Most will agree that a sterling resume greatly improves your chances of landing the job of your choosing. But what does a sterling resume look like and more importantly what does it contain? In that vein, the decision was made to scour the top three resume building tip websites and see what they offered. The results are here.
Searching “resume writing tips” on Google, produced the following three top search results. They are all worth your time to read but for time’s sake the commonalities between the three are the focus of this article. If you want to peruse them, they are linked at the bottom of this page.
#1: Know the purpose of your resume
All writing forms have a particular purpose in mind. A memo is different from a cover letter, which is different from a dissertation and so forth. Resumes have a particular purpose in mind: to win you an interview. Nothing more, nothing less.
A good resume functions the same way an advertisement does: It tells you not just what the product does, but what you will gain by buying it. In terms of a resume, the product is you. So why should the employer grant you an interview? That brings us to tip number two.
#2: Focus on achievements, not just responsibilities
Sure, it’s important to list what you did on a resume, your job responsibilities and so forth. But what presents your responsibilities in the best light? Focusing them around achievements or goals you’ve hit while doing your responsibilities on the job.
Take the following two statements that could be listed on a resume. I wrote abridged versions of classic novels versus I turned 70,000-word classic novels into 18,000-word readable editions that target English Language Learners under three-week deadlines. Lengthier, to be sure, but the second statement has more power and not just due to specificity. It’s a responsibility turned into an achievement.
#3: Target your employer
Many people create a standard resume and send it off to every job opening available, which saves time but greatly decreases the chances of landing an interview. Tailor your resume to the employer, which means highlighting skills and achievements directly related to the position you’re applying for and the company you’re trying to be hired by.
This is especially true if you include an objective on your resume, which many do not even recommend anymore. The more specific language you use, the better.
#4: Add power words and effective titles
Ever wonder how search engines within job sites allocate findings? Search engines use algorithms to determine which content is most relevant to the search phrase that is being used. That means it’s time to brush up on the latest business terms floating about concerning the position you’re applying for—and use them.
The same goes for common language within a resume. Think action verbs instead of passive, and try always to use language that will interest or even captivate the audience you’re trying to impress.
This almost goes without saying but must be reiterated for its importance. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Applicants using resumes with typographical errors have a slim chance of being invited for an interview.
Along these lines, any use of bold, italics, or underlining must be consistent throughout the resume. The idea is to create a visually appealing document, one that a hiring manager wants to read. Keep typeface consistent and settle on a basic font.
And those are just a few of the many, many resume tips found on these sites. One even has 44 tips. For the record, here are the sites used to compile this short list of resume writing tips:
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