I often help individuals who reach out to me for job search advice. They are great at what they do; they have moved from job to job or company to company by being hired based on their reputation by former co-workers, supervisors, managers, or friends. So, they have never needed a resume, and often have not even written one for years.
Sounds like you?
If it has been years since you have been on the job hunt, the process of getting a job can be challenging. From writing aa excellent cover letter to acing an interview, there are always several challenging steps to landing an open position. One of the essential elements of the job application process, of course, is the resume. Did you know that companies receive about 250 resumes (on average) for every job opening?
So, if you want to make sure your resume stands out from the rest when you apply for a job, there are some essential resume writing rules you should follow. These guidelines will help ensure that you not only get noticed (and contacted) by your potential employer, but also that you present yourself like the impressive, consummate professional that you are.
Keep it Simple
One of the most critical elements of a resume is easy readability since employers and hiring managers do not have much time to read each resume they receive. Recruitment studies show that, on average, recruiters spend only about 5-7 seconds looking at a resume during the hiring process. So, your resume must help readers take in a lot of important information about you in just a glance. For that reason, make sure the resume is laid out clearly, with a simple font that is large enough to read (aim for Arial 10-12 pt.). Also, make sure to use bullet points instead of paragraphs - they are much more comfortable for readers to digest.
This one might seem simple--but you would be surprised how detrimental it can be if you do not get it right. Include your contact information at the top of your resume. Be sure to include your address, phone number, email address, and social media links, so potential employers have multiple ways of getting in touch with you. Standing out is pointless if you make it hard for the recruiter or hiring manager to contact you.
An easy way to prevent that from happening is to add hyperlinks to your phone number and email. Ideally, you want the recruiter to be able to contact you directly from your resume. If you use social media as part of your job search, then provide hyperlinks to those as well.
You know this section is spot on if, after reading it, the reader has a clear sense of why you are a perfect fit for their needs. Use some descriptive adjectives but also include facts or data unique to you. For instance, rather than saying "Has a strong track record of sales results," you might write, "Leads sales strategies that grow revenues 30% annually and transforms underperforming teams to President's Club winners."
Then, weave in keywords from job postings of interest. A review of four or five intriguing job posts often yields standard requirements. By including language in this paragraph that aligns with these postings, you have helped the reader connect the dots to how you are a perfect fit.
List of Skills
Create a list of skills that you have that are relevant to the job you are seeking. Do you know how to use specific complicated software related to your industry? Or, are you an experienced bartender that can whip up craft cocktails? Think about what you can do that make you particularly suited for your position, then write them down. Identifying your skills is an excellent way to help set yourself apart from your competition.
Make sure you include all the relevant experience you have had on your resume. Your experience should not only include a description of the daily duties you had at past positions--but also all of your accomplishments, standout results, and contributions. Think about how the things you achieved in previous jobs relate to what you will try to accomplish in the position you are applying for, and be sure to include those when you describe your experience.
You should include all of your relevant experience in education, training courses taken, and certifications making sure your list their full names with acronyms, where you took them, and what day/month/year.
If you plan to apply for a job, start by writing a resume highlighting how well-qualified you are for the position. A great resume paired with a well-written cover letter is an essential step in getting you in the door for an interview - and an interview is an excellent opportunity to prove you are the right candidate for the job.
To Your Success!
Thank you to these contributing sources - Glass Door, Virginia Franco, and Dan Scalco