A resume is designed to entice a potential employer to call you for an interview. Therefore, it needs to be written with a few items in mind. Here are some tips for writing a resume that will help you get your next interview.
Highlight The Important Parts
Recruiters only spend between five and 15 seconds reviewing each resume they receive. Therefore, they need to be able to scan your resume quickly for important information. The easiest way to make your resume visually scannable is to highlight the items you want the recruiter to notice. Such items include degrees, places of employment, job titles, accomplishments and resume sections, such as education, skills and job experience. Resume sections should be highlighted using all capital letters and bold text. Key points can also be highlighted using bold text or other design techniques.
Omit the Objective
Objectives are no longer relevant on today’s resumes. Companies aren’t interested in what you’d like to do, or your goals relating to the job. They’d much rather see your skill set, and how you would apply it as an employee of their company. Instead of an objective section, write a summery section.
It is very rare for a company to request a paper resume. Instead, most resumes are submitted online or through email. Therefore, you need to make sure that your resume is formatted correctly to be received as an email attachment or as an electronic submission through a career website. It may even involve creating a text only version of your resume.
Keywords in a resume are also very important. With the increase in electronic submissions, more and more companies are pre-scanning the resumes they receive with keyword checking software. If your resume doesn’t contain any keywords or not enough keywords, it will be deleted before any human eyes read it.
Keywords can often times be found in the job description itself. To find the keywords, you need to look closely at the requirements of the job. If the job requires a four-year degree in a specific degree field, you need to have that degree listed on your resume. If it requires 10 years of experience, you need to specifically say that you have 10 years of experience somewhere on your resume. If the job requires multitasking, you need to put the word multitasking on your resume. In other words, you want to make sure that you’ve specifically listed all the job requirements on your resume.
The days of writing descriptive paragraphs below employers and job titles is over. Recruiters want to ascertain your skills very quickly. Therefore, you do not want to write “I worked for XXX company for 10 years. During that time, I managed five employees and incrementally increased my job responsibilities.”
Instead, you want to bullet point the important parts and job duties. For example:
- Managed five employees and raised productivity 15%
- Delivered excellent customer service and increased sales 39%
No Personal Or Financial Information
Resumes should not include any personal or financial information beyond your name, address, telephone number and email address. The potential employer does not need to know your account numbers, social security number, whether or not you are married or how many kids you have. They also do not need to know if you are disabled or your age. In fact, it’s illegal for them to ask that information, so you should not provide it.