If you’re stuck at home and getting a bit tired of baking banana bread and washing your Converse, now could be a great time to review your resume. We know, taking your next career leap is hardly top of your priorities list right now, but distance from your everyday work routine could be just what you need to articulate your skills into a resume that’s a total job offer magnet.
Here are five tips on writing a really great resume that’ll score you that next big step.
#1 Create Visual Appeal
...but don’t pick the first resume template on Word. The amount of reumes that use the same template is infuriating—and definitely won’t make you stand out. Try to use visuals that appeal to the role you’re applying for. If you’re a designer or a creative, show that off with a custom designed resume. If you’re a personal assistant or operations professional, use visual cues to help organise the information in a way that demonstrates your attention to detail.
Use layout, colours and fonts to best accentuate the key information, to make your relevant skills jump off the page and into the hands of the hiring manager.
#2 Cull Your High School Jobs
When you’re applying for your first full time job, sure, your high school Macca’s position can be helpful in demonstrating your work ethic. But the more experienced you get, the less necessary those older positions become.
Go through your resume and ruthlessly remove anything that isn’t going to get you the role you’re applying for. Three summers on drive-thru is no mean feat, but it probably won’t get you promoted to senior manager.
#3 Put Your Skills Into Context
Your resume doesn’t have to be a static document. It can be really worth your while to tweak the way you articulate your experience to suit each job you apply for, and put your skills into context of the new role.
Rather than saying “Managed customer loyalty program.” Try saying, “Took the responsibility of managing the customer loyalty program, which involved building relationships with long term customers and representing the brand at events.”
Each skill you list is an opportunity to demonstrate how well-suited you are to the job you’re applying for, so link your experiences to the new role as closely as you can. This makes things much easier for the hiring manager. Rather than having to assess whether your last job has sufficient transferable skills to the role they’re hiring for, you’ve done the analysis for them—and served it to them on a plate.
#4 Create An Accompanying Document
The job market is more competitive than ever, so take every opportunity to stand out. If you’re in a creative role, there’s a high chance you’ll have an accompanying portfolio—but that’s not to say you can’t go the extra mile if you’re in a more procedural role.
Whether you submit something extra upon application, or prepare something to take to your interview, flexing your skills could be the difference between getting hired or not.
When creating supporting documents, try to make it about the company you’re applying for. Focus on how you’ll serve them. You could share some ideas on new projects, or perhaps you built a really great organisational system at your old job that you think could work well for them. At the very least it shows a strong work ethic. Taking a swing is seldom penalised.
#5 Use Keywords From The Job Description
We said it once and we’re sayin’ it again. Your resume does not need to be a static document. Tweak it for each job you’re applying for, and pepper keywords from the job description throughout—with purpose, of course. Not only is this helpful for getting your application through screening software, but it helps hiring managers who are skim-reading tons of applications.
Oh, and it’s so obvious it didn’t even make the top five. But please, use a professional email address. We’re sure firstname.lastname@example.org is dear to your heart, but it’s time to let go.
Alright. Resume—check! Now let’s get you ready to interview like a boss with these ten thought-provoking questions to ask the panel. Hello, yes, dream job? I’m coming for ya.
Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get financially confident.
Image Credit: Alle Fvinicius