Are you currently looking for a new opportunity or want to spruce up your resume if the right position comes along? Your resume may not only be out of date but look out of date too.
So often, the professionals that we do resume updates for need reformatting and some new keywords woven in. Their original resume has the majority of the content, but at first glance, it looks chaotic. Did you know hiring managers spend on average 6 seconds to read a resume? That’s pretty quick!
Having an engaging layout that is easy for the hiring manager to discover who you are and if you’re qualified in those six seconds is crucial. Follow the below for ten tips on improving your traditional resume format to engage hiring managers and get noticed.
1. Include an objective statement at the top. Your objective statement should be tailored to each position that you apply for. Describe why you applied to the job, focus on advanced skills, training, and experience, and weave in some keywords from the job description (if applicable). Your objective statement should focus the reader for the rest of your resume.
2. Create a summary of skills. The summary of skills should be a bulleted list utilizing your overall skills and qualifications and keywords in the job description. Balance the words here and try to keep the same format with statements.
Ex. If one skill was “Marketing Strategy,” the next bullet should follow the same format as “Content Creation,” not “Creating Engaging Content.”
3. Your professional experience should include the company name, location, job title, dates of employment, and duties and responsibilities. I like to introduce each company, providing a short sentence about what the company does/sells. Write each in chronological, starting from your most current and working backward.
4. Keep your responsibilities in bullet points rather than paragraph form. It makes it much easier for the hiring manager to glance over—remember they don’t glance at your resume for long! If you can keep each description on one line, that’s even better! It creates a clean-looking resume.
5. Weave in key metrics when you can. If you’re in a sales, marketing, operations, or leadership role, this can really boost your credibility. Try including revenue growth numbers, cost reduction, how many people you led, etc. Any numbers will help quantify to hiring managers your capabilities.
6. Make sure those keywords you added into your summary of skills correspond to the descriptions in your resume! If it’s not somewhere in your descriptions, hiring managers may think you don’t have that experience.
7. Have at least three listed responsibilities under each job. Two or even one will not adequately showcase your skills and may minimize your impact in that role. Your first two to three bullet points should be the most essential information.
8. Place your education at the bottom AFTER your professional experience. Unless you’re a college student or recent graduate, your experience is more important in landing the role.
9. Provide any other sections below your education. These sections should focus on certifications, memberships, affiliations, and volunteer work. Add a skills section if you work in a technical role where these skills are crucial.
10. Keep all font sizes and spacings for headings of sections, job positions, and descriptions cohesive throughout. Make them differentiated, bold when appropriate, and make sure things are the same throughout! For example, headings can be 14pt, job positions can be 11pt, and all descriptions can be 10.5pt.
BONUS TIP: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, reflects what is on your resume, and is optimized. Recruiters are utilizing LinkedIn profiles more than ever for hiring—87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn— so make sure you have one you can be proud of! Weave in those keywords, and make sure your About section is personalized to give yourself a humanized digital presence when a hiring manager or recruiter comes to your profile.
Crafting an updated resume can be a lot of work and takes time and dedication. If you’re looking to land a new position, be sure your resume has these ten tips implemented before you send your resume off to increase your chance of landing an interview.