It may seem mind-blowing, but some people are reluctant to resign from the job they hate just because they dread updating their resume. Sure, writing a winning resume takes time and effort, but it’s not a valid excuse to avoid doing it for years. And with these helpful resume writing tips, everyone can get a great resume and finally land their dream job.
#1 If possible, get professional help
The best way to get a flawless resume is to hire a professional to write it. Most job seekers can read up on keywords, action verbs, and the newest trends in resume writing. But it’s safer to search for local resume services near me and let a resume writing expert do their job. This way, you can be sure your resume will look exactly like recruiters and hiring managers expect.
It is possible to write a decent resume as long as you do your research first. Here are a few things to know before you start writing:
- Key responsibilities of the position you’re applying for.
Look at the job listing for the job you’d like to have and other similar listings. What are some of the main skills and knowledge expected from candidates? Then, mimic them in your resume (without plagiarizing, obviously).
- The company’s values and organizational culture.
Make sure your resume matches what the shareholders and employees of the company you’d like to work at beliefs are. Pay attention to the soft skills you include.
- What the best candidates’ resumes look like.
Use LinkedIn and resume databases to search for the top professionals in the same line of work. Learn from the best.
#3 Use keywords
One of the most important things about resume writing these days is that almost all companies use so-called applicant tracking systems (ATS). Its software helps them find suitable candidates from hundreds of applications and rule out those who are not a match.
To ensure that their resume passes the ATS and reaches the recruiter, job seekers need to include relevant keywords. Some of the most common keywords are the names of the roles, responsibilities, and essential skills, among others. Researching other resumes for similar positions can help with identifying the right keywords.
#4 Opt for a resume summary instead of an objective
Does your resume start with a few sentences about your job search goals, like securing employment as a project manager or something along these lines? Forget it. Resume objectives were popular with job seekers and employers, but that’s no longer the case.
Most recruiters and resume-writing experts recommend starting a resume with a summary instead. It’s an outline of a candidate’s career to date. It should be brief (one to three sentences long) and specific. Mention the amount of experience you have and your most impressive and relevant professional achievements so far.
#5 Include only relevant information and list it correctly
Nothing pisses off recruiters more than a five-page-long resume that lists every position a candidate has ever held, including a summer job at Dairy Queen they had during their senior year in high school. Don’t make the same mistake. Instead, be brief and list only the information that matters for the position you’re applying for.
So if your first-ever job was in customer service ten years ago, and you’re a software engineer now, omit it. Also, the standard that recruiters expect all job seekers to follow is listing previous jobs starting from the most recent one. It’s more relevant, so the person reading your resume should see it first.
#6 Don’t forget about soft skills
One of job seekers’ worst mistakes is focusing only on their hard skills. Sure, they matter. But recruiters and potential employers also care about who a candidate is as a person and whether or not they will fit in the company’s culture. So make sure your skills section has the right balance of hard and soft skills.
Also, don’t only include generic stuff like good under pressure or great time management. Recruiters have seen those thousands of times and are tired of reading the same things repeatedly. So instead, try to be honest (not too honest, though) and find the soft skills that are both relevant to the position and true to who you actually are.
#7 Use action verbs
Every employer appreciates an employee who gets things done. That’s why it’s a good idea for job seekers to convey that they are a doer by using action verbs. These are the verbs that the bullet points in a resume should begin with, particularly in the experience section. Of course, they vary depending on the position and industry. But some of the most frequently used ones include:
- Completed, and so on.
Luckily for candidates who struggle with synonyms, many websites out there list resume action verbs for specific industries and professions—make the most of them. But please keep your creativity under control and be cautious with unconventional options. Recruiters are hardly interested in candidates’ ability to use a thesaurus.
#8 Don’t overdo it with design
Finally, while it’s a good idea to make your resume pretty using templates, remember that less is more. A pop of color here or there does make a resume nice to look at and helps it stand out. But overly artistic fonts and large pictures in the background make resumes unreadable. Don’t risk missing out on your dream work opportunity just to unleash your inner Andy Warhol.
While the best way to get a perfect resume is to order it from a resume writing service, anyone can write a good resume if they’re willing to do the work. Research job listings for similar positions, read other job seekers’ resumes and learn about keywords and action words. Also, think through your summary and include only relevant things, including your soft skills. Good luck!