If you’re in the midst of your job search chances are you’ve turned to the internet for resume guidance to help create the best resume possible. In an attempt to make your resume the holy grail of resumes that will land you the perfect job it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the information available to you. We’ve put together a list of resume tips we haven’t seen on many resume guides and we’ve also included some of our favourite articles to help you put together a resume that represents you and your skills appropriately.
There are countless articles out there providing helpful resume tips for job seekers but we wanted to compile a list of beneficial tips that we don’t see on very many lists, or that we feel need some clarification, so you can create a resume that is clear, concise, and accurately displays your talent and ability.
Include Both Accomplishments & Daily Tasks
There are resume articles out there that will tell you not to include your daily tasks when describing your last job. While it is important to describe how you helped the company excel and to list your achievements at said company it is also important to inform your potential employer that you know how to complete the tasks relevant to that job. Many companies have different titles for different job positions so on first glance based on job title an employer may not realize that your previous job included the appropriate skills to succeed in the job you’re applying for. A description of the job tasks could help show that your skills are relevant to the job new job and, combined with your achievements in your previous job, you have the ability to succeed. It is important to find a balance between describing tasks and listing accomplishments in order to accurately portray your time at the company.
Use Alternate Wording
Everyone uses the same descriptive words when listing their accomplishments and skills. Try to find exciting and relevant wording that is different that what is found on most resumes. If you can find a different way to phrase your resume it is more likely to catch the eye of the hiring manager and draw them in, making them want to read more. Try using this list of synonyms from Resume Resource to help spice up your resume wording.
Don’t Include Skill Ratings
Many new resume templates have a section like the one shown to the right where you list your skills and rate them, whether on a star-based system, 1-10, etc. This is not a strong section to include on your resume. Unless you are an expert in every skill you list you will only be drawing attention to that fact that you are not an expert at these things. Listing your skills on a resume should play a positive role in helping you get the job but drawing attention to the fact that you are not highly skilled puts a negative view of your ability in the mind of the employer, even if they don’t require expert-level skills. It’s best if this is just avoided all together, even if it does look visually appealing on a resume.
List Relevant Experience First
Make sure to prominently display your skills and work experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for first. This may require you to alter your resume or have multiple resumes depending on the types of jobs you’re applying for. It is unnecessary to include work experience from years prior that bears no relevance to the job you are applying for today. If your resume warrants it, it is ok to have 2 pages, as long as the information is relevant to the job you are applying for. Remember, most hiring managers take less than 10 seconds to determine if a candidate is worth pursuing so make sure to highlight the important skills on the first page so you can attract the employer to your resume with your most relevant skills and experience. Check out this article from Undercover Recruiter about how to tailor your resume to a specific job.
Name Your Resume File Appropriately
Employers deal with hundreds of resumes each day and coming across 99 that are named ‘resume’ can cause quite an issue. Many times the employer will be forced to rename the file in order to save it or send it to someone else. These types of issues just cause one more roadblock in your chance to land that job. Naming your file with your first and last name is a simple way to avoid confusion and ensure that your resume is hassle-free and will get into the right hands.
In addition to the tips listed above we want to make sure you have all the tools required to put together a resume that is the best reflection of your skills and abilities. The Muse has fantastic articles of things to include and things to avoid on your resume:
If you follow these tips along with our tips listed above there is no doubt you will be able to create an unstoppable document that will succeed in helping you find your next job.