
Include your professional website
If you plan to include a website, make sure the website is updated and professional. Having an online portfolio can be helpful to getting a foot in the door because the employer will have a better idea of your skill set. If you don’t have a portfolio, you can link to your updated LinkedIn page.
Only include relevant experience
Try keeping a master resume of all of you experience and taking out experience and skills that do not apply to the job. You will want the most relevant information at the top along with any honors, skills and awards that make you more qualified for the job.
Two page or one page?
The general rule of having a one page resume isn’t as steadfast anymore. If you have enough relevant experience to warrant a second page, then use another page. Be sure your best and more recent experience is on the first page.
Before you send your resume proofread, proofread, proofread. When an employer has 50 resumes on their desk and they want someone detail oriented, finding a typo or misspelled name could be the reason to disregard your resume. Triple check names, contact information and grammar. Try having a friend or teacher read through to be extra cautious.
Make sure your resume prints correctly
If you are emailing your resume, it is safe to assume that the employer will print your resume. Test your resume by printing it from a couple of computers. Your best bet is to send the document as a PDF. Be sure you rename your resume something appropriate. Your last name and the job title or company is a good name for the document.