There is unquestionably no shortage of tips out there about making your resume shine bright, and we know how frustrating it can be to hear suggestions from one person and then contradictions from another. Let’s face it; there isn’t a 1-way-is-the-only-way to write your resume. Still, what are some tips that you should consider?
Think about your keywords.
Resumes are often first reviewed by a software program, not a human. As you develop your resume, think about what makes you stand out and the requisite skills you bring to the open position. Additionally, as you are scanning job postings, you can map the skills that you have to the keywords they outline for the candidate they are seeking to hire. And, a tip from the pros: Don’t describe yourself and your skills using the verbs and adjectives in every line of your resume – be creative!
Cut the fluff.
Making something short and sweet can be really hard to do! Take the time to review sentences that may not be saying much of anything or simply too vague. How many times do you think a recruiter has read “strategic thinker” or “problem solver” in their lives? Yeah, a lot. Take the time to wordsmith practical and specific skills that show you’re a proven time and time again to be a rock star. Are you feeling stuck? Ask a former boss or co-worker to describe your work in their words for some inspo.
Always be optimizing.
Instead of something that is one and done, think of your resume as an ever-evolving document. As you invest in yourself with volunteering, organizations you are a part of, new responsibilities at your current job, you should be adding these to your resume. Over time, you may develop a few different versions of your resume, too: That’s great! You can use these to cater your resume to specific job openings, which is advanced-level-awesomeness in action.
Name the file.
This seems almost too obvious, yet one thing that HR folks say over and over again: Don’t just call your resume “resume”! Use your first and last name in the file so they can quickly locate your resume when they are getting ready to share. It’s the little things that can help you stand out. And on that note…
Find thoughtful ways to stand out.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person reading a seemingly endless pile of resumes and ask yourself, “what’s going to help me be noticed?”. Maybe it’s using logos to show the places you’ve worked or using icons to show off your top skills. Keep it simple as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion from someone you trust.
Don’t panic, and do your best to have fun with this process. And let’s hear from you, too: What have you done to spice up your resume, or any tips you’d like to share?