The resume is still one of the most important tools for finding the job you want. While the process of sending out resumes has changed over the years, this document is still the most effective way to inform potential employers about your qualifications. The following are some essential tips to keep in mind to create a compelling resume that will get you more job interviews.
Focus on Your Accomplishments
Many resumes consist of lists of jobs and duties. While these are necessary to mention, you should also remember to explain exactly what you contributed to the work environment. For example, if you had a job in customer service, you might say that you “helped customers solve technical problems with the software, which contributed to the company’s growth.” This tells people reading your resume that you are a problem solver, not just someone who carried out certain tasks.
Proofread Your Resume and Keep it Current
A resume is not a static document that stays the same year after year. When you make corrections and updates, you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch. However, it’s crucial that you proofread it and make sure everything is up to date. This includes your contact information, your most recent positions and any new education or skills you’ve acquired.
Keep Your Resume Concise
While you want to include all of the critical information about your background, make sure your resume doesn’t drag on to the point where it’s tedious to read. A readable resume should be between one and two pages. If yours is longer, look for ways you can pare it down and make it easier to digest. Remember that employers receive lots of resumes and they don’t want to spend any more time than necessary on each one.
Discuss Your Unique Strengths and Talents
While some of this will come across when listing your positions and accomplishments, it’s also a good idea to explicitly mention your particular strengths, such as “excellent communication skills” or “strong closer” for a sales job. If you want more clarity on your strongest qualities, you may want to take an assessment test from a place like Career Assessment Site.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Soft Skills
When you list your education and positions, don’t neglect to list experiences where you learned valuable skills, even if they weren’t paid positions. This could be internships, volunteer positions or clubs you belonged to in school. You can use these experiences as a way to showcase your soft skills, versatility and ability to complete projects.
Getting your resume read is often the first step towards getting the position of your choice. That’s why you should make every effort to make this document as impressive and informative as possible. Keep these tips in mind and remember to return to your resume frequently and make any appropriate updates.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber