Resume writing is something of an art. It’s an important art to master. A resume can make or break your success during your job search. Even in a low unemployment environment with a job-rich market, your resume could be the reason you’re getting callbacks (or not)!
If you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, or even if you’re just starting out, take a look at this guide to resume writing. Sprucing up your resume to better represent your skills and experience is never a mistake.
When writing a resume, many people tend to list their duties and responsibilities. They often do this in the following format: “was responsible for overseeing a team” or “duties included entering data.”
Did you just yawn? The hiring manager reading over the resume is likely to! Instead of following this dull format, think about how you can make your resume more exciting. You can accomplish this by using action-oriented verbs.
Instead of listing responsibilities or duties, think about the actions you actually had to complete. Instead of writing that you were responsible for entering data, write that you entered data.
Proofread Again and Again
Even the best writers slip up from time to time. No matter how careful you are, there’s likely a mistake hiding somewhere in your resume.
It’s why one of the best and most common resume writing tips is actually to proofread your work. You should edit and proofread your resume more than once before you send it out to potential employers. Almost nothing lands you in the discard pile faster than a typo or an errant comma.
Think About Design
Resume writing should focus on the writing itself. What words do you use to describe your previous jobs? What information do you include?
You also need to think about how you lay out the information you provide. Design can help (or hinder) a reader as they move through your resume. You can use different fonts and colours to highlight different kinds of information. Good design helps the reader understand and move through your resume, picking up the key details you want them to retain.
Poor design has the opposite effect. While making content decisions about what you include on the resume in the first place is important, so too are design decisions. Give careful consideration to design and layout during resume writing.
Do you need to list every single job you’ve ever held? What about all of your skills? You may be adept at using a computer. Unless it’s relevant to the job, you may not want to include it. Similarly, you probably don’t need to include information about your public school years if you’ve listed university or college education.
Exercise some critical thinking about what’s important for a potential employer in this field to know about you. You may have extensive experience in another field, but it may not be relevant. Your resume is not a curriculum vitae and you don’t need to include everything you’ve ever done.
Pay Attention to Trends
The world of resume writing and best practices change almost constantly. Be sure you check out what the current best practices are as you prepare your resume.
Take, for example, the fact that a few years ago, most employers wanted you to include references by default. Now, references are more often provided on an as-needed basis. The same is true of the length of a resume. There was a time when one-page resumes were very popular. The current trend is back to two-page resumes.
Follow the tips here and stay on top of trends when you’re engaged in resume writing. You’ll be sure to come up with a document that truly represents you and puts your best foot forward. If you need a hand, don’t forget a local recruiter like Liberty Staffing can also give you some advice!