We live in a time now where everything has suddenly changed. People are still trying to stockpile hand sanitizer, the stock market has crashed and recovered all within 2 months, and unfortunately, a lot of people are out of work.
I want to place focus on the last point. Being unemployed is not ideal, especially with what is occurring in the world now.
Should you be job hunting, looking for a second job, or if you need some ideas on how to touch up your resume, these tips will help make your resume shine!
What you should always keep in mind is that a resume is truly your first impression when you submit a job application, or when contacted by a recruiter. It is a part of your personal brand, and you must invest in it as you would anything else to increase its value.
With the intro out the way, let us begin!
Formatting your resume is extremely important, and this is for two reasons:
The first reason is because of those pesk Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that companies use to mass filter applicants.
The second reason is when your resume does reach the hands and eyes of a human, they can read and comprehend it easily and quickly.
You wouldn’t believe how often I would see applicants’ resumes dismissed because of the poor design.
When formatting your resume, you need to make sure that it is ATS compliant. This means you should not place pictures or use complex fonts on your resume. You should consider using either one of the fonts listed below:
- Times New Roman
Lastly, keep your font sizes consistent. Some examples are, keeping the bullet points on your job history at 10px, italicizing the role location along with the start and end dates with a size of 10px.
Another thing to take note of are the margins in your document.
The golden rule of margins is to make sure they are no smaller than .5 inches and no larger than 1 inch.
To put this in perspective, if you have a lot of content, use a margin of .5 inches so that you can fit it all on one page. If you are lacking content in your resume, increase the margin size to maybe .75 inches to 1 inch.
File Type and File Naming
To better protect the formatting of your document, you should save your resume as a .pdf document (Adobe).
Consistency in your formatting is crucial, always keep that in mind.
2. Using Keywords and Highlighting Skills
What do I mean by keywords?
Well, keywords are words that would highlight your skill set, or more importantly, highlight the skills required for the role you’re applying to. This should be taken into consideration when accounting for Applicant Tracking Systems, as keywords are entered into the system to filter out resumes that do not match the keywords configured.
For example, if a job description has the below listed as requirements:
- Advanced Excel and Microsoft Office skills
- Familiarity with Data Management
You should add the keywords Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Management to your resume. This can be incorporated into your Core Competencies (Skills) and Professional Experience (Work History) sections.
Now let me be clear, I am not advocating for you to list skills that you do not actually have. Doing this will land you into loads of trouble, and will hurt your reputation should you get caught lying on your resume.
3. Emphasize Accomplishments
Most people make the mistake of only writing their roles and responsibilities in the Professional Experience section.
By doing this, a recruiter may take 10 seconds to review your resume, shrug, and move on to the next resume.
What you want is for the recruiter to view your resume and say to themself, “Wow! This is damn impressive!” and call you immediately afterward.
Highlighting your accomplishments, benchmarks, and awards are what make you stand out among the rest.
For example, let’s say you work as a marketing assistant.
Metrics show there’s a downtrend of visitors to the company’s social media pages. You have worked on various projects that have increased traffic to the company’s social media platforms by 18% using SEO and preparing promotional events.
You want to follow these guidelines when creating the narrative of your accomplishment :
- Describe the problem
- The solution that was implemented
- The end result of the solution
This can be written as:
- “Corrected quarterly downtrend of traffic on social media pages through creating promotional events and SEO strategies, boosting the company’s digital footprint and improving traffic by 18%.
The Problem: There was a quarterly downtrend in the number of visitors visiting the company’s social media page.
The Solution: Promotional events were created and SEO strategies were applied to the social media pages.
The Result: Improved visibility on the internet and created an uptrend of social media visitation.
All in all, write down your accomplishments, create a narrative, and highlight the results of your contributions. Doing this will help you tremendously.
4. Remove the Fluff
No Reference pages
Say it with me, NO REFERENCE PAGES!
They’re useless and just take up extra space. This also includes the little blurb at the bottom that says “References Available Upon Request.”
If a hiring manager wants your references, they will either:
- Ask for them directly.
- You provide them when filling out the job application.
Do not add pictures.
Unless you’re in a creative role where you need to make an Infographic Resume, they just take up space and make you look a bit obnoxious.
It will be better for you to include your LinkedIn page link in your resume if you want people to see your sexy mug.
Now that you have new ways of improving your resume, it is time to start the process of re-inventing your brand. If you found our list of 4 easy tips for improving your resumes helpful, let us know. If you have any questions or want us to delve deeper into a particular topic related to this, contact us and let us know.
Once you have your resume looking brand new, check out some hustles and gigs that you might not have considered: Top 5 Side Hustles for Side Hustlers
Always do your due diligence and keep the Quest alive!