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In order to get the job you want, you need to focus on the very best qualities you possess in your resume, and present a compelling narrative that will interest hiring managers. Employing the right resume writing strategies and incorporating them into your documents will help you bypass some of the common pitfalls candidates face, and help you create a professional presentation of your qualifications.
Check out our expert strategies below that will get your resume noticed:
There are many different programs and techniques out there that claim to make you an employer magnet or make your resume “unrejectable” but predicting what will work for the job you want changes as fast as employers (and the ATS programs they use to scan resumes) can update their requirements. The only truly effective resume strategy is knowing what a resume is and how to best show off your qualifications with one.
The purpose of a resume is to introduce yourself to an employer and prove you’re the best fit for the role by explaining your most relevant skills and experiences. To do this effectively your document needs to show these essential qualities:
This all boils down to being able to talk about how you created results, got something done on time, contributed to your organization and the steps you took to get there. The advice below can tell you how and where to place this key information in your resume.
Most resumes are written to entice and interest an employer so the most effective thing you can do is to stop thinking about yourself as the main point of the resume. Instead, you should build your document around what your reader is looking for and expecting to see. The description of the job will tell you what the recruiter is looking for; to begin the writing process note specific skills and experiences that the job requires. Then, in your resume, plan to describe yourself in the same way the job description talks about the ideal applicant. For example, if the description says they’re looking for a “Self-motivated and detail-oriented customer service representative with three years of experience,” highlight any skills and past achievements that show you match what the role requires (e.g., three years of experience, organized, customer-focused).
There should be no wasted words in a resume. Keep your sentences concise, and present your information in a direct and effective manner. Make sure that each and every piece of information you are using is relevant to the job you’re applying for. If tasks that you performed for one particular employer are not going to enhance your resume, then leave them out and keep your resume strong. Read each statement carefully and remove any words or phrases that don’t add to your message. Keep your resume as a single-page document unless you’re applying for a senior role and have plenty of experience to back up your qualifications. Two-page resumes are less common and run the risk of losing a hiring manager’s attention, especially if you don’t include information that targets what the job wants.
You should never submit exactly the same resume to more than one job application. It’s important to personalize your resume so it fits each job you apply to. Ensure your resume template follows applicant tracking system (ATS) standards. Choose a professional font like Arial, Helvetica and Times New Roman. Mention the exact skills and keywords that are in the job posting and include professional experience that directly relates to the responsibilities of the new job. This way, you’ll be able to capture all the requirements and indicators for each job application. When you keep an ATS favorable resume strategy in mind you’re presenting yourself exactly the way the company wants to see an applicant.
With each entry on your resume, you have to lead with the best information you have. While a compelling narrative is necessary, a resume is not a short story that relies on a surprise ending to be effective. Instead of just throwing every skill you have and listing every responsibility from past jobs, focus on the important ones. Mention work accomplishments that show off how good you are and make sure to include a number or quantifiable metrics, (e.g., “Handled 20+ customers per day by effectively identifying needs, quickly gaining trust, approaching complex situations and resolving problems.”).
It’s important to make sure that your resume can be viewed by both systems and hiring managers so keep the look of your resume uniform by properly using white space and using the same font throughout your resume. Being consistent with the elements you use to present your information is important for both visual appeal and readability. For example, if you bold the job title on one of your job history entries, then make sure that you bold all of your job titles to keep the look of your resume consistent. It’s also important to proofread all documents as your resume might have the right “look” and impressive credentials, but all of your hard work might go to waste if the recruiter finds a typo. Reread your resume a few times before sending it in, checking for accuracy, grammar and spelling. You can save time with our Resume Builder, which has customizable resume templates and features a handy spell-checking tool that scans your resume.Build my resume
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Yes. There are a lot of systems and biases in place that make it difficult to have your work and experience recognized by the right people. An effective resume strategy is important because it helps put a path in place for you to modify your documents and portfolio in a way that helps get your foot in the door.
To ensure your professional resume hits the right key points, use the friendly step-by-step guidance our Resume Builder provides.
A good resume emphasizes a combination of work history, skills and education in order to show a hiring manager that you are the right fit for the job you are applying for. Meaning that when it comes to crafting your resume you should:
Students and those writing their first resumes should still begin with a skills-first approach, they just have to think beyond general job duties and focus their resume on transferable skills that would best show their qualifications. It’s also advised to discuss the reason for your interest and connection to the industry or company briefly in your summary or objective statement (and more in-depth in your cover letter) to give the hiring manager an idea of what drew you to the role in the first place.
The best way to improve any skill is to find the time to practice it. When it comes to resume writing, the thing you want to practice most is turning your focus from the common responsibilities of your role to the things you achieved. A bad resume lacks both measurable and individualized outcomes. Instead of listing the tasks you perform or talking about your company’s accomplishments, explain how you used your skills to create measurable results and the significance of what you accomplished. Knowing the significant contributions you’ve made to the company and how to write about them can help improve every section of your resume but especially the work experience section, which will help hiring managers recognize your qualifications faster. For further reference, check out our resume examples for specific jobs, which can help you shape your own resume.
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