If you want to land a new job, it’ll take more than just an updated resume. So we’ve compiled five of the most crucial aspects of your resume that will help make sure you’re successful when looking for a new gig.
This article focuses on five different tips that can lead you to finally finding the right career. With these tips, you can make sure your application and resume are engaging and tailored for each prospective employer, format your work history in a way that highlights accomplishments instead of just listing jobs, and write about yourself in ways that show off valuable skills rather than cheesy self-promotions.
Resume Tip #1: Use Action Verbs When Describing Your Contributions
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably sat through countless resume bullet points describing your work history. In most cases, your future employers aren’t interested in reading 20 sentences about each of your jobs. Instead, you want to focus on what has set you apart throughout your career (as well as highlighting the company’s specific needs).
For this reason, you want to avoid using the same action-oriented verbs, such as “developed,” “assisted,” and “worked on,” throughout your cover letter and resume. Instead, find more specific ways to describe your responsibilities and achievements. For example, instead of saying you’ve been accused of being too lengthy on your resume, use a few more concise sentences to bring out what’s special about each job you’re applying for:
- Researching new technology solutions which led to designing a revolutionary software program;
- Developing a system that would ensure all the products in the company’s line are sold at the advertised prices;
- Assisting with a project that tripled sales for one year.
Resume Tip #2: Personalize Your Work History
When you’re creating your professional history, focus on the skills that are most valuable to the company’s culture. You can also use it to highlight previous management positions and how you were able to grow businesses. As you list each job, be sure to include the company’s name and a shortened description of your role.
Resume Tip #3: Add Quantifiable Numbers When Possible
When it comes to quantifiable numbers, you want to focus on your results, rather than the amount of time you’ve spent doing something. For example, if you’ve entirely revamped a business’s delivery service or improved sales by 20 percent, list those accomplishments. When you’re putting together your resume, it’s important not to let too many months or years pass between jobs-no matter how busy you were when working for that company.
Resume Tip #4: Showcase Your Skills
It’s a good idea to treat your resume and cover letter as a way to showcase your skills. This can help you get noticed during the job search and ultimately land the job you want. When writing about yourself, focus on listing your skills in an order that makes sense for the reader. Additionally, don’t be afraid to group together similar skills so that they’re easier to spot when scanning through your resume.
Resume Tip #5: Don’t Make It All About You
Most applicants spend too much time bragging about their accomplishments. This usually backfires, as it can make a lot of people (including potential employers) think you’re self-centered and not a team player. The best way to avoid this mistake is to focus on your employer’s needs and how you can contribute to the company’s success. For example, you might focus on the following:
- Implemented a new marketing strategy that almost doubled sales;
- Redesigned the company’s website to reflect their brand better;
- Designed and implemented a new software platform that doubled productivity.
By doing this, you’re showing off your skills as well as highlighting how you can help the company improve. You’ll also be able to show off your ability to work within a team rather than being too focused on your own accomplishments.
Bonus Tip: Customize an Email, Message, or Cover Letter for Your Most Desirable Positions
While you’re already putting in the effort to tailor your resume for each position, don’t forget to go the extra mile for a potential dream job! It’s important to specifically address the job description, the company’s unique personality, and how you can bring value to them. You can’t take a cookie-cutter approach to create this message. Each one should be unique, just like your resume, so that they stand out from other applications (and keep your name fresh in the employer’s mind). Also, consider tailoring your message to some of the specific details of the job posting itself. If you’re applying for a job that requires a system administrator, the wording of the cover letter may be different from the one you’d write for a job posting for a salesperson. You can also customize messages for specific hiring managers so that you know exactly what they want to see in your application.
These tips will help you strengthen your resume and make it more appealing to employers. Some may seem obvious, but you should consider more than just throwing together a resume.