6 Powerful Tips for Creating a Great Resume
Your resume is a critical tool in your job search journey. Unfortunately, hiring managers and recruiters spend about seven seconds reviewing it, so every tiny detail counts. A well-crafted resume helps set you apart from the competition and can be the difference between landing an interview and being overlooked for the job.
Craft an Eye-Catching Resume Using These Constructive Steps
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with such a small-time frame available to capture attention, you need to do it right! In today’s job search market, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes and slim down the applicant pool before reaching a human recruiter.
To help you stand out, here are some tips to help you create a resume that will catch the recruiter’s eye amidst the sea of applicants vying for the same job:
1. Customize it
While it may require more time and effort, tailoring your resume for each position you apply for is critical. Carefully review the job posting for their wants and needs and adjust your resume to include them. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach in your job search is a mistake you should avoid at all costs.
2. Use strategic keywords
Review the job description for keywords and phrases the company uses. Include those that match your skills and experience to increase your chances of making it through the screening software. Be careful not to keyword stuff — you need to sound natural to make a positive impression on the reviewer and avoid getting penalized by sophisticated ATS software that can identify intentional keyword stuffing.
3. Include a professional summary
Place your qualifications front and center, making yourself shine right from the start. Your professional summary acts like an elevator pitch for recruiters and hiring managers. It should be brief, high-impact, and placed at the beginning of your resume.
Within your summary, make sure you:
- Highlight your most relevant skills, experience, and career goals.
- Tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.
- Include keywords found within the job description.
- Explain how your background aligns with the job requirements.
4. Optimize your work experience
Recruiters want to see if your skills match what they’re looking for. Don’t simply list where you worked and call it a day. Craft a compelling work experience section with the following key elements:
- Soft skills. Soft skills are essential and can be the difference between a good and a great candidate. Valuable skills like problem-solving, communication, adaptability, and leadership can make you appear more well-rounded.
- Action verbs. Strong verbs reflect confidence and ability, while weak ones can appear passive. Use strong action words to describe your responsibilities and achievements. Use words like “Managed,” “Led,” or “Achieved” instead of “Assisted” or “Helped.”
- Achievement-based statements. Instead of only listing your job duties, highlight your accomplishments and include numbers, metrics, completed projects, or awards you received to quantify your impact. So, instead of saying “Team Management,” say “Managed a team of 10 customer service agents that reduced their quarterly average handling time by 20%.”
5. Properly format it
With recruiters sometimes receiving hundreds of resumes for each job posting, you should make it as easy to review as possible. Craft a well-structured resume to increase your chances of being seen using the following tips:
- Don’t exceed two pages.
- Avoid large blocks of text to make it easier for them to skim.
- Use bolded subheadings so they stand out.
- Don’t use graphics or columns. The ATS systems can struggle with these formats, potentially causing you to be skipped over.
- Use a professional, easy-to-read font.
- Add bullet points to break up long paragraphs.
6. Proofread and edit
You’re marketing yourself to recruiters — so it’s vital to carefully proofread and edit your resume for typos and grammatical errors to make a positive first impression. Some effective ways to review its accuracy are:
- Read it out loud.
- Have software read it to you, like Word or Google Docs.
- Have someone else take a look at it.
Build an Impressive Resume Through Attention and Effort
Building an impressive resume can be challenging, but by following the tips above, you can get noticed by hiring staff and avoid being bypassed by ATS software. The Business Community Network (BCN) helps support local businesses by providing networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities. Contact our team to discuss how we can help your business thrive!