Resume Checklist: How to Make Your Resume Flawless
With time and attention spans in short supply today, just six seconds determine whether a hiring manager will give your resume further consideration or not. Every word counts, and your resume should include strategic details that draw attention. Follow these tips to create a resume that makes a strong first impression.
Looks do Matter
A well-designed resume is more likely to get noticed. Even the least computer-savvy job seeker can create a streamlined, pleasing design for the information they include. Think carefully about how you use space on the page. A few techniques that draw attention include flipping the page orientation from portrait to landscape, choosing a bold color for section headings, and picking a modern font that is both beautiful and highly readable.
Get to the Point
Stuffing your resume with words may seem impressive, but verbosity is actually a big turnoff. If a hiring manager gets tired just looking at your resume, none of your carefully chosen words will actually get read. Compose a resume that describes the details of your achievements in as few words as possible. Editing for brevity takes more time, but it's well worth the effort.
Can You Skim It?
It's nice to imagine that hiring managers will read every word on your resume, but the reality is that just six seconds only leaves time for a skim. This brief timeframe makes it vital to ensure that the most critical information is easy to locate and digest. For instance, you can bold your various job titles and bullet the duties and outcomes you were responsible for so that hiring managers can determine whether you are a match for their needs as quickly as possible.
Start with a Summary
Rather than opening your resume with an objective, which is an outdated tactic, opt for a summary of your professional experience, qualifications, and notable achievements. Use this section to tell a clear, confident story about what you bring to the table. Include keywords from the desired job description in your summary to show that your employment history directly supports the company's current needs.
There's No Room for Error
Triple-check the spelling, details, and grammar in your resume for accuracy, then ask a professional mentor or a person who's already working in your desired field, to proofread it for you. Be sure your contact information is complete and up-to-date, especially if you're working from an old template. Make it easy for the hiring manager both to contact you and learn more by including hyperlinks to your email address and LinkedIn profile, which should be updated with all the details you can't always include on your one-page resume such as awards, volunteer experience, and secondary job responsibilities.
Your resume is your first and often your last chance to stand out from the crowd of fellow job seekers. Do your best to create a fresh and flawless resume, and you'll be on your way to land an interview.
Written by Ashford University staff