Your first chance to make a good impression, a top-notch resume can considerably boost your chances of being called in for a job interview.
It therefore goes without saying that a resume must be flawless. Typos or formatting mistakes could create doubt in a hiring manager’s mind as to a candidate’s level of attention to detail (and, frankly, professionalism).
Follow these 7 steps to help break your resume out of the pack.
1. Make it interesting
Yes, you want it to sound professional, but that doesn’t mean using the same old dry phrasing from the template you found online. A clean graphic layout and compelling wording goes a long way in grabbing the attention of a hiring manager whose eyes are starting to cross from all the resumes he’s seen.
2. Use real business cases, not corporate jargon
Include names, describe projects, highlight the impact your role had in each case.
3. Always speak in terms of your contributions and achievements
Don’t just lay out basic job descriptions. Your resume should read like a list of your accomplishments, not like your day planner.
4. Numbers always speak louder than words
Was a project a success? Exactly how successful was it? Use growth rates, revenue increases, and numbers that illustrate the actual impact your work had on the business’s bottom and top lines. Don’t be afraid to list stats that illustrate your successes.
5. Cover all your bases, but keep it concise
If you have 15 years of experience under your belt, your knowledge may be vast. Keep your resume short and interesting by highlighting only your most recent and relevant experiences.
6. Demonstrate consistency and growth
How often have you changed jobs? What has your job progression been like? Have you stayed stagnant at a certain level, or have you steadily climbed the ranks? These are the sort of things a hiring manager assesses at first glance. A good resume shows a perfect balance between progression and stability.
7. Paper resumes are still important
Of course, in today's age, hiring managers often visit LinkedIn profiles to skim through an applicant's experience and presentation. Most hiring managers however do still rely on having a paper resume to provide them with a more curated and in-depth summary of one's career.
A great resume is only a foot in the door, of course. Good interview skills and actual talent are paramount to landing the job of your dreams.
Have you decided to take your career in a new direction?
Read our tips on how to start your job search.