A great resume writing technique will not by itself get you hired. But if you are right for a job, an excellent resume will help a hiring manager see it. Take a look at these resume tips.
1. Save the best for the start
A hiring manager with hundreds of resumes to read will not have the patience to dig through each to find the good bits. Whatever part of your education and experience best relates to the job that you are applying for, you should make sure that it is on the cover letter and front and center on your resume.
2. Pay attention to the first words of each paragraph
As a hiring manager scans your resume, they will usually only read the first half of the first line of each paragraph before deciding on whether to continue. You need to always make the first line count.
3. It is cheating to use a tiny font size
Fitting your entire resume on a single page is a good idea – but not at the expense of a readable font size. To a hiring manager reviewing resumes all day, a tiny font size is torture.
If you do not want to appear to be a burdensome job candidate, you should get your resume down to the prescribed length by leaving out content that is not absolutely essential, and learning to use words economically.
4. Learn to get to the point
Resumes are known for a form of wordy, hackneyed, language that hiring managers call resumespeak (a Tumblr on the subject, called resumespeak.tumblr.com, records many amusing examples). Anything you put on your resume should sound natural and to the point.
5. Do not send out generic resumes
Making one resume and sending it out to dozens of companies makes little sense. Employers need to see resumes that tell them how applicants are right for their specific expectations. The more customized a resume is to a job, the greater the chances of it getting read.
6. Do not explain gaps
The recession of the past few years has put gaps in the resumes of millions of workers. Trying to explain the gaps right on the resume, though, often does not come off well. It is a better idea to simply send out truthful resumes, but to then have a reasonable explanation ready at the interview.
7. Do not give your work history more than six bullet points
Points, facts and figures are your friends in a resume. They let the hiring manager know exactly what you have achieved and take a call on how to treat your resume. They can make your resume look very thin, though. You need to make sure that you do not use more than six bullet points to a resume.
8. Deck out your resume with keywords
With the automated resume sorters in use today, keywords mean everything. Whatever set of words the hiring manager believes are relevant to the job, your resume will only get picked up if it has them.
You need to put in plenty of homework to find out what the best keywords for your industry are and work them in. Tools such as Wordle help job seekers identify keywords.
9. If you have a relevant hobby, include it
Whatever your hobbies are, they should only appear on your resume if they have a direct bearing on your job. Your musical interests would be relevant if you were applying to work at a record label, for instance.
10. Do not offer to furnish references upon request
Employers only ask for references when they are about to hire you. It can seem presumptuous to offer to furnish references when you are nowhere near that stage. There is no need to say anything about references in a resume.
Do not send out PDFs, though. While PDFs can work well for jobs where you are directly reviewed by the hiring manager, increasingly, companies use applicant tracking systems to automatically scan resumes. These systems need Word files.