When a potential employer is reading your resume, they’re going to want to be impressed. However, this is no easy feat: typically, recruiters or potential employers will just skim over your one-page resume, and you’ll want yours to stand out in case there are many applicants.
To make a great first impression, there are general guidelines you can conform to so your resume looks clean and professional while highlighting your unique qualifications. Of course there are obvious tips: don’t have typos or misspellings! However, there are also other helpful hints you may not immediately think of.
Make it easy to read with headings for each section: Sections might include Objective/Summary, Education, Experience and Other Skills
Only put relevant experience on it, especially if you have a lot of work history: Only include the most recent 10-15 years of experience and talk more about jobs and projects that have direct applicability to this position. Your listed experience should paint you as the perfect person for the specific job you are applying for.
Focus on skills: If you do not have a lot of work experience or are switching fields, focus on your transferable skills and explain in your cover letter how the skills you have developed make you the ideal job candidate.
List your most recent experience first: This is going to be most important to hiring managers
Try to keep it to one page if possible: If you have extra information, you can create a personal website and include a link to it on your resume
Use standard formatting: Many employers use an algorithm for resumes before a human ever sees them, so stick to standard formatting (no images or colors) and use basic fonts like Helvetica, Arial or Times Roman in 10- or 12-point size.
If you are applying for a design-oriented job, include a link to your online portfolio rather than incorporating design elements into your resume unless you know that it is going directly to a person.
Make it easy to contact you: Prominently feature your phone number, personal email address and LinkedIn profile so it is easy for hiring managers to contact you to schedule an interview.
Use bullet points: When initially reviewing resumes, hiring managers generally will want to skim. Make your experience, results and skills jump out by using bullet points and bolding skills listed in the job description. Limit bullet points to no more than six per section.
Be specific about results: Talk about the specific amount of money you saved the company, or by what percentage or dollar amount you exceeded your goals. This makes your accomplishments look both measurable and real.
Show, rather than tell about, your “soft skills”: Many job descriptions include “soft skills” like being a leader, being detail oriented or an excellent communicator.
Try to incorporate these soft skills in the experience section. For example, to show that you are a good communicator, you might include a bullet point that says you “coordinated the project team and led the presentation to the executives.”
Include keywords: Resume algorithms specifically look for keywords in your resume. You can find these in the job description. Make sure you are including them in the same way they are listed, or the program will not pick your resume as a match.
So, if the job description says “search engine optimization” use that phrase, rather than SEO, which means the same thing.