Are you using the same resume format repeatedly? Then it’s time to exchange that tired resume for a fresh, updated version that will help you stand out and be a shoo-in for the first round of interviews. Below are some tips and resources that will help your resume land in the “keep” pile.
1. Know your audience. Employers look for specific skills and qualifications to fill each vacancy. Therefore, a “one-size-fits-all” approach is sure to result in the instant rejection of your resume. It’s a bad idea to submit a resume that highlights your foodservice experience if your intention is apply for a graphic design position. Make sure your resume reflects the tone and experience outlined in the job description or post you seek.
2. Determine the correct resume format. Before you respond to a job post, you will need to decide whether an online resume or a paper version is appropriate. Your format choice will serve as a guide for how to construct your resume. Of course, it’s a good idea to have both, just in case.
Traditional resumes should follow a standard resume format in appearance (e.g., high-quality paper/envelope, standard page margins, etc.). Your resume should be created using software such as MS Word. However, the use of graphics, strange fonts or photos will result in your resume standing out in a negative way. So avoid such flourishes unless you’re applying to a company whose focus is design.
Online resumes use the same information as traditional resumes and are often sent as pdfs or doc files. It can be hard to figure out how to create a properly formatted pdf file and using a resume builder to generate one may be the best option for beginners. Be sure to research the best practices for submitting online resumes to avoid any unlucky run-ins with the spam filters in security software.
3. Provide relevant information. When constructing your resume, you will need to use relevant buzzwords or keywords to garner attention. You should know the buzzwords to avoid too. If you don’t know what direction to take, pay attention to the job post’s wording for clues.
4. Make your resume visually appealing. Resumes should have clean, conservative layouts with little to no graphics. They should be easy to read and project professionalism and gravitas. The best way to achieve this effect is to focus on consistency. So, avoid using more than two fonts. Likewise, avoid using any type of graphic or clip art, unless there is an expectation for them. Also, check for consistent spacing before and after hard returns, paragraph headers, and indents.
5. Proofread your resume in layers. This final step of resume preparation is crucial. You must proofread your resume as many times as it takes to correct any errors or typos that may exist. An effective way fix errors is to edit your resume multiple times, each time looking for a specific type of error. For example, your first read-through could focus on finding spelling mistakes. The second could focus on grammatical errors, the third on punctuation, and so on. Of course, having someone else read it over is even better. Here are a few reference sites you will find indispensable during the editing process: Grammarly, Merriam Webster Dictionary, andThesaurus.com.
There are many facets to creating a quality resume. In fact, the process could seem a bit intimidating if you lack time or energy. Just remember, you can always hire an experienced virtual assistant or professional resume service to do the hard work for you. However, do your research. Make sure that whomever you work with, he or she is capable of helping you put your best foot forward when presenting yourself to a perspective employer.