Five Tips to Enhance Your Resume’s Chances
Okay, now that we’ve covered a few things your resume should do and should do without in part one and part two of this series on Resume Renovation, here are five positive things you can do to help your resume “work” better for you.
- Tailor it to the job. When it comes to resumes, one size does not fit all. Maybe you have a basic resume, but whenever you submit it with a job application, it should be customized to emphasize the skills and experiences you have that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying. Nothing deceitful about it – you are simply stressing the qualities most important for that position – and helping resume screeners see the difference you could make.
- Include the soft skills. Recent studies have revealed that hiring managers these days aren’t looking for specific job skills as much as they are seeking “soft skills” like organizational ability, team leadership and more. They can train specific job skills, but some of the soft skills you have to come in with. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to include volunteer positions with your relevant experience. Though not paying jobs, these positions can certainly provide evidence of your commitment and ability to apply your important skills in a variety of situations.
- Watch your language. Okay, nothing controversial here. Just a reminder to make sure the resume is free of jargon and clichés. Describing yourself as a “team player” or “detail-oriented” is a quick route to the wastebasket. Also, on the positive side, use an active voice and verbs that carry some power. You didn’t “help make the warehouse more efficient”, you reenergized a dormant profit center and increased storage revenues by more than 24%!
- Keep it short. Rules of thumb can be dangerous. And one page is hardly enough to contain the full work and academic history of an accomplished worker. But at least start there. When hiring managers go through applications, they are skimming and not particularly inclined to spend a long time interpreting a lengthy document. If your resume can be one page, that’s terrific. But your information needs to breathe, and to be laid out in a reader-friendly format.
- Proofread. Then Do It Again. This seems obvious, but I can tell you from the resumes I see, people still fail to take this seriously and people are human and make mistakes. Once your resume is done, first use a spellchecker to catch obvious errors. Remember though, those mechanisms miss a lot. So take your time and read it through a couple of times. Many errors are not caught by spellcheck, such as repeated or omitted words, homonyms and the like. But reading it aloud or even having a friend read it can help call attention to problems that should be fixed.
Looking for a job can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. But you can go into it with a little more confidence when you know your major weapon –that resume – is doing everything it can for you. Good luck and remember we are here when you land that new job for all of your print supply chain and promotional management solutions.