Crafting the perfect resume is a challenging task. It requires research, hard work, and creativity to draft a resume that will stand out from the crowd.
With a US unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, getting leverage with a well-crafted resume can make a huge difference. Your resume is your first ticket to making an impression on an employer.
You need to include the correct information to make sure you showcase your skills and strengths. The resume is an important document that outlines what you can bring to the organization.
Remember that employers spend six to seven seconds scanning a resume, so you should make those seconds count.
The Purpose of a Well-Crafted Resume
A well-crafted resume is crucial for several reasons. Here are some of them.
Provides an overview of qualifications
A resume provides potential employers with an overview of applicants' qualifications by summarizing their education, work experience, skills, and achievements.
A well-structured resume highlights an applicant's most attractive skills and experience to potential employers. This allows employers to move forward with the best candidate.
Aside from your qualifications, your resume will also let the company you're applying for the value you bring to them.
Hiring an employee is a huge investment for many companies. It's acceptable for them to ensure the resources they spend on doing interviews, onboarding, and training will bring a positive ROI.
Gives an edge over the competition
The latest numbers show there are 5.8 million unemployed individuals in the US, and this is in the US alone. If you're applying for a global position, you will likely compete with much more.
One survey found that a corporate job attracts as many as 250 applicants, and only four to five will get an interview request.
Lands an interview
A well-written resume is essential for moving forward to the next step in the job application process: interviewing. Interviews are an important part of the hiring process. They serve as confirmation of whether a candidate is likely to succeed in the organization.
An interview gives the employer its first impression of an applicant and gives them a crucial opportunity to "sell" themselves. It is a chance for an applicant to showcase their skills, experience, and personality.
But it's not only for employers. Applicants can also take this opportunity to check if the company meets their expectations.
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There is no one-size-fits-all answer to make your resume stand out. There are, however, certain key elements you should include to ensure your resume gets the attention it deserves.
It is essential to include your contact information on your resume, but make sure you do so correctly. Include your full name, phone number, and email address. Including your LinkedIn profile and website URL, if you have one, is also a good idea.
Adding your LinkedIn allows potential employers to connect with you should they prefer sending an instant message to an email or a call. It also shows them that you have a solid professional network.
Make sure all of this information is accurate and easy to find.
List your educational background and if you have any degrees or qualifications related to the job you want.
You should also list the name of the institution you attended and the dates you received your degree. If you received any honors, scholarships, or special recognitions while in school, you should list those as well. If you are about to graduate, consider including your anticipated graduation date on your resume.
Include the details if you completed an internship relevant to the position you're applying for. This experience will show you're familiar with the role. One study showed that 79.6 percent of managers prefer hiring those with relevant internship experience.
Your job experience is one of the most significant aspects of your resume, so you must get it right. Start by listing the names of the companies you worked for, the dates you worked for them, and your position or role.
After this, you can break down further into your work experience to showcase your specific skills and abilities. Include a brief description of your responsibilities.
Seasoned workers may break down their work history into different categories. Segment them into different experiences, such as management marketing, data analysis, or even cybersecurity in relation to hardware engineering.
If you received an award or recognition, list that as well. Describe your achievements and how they relate to the job description.
Skills and abilities
Make sure you list all skills related to the job. Add them even if they are not explicitly listed as requirements. Check the job description and identify the skills they require. If you have the skills, highlight them.
Employers often look for people with specific skills when hiring. Your skills can be the deciding factor in considering you for the job.
If you have industry certifications related to the job you are applying for, you should include these. Provide the name of the certificate, the organization that recognizes it, and when you earned it.
Don't worry if you don't have them yet. Employers don't expect you to have certifications for every job. However, they expect you to know your stuff once you are hired. You can always gain these certifications once you work and then list them on your resume.
Tips for Creating a Well-Crafted Resume
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Follow these tips to come up with a resume that’s meant to impress.
Tailor your resume to the job
One of the most common mistakes many applicants make is to send one generic resume for all their job applications. Don't do this.
Instead, customize your resume to match the job requirements and highlight your relevant skills and experiences.
Use clear, concise language
A well-written resume should be focused, clear, and concise. Avoid jargon or technical terms that the interviewer may not know. Remember, your resume should allow the potential employer to match your skills to their needs. Achieve this by including the keywords in the job description in your resume.
For instance, the job description requires "knowledge of JSON." If this is part of your skillset, mention it.
Keywords help employers filter out applicants who do not meet the job requirements. It's worth noting that some companies auto-sort resumes by keywords.
If you're submitting the resume electronically, you'd want yours to be seen. Including relevant keywords in a resume can help you stand out and improve your chances of getting hired.
Add bullet points to make your resume easy to read
As mentioned, hiring teams only spend a few seconds scanning a resume. You'd want them to see the important aspects of your resume by listing them in bullet points.
You can always elaborate on your skills and qualifications during the interview. It's only possible, though, if your resume reflects your potential.
Use action verbs to describe your achievements
Action verbs can make your resume more impactful and help you stand out from other applicants. Use verbs such as "achieved," "created," "managed," and "improved" to describe your accomplishments.
It also helps to quantify your achievements to highlight how your skills contributed to the previous company's success.
For example, you can list, "Achieved 5% conversion rate in three months for X project." It adds more "meat" than simply saying you are goal-oriented and results-driven. The numbers you present will show that already.
Keep it simple but unique
When it comes to layout and font for your resume, you'd want to stick to something simple. Your goal is to land the first interview. Your resume should have fonts and designs that allow the hiring team to consider your professionalism.
However, if you're applying for a creative position, you should have a separate portfolio highlighting your creative skillset.
Recruiters and hiring managers do not have the time to read through lengthy resumes. Your resume should only be one to two pages.
The usual length for many resumes is one full page. This length is especially well-suited for early-career professionals, current students, and recent college graduates.
Some consider using a single-page resume instead of a two-page one, even if they have over a decade of work experience. This is best if some of the previous experience is irrelevant to the job. So if you're switching careers, it may be best to craft a one-page resume.
Make Your Application Stand Out With Your Resume
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Crafting the perfect resume can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if you're new to the job search process. You can look up free resume templates online to help you get started.
Employers often receive hundreds of applications to fill a single position and will sometimes only go through generic, unoriginal resumes. You must take the time to personalize your resume to the post you are applying for.
Take the time to craft a unique resume. It can make a difference between success and failure in job hunting.
Pro Tip: only submit a resume after proofreading it. It will be a waste of time to create a resume only to have it thrown out because of errors.
Most importantly, make sure that everything you include is factual and that you have proof to back all of it up.