The process of the job application is a pretty tense one, at least in the beginning.
As soon as you see an advertisement for a job you would like, you pen a letter and with it, you attach a version of yourself in an envelope and hope for that call informing you of the interview dates. What this means for you is that you must do everything possible to ensure that your resume is indeed a reflection of the best version of yourself as regards to that job.
You could be a great person, even ideal for the job, but if your resume does not reveal as much it may as well end up in the shredder and you will be left bemoaning the unfairness of life.
So what exactly are the steps to follow to end up with the best resume possible?
This article may not be about that but it does offer ten tips that, followed, will guarantee you a decent shot at the getting that call to the interview.
1. Understand The Aim of the Resume
You need to realize that the Hiring Managers know as well as you do that it is not practically possible to include everything you have to offer in a resume. You must appreciate, therefore, that while the resume is crucial to your job seeking adventure, it will not get you the job.
The best you can do with just a resume is to impress the Hiring Managers enough to pique their interest in you. Then they will invite you for an interview and you can impress them further. The point here is to avoid saying too much in a resume.
Just understand your qualifications that are relevant to this job and focus on marketing them. Save the exploits of your life for another day.
2. Make It Easy to Scan
The attention span of the average human being is continuously decreasing with time and it currently stands at 8 seconds according to Microsoft Corp. The employers you are about to send off your resume to are also human.
That means that they will look at your resume for around the same length of time and decide whether to consider or bin it. You must format it with that fact in mind and therefore optimize it for scanning.
These calls for you to especially ensure that your resume ticks every checkbox for the following attributes before you send it off:
- Have the important components such as branding statement first and prominently
- Highlight and include as many resume keywords as possible in the resume
- Make the resume structure to easily find the information one is looking for
- Use bullet points
- Use concise and specific language
3. Focus On the Future
Employers mostly look at their future in the organization and realize that they are missing something that is important for the achievement of their future goals. From the realization, they advertise the position to get someone who can bring in the needed quality. This, therefore, proves that the biggest need of the employer is future oriented; they are looking to have you contribute to the achievement of their goals.
Your takeaway from this point is not to focus on your achievements in the past. Align your vision with that of the potential employer and elucidate on your resume how you can help them achieve their set goals and use your statements of accomplishment to back this up.
4. Avoid Photographs and Any Type of Negativity
No employer wants to hire somebody who will likely bring negative energy into their organization. Any indication of negativity in your perceptions, thoughts, and personality is likely to be counterproductive for you.
For instance, you should not make any negative remarks on your former employer(s), regardless of whether it is true or not. Additionally, there is no justification for including a photograph of yourself unless you are applying for a job in which physical appearance is relevant, such as say, acting.
Otherwise, there may be an assumption that you are using your appurtenance to influence the Hiring Managers’ decisions, which is a question of integrity.
5. Be Honest
The thing about lies is that you need to keep track and memory of them in case they arise in a future conversation or situation. You also need to ensure that other people are in on the lie lest the employer goes knocking on their doors. Therefore, it is best to avoid any lies or embellishment.
It is important to recall that before entrusting you to transact on their behalf, most organizations will conduct background checks on you and if they find your integrity wanting, you can kiss the opportunity goodbye.
6. Synchronize Your Offline and Online Information On Your Resume
This is the age of Facebook and emojis, where people spend a sizeable portion of their time on social media. It is, therefore, understandable if potential employers search you online to see what you are up to thereon. In fact, most savvy employers will and if you know that, you might as well make it easier for them to locate you.
7. Brevity Is Key
Just like it is important to have an easy to scan a resume, it should also be as brief as possible. Preferably, it should be just a single page, two if you have more than twenty years of experience.
The brevity is important for the ease of the hiring managers’ review as they do not have to go through a lot of literature. It also benefits you as the applicant since with limitation on space, you will be able to stick to the important information only.
8. Quantify Your Achievements
Human beings are prone to embellishment when talking about what they have achieved in their lines of work. This is easier done using general language, which is usually vague. However, this does not do you any favors with your potential employer.
If you truly wish to demonstrate your capacity using any past achievements or contributions at work, do it in measurable units. Use figures and facts that the employer can retrieve instead of pompous adjectives.
9. Seek Online Help
This is the age of the smartphone, you should not be afraid to incorporate technology in writing your resume since you need as much help as you can get to end up closer to perfection. Thankfully, the world is rife with innovations and there are several tools that can improve your resume writing:
- LinkedIn: One of the widest professional networks globally, LinkedIn allows you to export your professional information to a professional PDF resume.
- Resunate: has numerous templates for you to base your resume on.
- DoYouBuzz: allows you to edit and add color to your resume or create one from scratch. It is LinkedIn compatible.
- Resumes Expert: has professional writers who accept your details and create a custom resume exactly as you like it.
- Google Docs offers templates for you to preview and use for your resume.
The last thing you want is to go through all the steps of writing the resume of your life only to come off as a reckless slob because of the errors in the resume. For this reason, you must undertake to proofread the final result until you are convinced that it is perfect. Then, hand it to a person you trust and have them comb it for any overlooked errors.
Creating the perfect resume as you can see is not that hard of a job; you only need to be smart in the way you go about it and luckily for you, this list will be sure to give you a headstart.
All the best in your interview.