A well-written resume is the key to getting your foot through the door at any company. However, the process of resume writing can be daunting for a lot of people. This daunting feeling is mostly due to the fact that you have limited space, and that has to be utilized to give the right and full representation of your experiences. There are many resume writing tips that can be found, which include a long list of things to do and can often just add to that daunting feeling.
Hiring managers and recruiters generally have to go through hundreds of resumes and briefly go through to decide whether to move ahead or not. Most people can put together a fairly decent resume with the help of templates and samples. But the resume writing tips we are sharing take into consideration the changing trends and help you stand out and hook the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention.
The Tips that Matter
Most resume writing tips include a list of twenty plus things to do, which can be daunting. Unfortunately, most resumes have similar mistakes, and the resume writing tips that truly matter may seem obvious in hindsight. What we are covering highlights the common mistakes and also takes into account the changing trends.
Make it Readable
As stated earlier, the reality is that recruiters have to go through hundreds of resumes and decide whether to move forward. So it essentially means the resume writer needs to stand out and capture the recruiter’s attention in that brief window in a good way. And it will only happen if it is readable. So what do we exactly mean when we say that your resume should be readable?
There are several ways to ensure that your resume is readable; follow these resume writing tips. A little thing to keep in mind is that there are always exceptions to the trend or rules that have to be followed.
Do not be overly creative. A resume has a standard format with information appearing in a certain order. Recruiters and hiring managers are used to that particular order and make it easier for them to see if all the relevant information is included or not. They usually don’t have time to try and decipher a non-standard format. For example, a business proposal has a standard order, and if it doesn’t follow it, the person reading it won’t give it the attention it needs. The same goes for resumes.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the job you’re applying for asks for creativity, a creatively done resume has a better chance of being noticed. Or if you have a certain skill set that doesn’t fit in the standard format but will help your chances, then be creative about it. But for most jobs, the above rule holds.
And the most important thing for readability is proofreading and editing. Just because it looks okay to you does not mean that the actual content is not fraught with errors. So, verify and check everything, especially if you’re applying for a position that involves content writing or business writing.
So, any resume writing tips that are given should emphasize the readability of your resume because everything else comes later. And one last point for readability, do not assume that everyone reading your resume knows every single term. So avoid jargon and obscure abbreviations without a little detail. The particular point can also be applied to anything else that you write, such as a business letter or proposal where the readers may have varying degrees of knowledge.
Show Don’t Tell
Another critical error people make when writing a resume is simply presenting a list of their previous job responsibilities. The passive approach is no longer necessary as the trends have changed. These days, hiring managers and recruiters are looking for active resumes that show a candidate’s impact.
If you think about it, the recruiters already know what is required for the job, considering they wrote the job descriptions. So instead of telling just what you did, try elaborating what you accomplished in your role and how did it make an impact.
For example, let’s say you’re applying for a position that requires you to manage certain organizational workflows. What the recruiter is looking for is that you’ve done this and the impact you had in your role within the organization and projects. To better demonstrate this point, here is a comparison:
I helped sales with their work.
Assisted the sales team to deliver 11% sales growth over the previous fiscal year and earned a recognition award for contributions made.
The difference between both statements is significant, and so is its impact on the one reading the resume. Show, don’t tell is integral when giving resume writing tips and even business writing tips. A rule of thumb to check that you’re doing this right is to ensure that each bullet point has a verb and a quantifiable value where possible.
The Social Media Question
The 2010s saw the social media boom and now, in the 2020s social media is an integral part of our lives for better or worse. As a result, a number of recruiters will cross-check your resume against your LinkedIn profile to see things align. And it also serves as an additional foil to who you are as a person.
Be sure to ask for endorsements and keep your key skills updated. And for better or worse, this sometimes goes beyond LinkedIn. Hiring managers may check on Facebook, Instagram, and even Google you. The point is that everything you do online has a footprint and although the jury is out at how much it should color the recruiter’s opinion. The truth is that it does.
But this goes beyond your digital footprint. Resume writing tips don’t often talk about this, but social media is an excellent tool to network, get advice and receive along the way. A number of applicants for any job can come through referrals and non-traditional channels these days.
Some final thoughts, the resume is a snapshot of who you are and the potential impact you can bring to the organization. So keep the above-mentioned resume writing tips in mind and see how it impacts your resume.
So to recap, first and foremost, make sure that your resume is readable. And yes, exceptions to the rule of standardization exist, but most jobs require a standard approach that makes it easy to follow. Second, showcase your impact, don’t be passive in the way you present your experience in your resume. And thirdly, not exactly a resume writing tip involving writing but equally important. Finally, do not forget about the importance of social media and how it has changed how we live our lives and interact with each other and beyond.