Whether you’re actively in the job market or have secured long term employment with a company you enjoy, it’s always a good idea to periodically brush up on your resume. As the years crawl by, you slowly accumulate new skills, tackle new challenges, and become a sharper member of your workforce, no matter how many positions you’ve held. Your resume serves as a quick-reference snapshot of your complete working and academic background, which is why it’s imperative that your resume is formatted and presented in the most professional way possible. Let’s dive into a few resume writing tips!
Unless you are one of the few in design/advertising professions, it’s best to stick to a conservative format on your resumes. Use clean, easy to read fonts and be very selective on when you bold or italicize text. Use simple bullet points to describe your role and duties under each Work Experience entry. As a rule of thumb, resumes for competitive positions are generally scanned for less than 30 seconds each—so even if you have the most impressive background in the world, a recruiter may toss it aside if the content is difficult to sift through. If you feel like you don’t have a great foundation to start, here is a great resource that will give you the basic framework of a professional resume.
Customize it for Each Application
There’s nothing easy about the entire job hunt process (unless you connect with the employment experts at Acloché, of course). Although the process can seem overly time consuming, it’s important not to cut corners. This means that you should cater your resume to each position you apply for. For example, if you are applying for a position that you know will require you to be working with others on a daily basis, try to tweak some of your work history to highlight previous teamwork-oriented jobs.
Hit Those Buzzwords
This goes hand-in-hand with the second tip above. Are you ready to customize your resume, but not sure where to start? Revert back to the job post! Employers will clearly list the qualities that they are seeking in new employees, and this will often include words or phrases that are easily translatable to your resume. Maybe you’ll see words like “strategic” or “fast-paced” being emphasized—find a way to include those words in your resume as well.
This resume crafting technique has three key benefits. The first one is obvious: you’ll illustrate that you have the qualities the employer is looking for. In addition to that, you’ll show that you’ve carefully read and understand the job itself, showing a little initiative already. And finally, some HR departments use software that scans resumes and is specifically looking for these keywords. So small changes can a have a big impact—anything to help your resume stand out!
Brag a Little
One common resume mistake is simply listing the job descriptions of your previous positions without including anything about your personal experience in that role. Did you accomplish a big task? Did you exceed goals? Did you come up with a great new idea? Now is your time to shine! Try to include at least one bullet point per job title that reflects how you faired in the role. This is a fast way to separate yourself from the herd.
Your Previous Job Applications are a Resource
If you’ve held a lot of positions over the years, it’s easy to forget what your tasks once were. A quick way to help you fill out your resume with accuracy is to rewind and hunt down your previous job applications. They usually have a concise list of basic tasks ready to go! It’s doubtful that you have a physical job application/flyer available from a previous job, but check your email history and see what you can find, or even see if the company is currently hiring for the same position you once had. Just make sure you put everything in your own words!