If you’re looking for a new job, your resume is likely one of the most important documents you’ll ever write. While it might seem daunting to create a polished, professional document, there are some basic rules and techniques that can help you stand out from the competition and land an interview.
Start with a strong summary. A good summary can entice hiring managers to read your entire resume, and it can help you focus on the most relevant experiences. This is especially important if you’re changing careers or have gaps in your employment history.
Consider the keywords in the job description. Hiring managers use software to scan resumes for certain words that are related to their positions, and those words can be an indicator of whether you’ll be a good fit or not. If you can, try to include those keywords in your resume. This will ensure that your resume isn’t filtered out by an automated system and may get you a better chance at getting a second look.
Use a concise, professional tone. Avoid writing in first-person or including personal pronouns like “I” or “you.” This is inappropriate and can make you appear immature. You should also exclude personal information, such as your age, height and weight, health or marital status, religion, political affiliation and club membership. While these things might be acceptable in some cultures, they aren’t appropriate in the United States.
Organize your work experience section wisely. Put the most recent position at the top and add three to six bullet points describing your job duties and accomplishments. Be sure to start each bullet with an action verb and use numbers to show the impact of your work, such as revenue growth, number of leads generated, or customer satisfaction levels.
If you’re switching industries, be selective about what you include in your past experience. For example, if you’re shifting from restaurant management to IT support, the skills that made you a successful manager might not be as transferable as your technical abilities. You might want to highlight those instead.
Be sure to spell check. Typos and errors can be the quickest way to send your resume into the reject pile. It’s also a good idea to have someone else read your resume for proofreading and grammar mistakes. They can often be missed by spell-checking software. Even worse, a misspelling can demonstrate that you’re careless and unprofessional.Resume writing advice