Are you applying for jobs but not getting any responses? You are talented and skilled in your profession with many years of experience; however, you are getting radio silence. Did you know that hiring managers look at your resume for 7 seconds or less when exploring candidates? With that being said, maybe your resume is not promoting you correctly or emphasizing your accomplishments.
Every resume you send out should be altered to match the job you are applying for. Effective adjustments can be as small as changing your sub-header from “Graphic Designer” to “Visual Designer” or reorganizing the bullet points under each job to promote the tasks you accomplished in a more impactful manner. Here are some tips on how to create the perfect resume and stand out from other applicants:
- Fill your resume with keywords. Every job posting contains a job description. In the description is a detailed list of what the job entails and what the company is looking for in applicants. Use this job description as your guide to write what your responsibilities were at your previous job. Review what the company considers to be "Required" and "Optional". If you are a graphic designer, make sure to include the software they mention such as Adobe Photoshop; as well as, keywords such as designing, branding, etc.
- Use powerful verbs. Each job function listed on your resume should emphasize your accomplishments. Employers want to know how you contributed to your role at the time. A few examples of powerful starting verbs are “achieved”, “accomplished”, and “completed”. Be sure to include percentage and numbers when mentioning teams you led, money you saved the company, and sales you acquired. List your most important task or achievement as the first bullet point.
- Avoid irrelevant information. With your resume only being glanced at for a matter of seconds, it is important to only highlight relevant information. Your work experience should be limited to the last ten years. Your education section should consist of the name of your school, graduation date (if recently graduated), type of degree earned, along with your major. Avoid including hobbies and skills not pertaining to the line of work you are looking for.
- Perfect the presentation. Your resume must be visually appealing to receive any sort of consideration. Be mindful of font types and sizes. You want your resume to be easy on the eyes and legible. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, and Helvetica are some of the more popular fonts used on resumes. Limit your font size between 10-12 as well. Consistency is also key when designing your headers and sub-headers. It is encouraged to use bold, caps, and italics to differentiate the importance of the information. If you choose to make a job title in bold, make sure all job titles are bold.
- Proofread and reflect. It is easy to overlook spelling and grammatical errors when rushing to apply for a job. Take your time to double and triple check your work before sending off your resume because once you apply you cannot take it back. Have a friend, coworker, or family member also look it over and listen to their feedback. It is important to have a different set of eyes review your work and confirm it is in perfect condition to land you an interview.
Your resume is a reflection of who you are. Your goal is to convince the hiring manager you are qualified for the job based on your experience, skill set, and knowledge. Be effective at selling yourself through your resume and prepare for the all callbacks to start coming in!
Written by Sheena Roman.