Let’s face it, looking for a job sucks. There is a significant job pool, and with an increase in unemployment due to the pandemic wreaking havoc on industries, sticking out from the crowd is harder than ever. Resume tips to get you hired are more crucial than ever.
Thus, the question is common: how do you give yourself the edge in a job pool filled with countless applicants?
The best way to try and get more recruiters to see your application is to include a resume that highlights your best qualities with precision. Here are 36 tips to help bolster your resume and land that dream job.
- 1. Sort the Information You Should and Should Not Include:
- 2. Include All Relevant Contact Information:
- 3. Use a Professional Email Address:
- 4. Entering Previous Work Experience:
- 5. Be Smart With Your Font:
- 6. Education:
- 7. Skills:
- 8. Organize Your Skills:
- 9. Don’t Pile All Your Information in One Spot:
- 10. Keep Things Organized:
- 11. Link Your Portfolio:
- 12. Write a Cover Letter:
- 13. Length of Resume:
- 14. Fill in Any Large Gaps in Your Resume:
- 15. Making Various Document Styles:
- 16. Adjust Your Resume for the Job:
- 17. Use Keywords:
- 18. Keep All Important Details at the Top of Your First Page:
- 19. Proofread:
- 20. Follow up:
- 21. Compare Resumes:
- 22. Templates:
- 23. Make Connections:
- 24. Ask for Help:
- 25. Use Numbers and Statistics:
- 26. Back up Your Experience:
- 27. Avoid Repetition:
- 28. Include Other Education:
- 29. Prepare for Interviews:
- 30. Have Professional Work Attire:
- 31. Use Good Communication:
- 32. Remind Yourself of Your Goals:
- 33. Know The Cost of Your Overhead:
- 34. Do Not Overthink:
- 35. Be Patient:
- 36. Be Wise:
1. Sort the Information You Should and Should Not Include:
When setting up your resume, you want to include information relevant to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job at a car dealership, you do not need to include work experience from ten years ago at a local burger joint. You want to show that you have valid work or volunteer experience, but it should relate to the job in question.
2. Include All Relevant Contact Information:
For your resume, include all the information needed for the position. Your full legal name, address, phone number and email. These details should be the first thing visible so that the employer has no problem contacting you. Also, include your professional title under your full name; this will grab the attention of hiring managers and recruiters.
3. Use a Professional Email Address:
When adding your contact information, make sure you have a professional email address. We all have our 15-year-old MSN email addresses from our high school days, but avoid using something like email@example.com or anything else inappropriate or unprofessional.
The best addresses usually only contain your first name and last name. These days, most job-related communication or hiring comes via email, so it usually is the first point of contact. Keep it as professional as possible.
4. Entering Previous Work Experience:
When adding your previous experience, always start with the most recent relevant position or experience and work backward. Your experience over the past few years is more important than experience from ten years ago unless you have done similar work the entire time.
5. Be Smart With Your Font:
Unlike Twitter, people may not notice the difference in change of font, but you should still be cautious with what you use.
You are not writing a comic book or doing arts and crafts, so the font you use should reflect professionally. The wrong choice of font can get your resume thrown out faster than Michael Jackson’s Spider-man movie (yes, that was a real thing).
Round out your font choice with the use of bold and italics to highlight or make certain things stand out for reviewers.
Depending on the job you apply for, your education could be in a different location. If you do not have much experience and are fresh out of school, your education should be first. If not, put your education after the most relevant work experience you have. Do not include high school unless you’re 16. After all, no one cares where you get your high school degree. Your college/university is the only education you need to include.
Include a list of skills that you have that you learned from experience or school.
8. Organize Your Skills:
Make your skills easier to understand by organizing them under the subject matter. For example, bullet your IT-related skills together. Once they are organized, you can place them to include the most relevant skills to the position first.
9. Don’t Pile All Your Information in One Spot:
Use subheadings to divide information. This formatting allows reviewers to easily browse your resume and find needed information. Have your information, experience, skills and licenses separated.
10. Keep Things Organized:
An easy-to-read resume can lead to more potential interviews. Your resume is like a Big Mac; the bun separates the good stuff.
11. Link Your Portfolio:
If you are applying for a job that requires examples of workpieces, always include a portfolio. Jobs such as graphic design, writing and photography will usually require examples of your work. Always include a portfolio, online if possible, and show your best work, especially any recognized or award-winning work.
12. Write a Cover Letter:
When applying for a job, a cover letter could give you an edge over other applicants. A cover letter is specific to the job you are applying to and expresses why you are the best applicant. Usually, a creative cover letter that grabs attention will have a better opportunity for employers to open your resume.
Moreover, do your best to sell yourself in the best light possible.
13. Length of Resume:
Keep your resume simple and keep it to no more than two pages (preferably one page). Most employers refuse to scroll through a long resume.
14. Fill in Any Large Gaps in Your Resume:
Some employers may seem confused when someone has gaps in their resume of a year or more. Whether it was taking that long trip to Europe to find themselves or taking care of a newborn baby, there’s nothing wrong with taking a work break but many employers may be curious as to why.
15. Making Various Document Styles:
When saving a resume, not everyone uses the same word processor program. If you use a MacBook, PC or Chromebook, the file may process differently. It is a good idea to save your resume in different file types such as .docx or .pdf. Depending on where you apply, some jobs will require specific file types. The default is always to send your resume as a .pdf.
16. Adjust Your Resume for the Job:
Change up your resume to put more relevant information in better locations depending on the job you are applying for. It may get more eyes on it if managers see you making a better effort to target that specific job.
17. Use Keywords:
Many companies use software or programs that search for keywords related to the position. When you apply, look at the job description and look for keywords you can add to your resume to have a better chance of being flagged as a potential match.
18. Keep All Important Details at the Top of Your First Page:
Unfortunately, as hard as you work on your resume, not all employers will read all of it. Keep all of your most important and attractive information at the top so that it is the first thing hiring managers will see.
I do not understand why this is such a forgotten art, but you need to proofread everything. Your resume is not an invitation to your 7th birthday party; it needs to be professional. Make sure all words and certifications are spelled correctly. Confirm all of your dates of experience.
20. Follow up:
Always follow up with the hiring manager if you can find their contact information. Sometimes you may be able to ask them if there’s anything you can do to make your application more attractive.
Also, resumes with a face or a voice have a better chance of moving on as the hiring manager will know who you are.
21. Compare Resumes:
There are many examples of resumes to view and compare to yours on the internet. You can see different templates and how successful people have tailored their resumes. There is no wrong template to use, but you should pick the format that shows your best work and qualities.
As mentioned, there are various types of templates you can use for resumes. Use one that is most comfortable for you.
23. Make Connections:
Sometimes your best bet to get ahead is making connections in your industry. Knowing someone can give you a significant edge over your competition.
24. Ask for Help:
If you have connections in your industry, use those to help you build a better resume. Depending on the industry, if you can speak to a hiring manager, they may give you tips to make your resume stand out based on what they look for when hiring.
25. Use Numbers and Statistics:
Depending on the position in question, you should add numbers to help back up your experience. For example, if you built a social media plan, showing the number of followers you directly helped bring in or the revenue gained because of it will give you an edge.
26. Back up Your Experience:
When you can back up your skills with proof, managers will have a better understanding of how those skills are used. Include as many examples as needed or requested.
27. Avoid Repetition:
Keep your selection of words expansive so that your resume does not sound repetitive or boring. Even if you have similar experiences, try and use different words and phrases to make them more interesting.
Don’t be that person that says ‘like’ every fourth word; it is not the best play on a resume. If a manager is bored by reviewing your resume, chances of an interview plummet.
28. Include Other Education:
If you have completed any other education outside of your schooling, such as an online course, include it. It allows managers to see you take the initiative to learn outside of traditional education.
29. Prepare for Interviews:
When reviewing a job posting, make sure you understand what you are applying to. Preparing helps you know how to answer questions they may ask about the job.
30. Have Professional Work Attire:
You shouldn’t show up to a job interview in a tux, unless needed. However, do not show up in hoodies and sweatpants. Have some class and look professional. To illustrate that you look nice and clean is to show that your work ethic is similar.
31. Use Good Communication:
Be professional in all your dealings with potential employers and managers. A job offer or consideration can quickly be taken off the table when using the wrong language in a meeting or interview.
32. Remind Yourself of Your Goals:
Are you looking for a job or a career? That is very important when taking calls, interviews and sending applications. Know what your goal is and the best route to achieve it.
33. Know The Cost of Your Overhead:
When looking for a position, target how much money you need to live comfortably for your style of living. Depending on bills, rent, mortgage, cars, etc. There is a monthly amount you will need to sustain your life. Make sure you understand that when considering applications or accepting a position.
34. Do Not Overthink:
When applying, do not overthink yourself or make yourself believe you won’t get the job. The most qualified does not always get the position.
35. Be Patient:
Job searching takes time. If it takes longer than expected – do not panic. Hiring managers may take extra time getting back to you, especially with the number of people in the job market.
36. Be Wise:
Always do what is best for you. Jobs come and go, do not sacrifice your mental health for one.
Overall, these are just some tips and tricks you can use to better improve your resume and chances of landing a great job.