It’s time to put that humility aside and show the working world what you’ve got to offer. Not sure how or where to start when it comes to updating your resume? We’ve got you.
Here are five tips on writing a really great resume that’ll score you that next big step.
1. Stand Out From Your Competition
...but don’t pick the first resume template on Word. The number of resumes that use the same template is infuriating for recruiters—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 personal assistant or operations professional, use visual cues to help organise the information in a way that demonstrates your attention to detail. If you're a childcare professional, keep things playful and relaxed (but professional). Use layout, colours and fonts to best accentuate the key information and make your relevant skills jump off the page and into the hands of the hiring manager.
2. Keep It Relevant
When you’re applying for your first full-time job, sure, your high school Maccas position can be helpful in demonstrating your work ethic. But the more experienced you get, the less relevant those older positions become. Go through your resume and ruthlessly remove anything that doesn't relate to the role you’re applying for. Three summers on drive-thru is no mean feat, but it probably won’t get you a middle-management role.
3. Contextualise Your Skills
Your resume doesn’t have to be a static document. It's worth your while to tweak the way you articulate your experience to suit each job you apply for, and put your skills into the context of the new role.
Rather than saying “Managed customer loyalty program.” Try saying, “Took the responsibility of managing customer loyalty, which involved building relationships 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 with your 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, and how you'll serve them. You could share some ideas on new projects, or an organisational system you developed at your old job that you think could work well for them. At the very least it shows a strong work ethic.
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 (which is increasingly used), 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.
Resume? Check! Now let’s finish the deal with these tips for writing a killer cover letter.
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: Urban List