Tried and Tested Resume Writing Tips

Tried and Tested Resume Writing Tips

The first impression a prospective employer has of you is your resume. Typically, it's one of the first things they look at before deciding who they want to interview. If you're looking for a new job, you can make a positive impression by working on your resume. Follow these resume writing tips to make sure your document stands out.

1. Include Certain Keywords

When you read a job listing, you'll probably notice a certain keyword. For instance, the listing might mention the word "creative" several times. Before you submit your resume, look for places to include that keyword.

That said, don't force the word. Only use the keyword once or twice, and make sure it's applicable to the sentence.

2. Look at Examples

To find out what you're up against, look up some examples of resumes written by people in your industry. Although you shouldn't directly copy another resume, you can get some great ideas.

Specifically, look at the format, conciseness, and any similarities between industry-specific resumes.

3. Pick Your Font with Care

Because most employers receive hundreds of resumes at a time, they don't have time to scrutinize every resume. If you don't want an employer to skip over your resume, you should make it easy to read. Pick a font that is clear and basic, like Times New Roman it Arial. Be mindful of the size, as a font less than 10 points may be difficult to read. One larger than 12 points could seem unprofessional or make your resume too long.

Even with the right font, you should be cautious about white space. If there's too much blank space in the document, it makes your resume look sparse. Limit the amount of white space by adding content and increasing your font to 12. If that's not enough, consider adding other sections, such as a section for accomplishments.

4. Prioritize

It's hard to put your whole career in one document. For that reason, resumes are often full of irrelevant information. Employers don't always see the information you want them to see because they don't read through the whole document. Typically, they spend about six seconds on each resume.

If you want to be sure an employer sees what matters, you should prioritize. Put the work and educational experience that's most relevant at the top of your resume. Then, consider the length of the document. Is it too long? If so, you might want to cut out some of the non-relevant information. An employer doesn't need to know what you did 12 years ago unless it's directly related to the job you want.

5. Keep it Short

One common resume writing mistake is to use lengthy language. Unlike that high school Essay you write, your resume isn't about meeting a word count. If anything, shorter is better.

Instead of using complete sentences to write about a skill, use an incomplete sentence and bullet points. By keeping it concise, you can maintain an employer's attention.

6. Highlight Your Achievements

Performing a job or having a skill doesn't mean you're good at it. If you want to prove your worth, you need to showcase your accomplishments.

Under the "Experience" portion of your resume, add three or four of your top achievements. Include numbers or specific details that highlight what you've done.

If you have more to add, consider using a separate section for achievements. You could include volunteer experiences, awards, and more.

7. Don't Keep Unnecessary Subheadings

As you choose a resume template, know that there might not be a template that's the perfect fit for you. But a template isn't set in stone, and you should alter it to highlight your best attributes.

So, you should consider only using subheadings and sections that fit your resume. For instance, you might not need a section for your resume objective. Or, you could have an empty work history section. In this case, you could replace "Work History" with "Relevant Experience" or a similar section.

If one section seems sparse, consider combining it with another section. Transform the resume template into a customized resume that sells you as an employee.

8. Think About Your Margins

Every detail on your resume matters, including your margins. You should use a one-inch margin size down the sides and only use single spacing. Once again, the blank space matters.

If you don't have enough content on your resume, don't be afraid to play with your spacing. You may want to increase your margins a little or increase the spacing to 1.5.

9. Triple Check Your Work

After you create your resume, you'll probably be eager to send it out. But don't rush into the job application process. You should progress your resume and edit it.

One round of edits isn't enough. To make sure there are no mistakes, get a fresh set of eyes on it. Have a colleague, friend, or family member read your resume. Ask them to be critical and to suggest edits. It's important to keep an open mind and to welcome their criticism.

10. Create Multiple Resumes

If you have a broad set of skills or broad interests, you should consider creating multiple resumes. Doing so can save you from needing to create a new resume for every job, but still allows you to have a semi-customized resume for each job.

Think about the types of jobs you want. There's a good chance that you can split the jobs up into several categories. Then, create as many resumes as you have categories. For example, you could have one resume that highlights customer service and another that highlights leadership. Before you apply for a position, consider which resume would best fit the skills needed for the job.

Getting More from Your Resume

If you're looking for a new job, you have a long road ahead of you. But you can make that road shorter and easier by fine-tuning your resume with these resume writing tips. It takes a little work, but is worth it in the end.

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