Before you get a job offer or even land an interview, you’ll need a resume that hiring managers will notice. So, where do you begin? Use these three resume tips to stand out from other applicants.
Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description
When companies advertise an open position, they’re looking for a certain skill set. The closer your qualifications match the job description, the better your chances. Therefore, plan to create a custom resume for each position to which you apply. Of course, this doesn’t mean you must write a completely new file every time. Rather, start with a basic outline. Then, print the job description and highlight/circle all the skills and experiences you have. Finally, work these specific points directly into your document. Also, keep in mind, many companies prescreen resumes using an Applicant Tracking System or ATS. And often, this computer software ranks your application based on the number of keywords and key phrases. So, customizing your resume can help you stand out from other applicants in the ATS too.
Back-up Your Statements with Specific Details
Many people resort to clichés when writing their resumes. Team player. Track record of success. Self-motivated. Are you yawning yet? Well, guess what? So is the hiring manager. Instead of falling back on these boring and meaningless expressions, provide specific information about your experiences and accomplishments. And whenever possible, back up your statements with numbers. For example, “Spearheaded a five-person team responsible for boosting annual sales by 50 percent,” clearly shows HOW you are a self-motivated, team player with a track record of success.
Create a Visually Appealing Document
A resume may be filled with top qualifications. However, if it’s messy and disorganized, a hiring manager will send it straight to the trash. As a result, make your file neat and easy to read at a glance. Don’t worry if you’re not a professional designer. Unless you’re applying for an artistic position, a standard resume template will be fine. Nevertheless, DO keep these basic guidelines in mind.
- Stick to a basic font like Times New Roman or Arial
- List information in short sentences, not long paragraphs
- Use white space, bullets and headings to separate elements
- Avoid images unless you are designing an infographic resume
- If possible, keep your resume to a single page
Are You Looking for More Resume Tips?
FirstStaff publishes weekly blog posts for job searches. You can learn everything from how often to update your resume to how to add power words to your application. And if you need some extra assistance finding employment, FirstStaff can help with that too. Our recruiters place light industrial, office and administrative professionals in Hot Springs, Arkansas and beyond. Learn more about the benefits of job hunting with FirstStaff today!