No matter what industry you may be applying for, résumés still matter. And even if you’ve gotten an interview due to connections (some statistics cite that over 70% of jobs are landed due to networking), you’ve still got to produce a piece of paper formally listing your credentials. Here, how to rock your résumé — so you can focus on nailing the interview.
1.Get Rid of Your Address
Not only do the lines take up valuable space, but the not-so-necessary info can subconsciously sway recruiters and hiring managers. They might see an out-of-the way address and assume you won’t handle the commute well or see an out-of-state city and assume you aren’t interested in the position. A telephone number and email address is enough.
2. Always save As A PDF
Surprisingly, tons of hiring managers say their biggest pet peeve is getting oddly formatted résumés in their inbox. Saving and sending as a PDF is the bare minimum of professionalism; if you haven’t gotten into the habit yet, do so now.
3. Include Appropriate Links
In this day and age, you can and should expect recruiters to assess you based on your digital life. Help them out by adding a link to your LinkedIn, as well as your Twitter handle or Instagram account, if you’re an influencer who has a big network. Having that information on your résumé shows you understand that your virtual life is one more part of how you present yourself.
4. Get Keyword Savvy
If you’re applying through a portal, chances are, your résumé is being scanned before it gets in the hands of a human, says Dana Leavy-Detrick, résumé consultant and chief creative scribe at the Brooklyn Résumé Studio. Choose SEO-optimized words for your industry (look at the job profile and use as many of those words as possible).
For example, if you’re applying for a marketing manager position and the job description states it’s looking for a candidate that has CMS and marketing automation experience, make sure the résumé you’re submitting through a job portal contains those keywords. For an in-person interview, you can rely on a more creative, less jargon-driven version to show the hiring manager.
5. Use Hard Numbers
Grew traffic by 30%? Managed $1 million in assets? Whatever it is, using numbers is way more effective than just words, says résumé designer Hagan Blount. Check out some examples of how he’s managed to incorporate hard numbers in résumé designs, here.
6. Delete The Year You Graduated
People may see that you graduated a decade ago and consider you too experienced for a position, regardless of whether you switched career paths. Less than five may make you seen too green. Katie, 32, an editor, noticed that her résumé got a lot more attention once she took her graduation year off.
“I know it’s anecdotal, but I decided to follow the editorial track when I was 27. I was a lot older than the other people gunning for assistant positions, and when I had my graduation year and all my other jobs listed, the hiring managers would assume I didn’t want to be an assistant. That wasn’t true. I didn’t lie, but I found that not having years on my résumé made it a lot easier to keep the focus of the discussion based on what I could do and how I could benefit the company.”
7. Tailor You Résumés for Different Jobs
Based on what job you’re applying for, you should have résumés that highlight different experiences and skill sets, says Leavy-Detrick. For example, say your dream job is a copywriter, but you’re also applying for admin assistant positions to pay the bills. Highlight your copy writing experiences on one résumé by putting internships and freelance projects front and center. You should have a separate admin assistant résumé that focuses on the office manager job you held or the fact you managed multiple phone lines during an internship. Yes, it’s annoying, but not as annoying as having a generic résumé ignored by dozens of hiring managers.
8. Add Volunteer Experience
If your résumé looks a little bare, or you have a lot of temp or freelance jobs, consider buffering it with a volunteer position, especially if you’ve taken on a leadership role or did major fundraising. Anything that shows you have the skills needed to succeed in a workplace, suggests Leavy-Detrick.
Think in terms of a transferable skill set. Did you manage $50,000 in donations? Coordinate a 150-person event? Successfully solicit donations from 10 businesses, netting $100,000 in goods? These skills are ones that a hiring manager can immediately visualize as beneficial in the office.
9. Delete “References on Request”
It takes up a line and it’s obvious. Other obvious lines to delete: The fact you’re familiar with Microsoft Word or Excel — newsflash, that’s like saying you know how to use your smartphone. And résumé experts are split about having a line offering hobbies or interests: If you must include (or to fill the line on the LinkedIn profile) make sure you choose something that makes you seem like a great job candidate. For example, marathon training shows dedication. Seeking out the perfect food truck taco? Not so much.
10. Eliminate Soft Skills
Your résumé should be all about the numbers, along with concise descriptions of what you do on a daily basis. Don’t waste valuable space trying to explain the intricacies of your job, such as your ability to manage a micromanager or how you mentor younger employees. Those skills are better saved for interviews when you can really go into detail.
Don’t worry so much about chronological order, especially if you’ve had a few concurrent freelance or contract roles, suggests Leavy-Detrick. Employers are much more interested in seeing that you have relevant experience in the industry that you’re applying to. If you’ve had to keep yourself afloat with temp work during employment lulls, explain that in the interview, but keep your paper résumé focused on the gigs you’ve had that match the current job description you’re applying for.
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