We cannot stress enough the critical importance of creating a professional, powerful resume. Your resume is your primary self-marketing tool and as such it should be given the time and effort necessary to craft a high-quality document that presents your value in the best possible way. It should not be static but a constantly improving and changing document that adapts to each position for which it is submitted. Experts agree on certain key elements of a good resume.
Here are 6 of those qualities that your resume should possess and if it doesn’t then some revision is in order.
1. Perfect Spelling and Grammar.
This is a deal-breaker, so proofread, proofread, proofread, then get someone else to proofread. Many recruiters have a zero-tolerance approach to resume typos with more than half automatically discarding those that contain them. The thinking is that it shows carelessness and a lack of attention to detail.
2. White Space.
At first glance your resume should not look like continuous blocks of text. Less is more if you use the right keywords (see point #4). Nor should it be formatted in such a way that is too busy, confusing or distracting to the eye. The reader should be able to easily find what they are looking for. Go for a layout and template that is clean, simple, and pleasing to the eye. Pertinent information such as skills, applicable work experience and contact info should be easy to find and take a place of precedence on your resume.
3. The Pitch.
This is your unique value proposition that explains, in 2 sentences, why you are the right person for the job. It takes the form of an objective or summary at the top of the first page and is one of the first things a reader sees. It is a synopsis of your career path and skill set with highlights of experience and achievements as it pertains to the position you are applying for.
When recruiters read resumes they are looking for certain keywords. Get familiar with the industry-specific keywords in your field as well as those recurring keywords from the desirable skillsets and competencies associated with your desired position. At the very least you should extract and reuse the keywords from the job description.
5. Bullet Points.
Bullets help to create more white space (see point #2) by breaking up chunks of text thereby making your resume easier to read and scannable. They also help you to communicate concisely and with impact, helping the reader to find what they are looking for, i.e. those keywords we talked about.
6. A Strategy.
We’ve talked about tailoring your resume to the role but what does that mean? Among other things it means using strategic emphasis and de-emphasis to focus the recruiter’s attention by expanding on the work experience that is related to the job you want while consolidating or omitting those that are not in line with your current goals.
At the end of the day when you give someone your resume you should be able to do so with the confidence that it is a well thought out, well-presented document that accurately and skillfully represents you as a professional. If your resume needs work it might be preventing you from landing the job you want. Perhaps you should enlist the help of professionals. Eve Anderson Recruitment provides Resume Writing Services. For details and to request a consultation send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org