Every resume is as unique as the person who it represents. Your work background and career goals will dictate how to set up your resume. Despite the uniqueness of every resume, there are a few common aspects to resume writing that every resume writer should consider to ensure the effectiveness of the resume. Below are five tips that can improve resume effectiveness.
1. Market yourself
The job of your resume is to excite employers enough for them to invite you to an interview. Therefore you need to sell yourself. Make sure what sells you best for the position shines through. Your resume should be targeted to how you will be a good fit for the position and how you can fulfill the needs of the company.
2. Make it easy to read
For every open position, employers receive a large number of resumes. All of these resumes must be screened. Because employers are very busy and resume screening is typically completed in addition to the employers’ regular duties, they have very little time to devote to the task. Therefore, the initial screenings of resumes are typically done in a matter of seconds.
If you want to make the first cut, you need to impress the employer immediately. To do this, use short, power phrases. Don’t use complete sentences or unnecessary words. Lead with the most important piece of information. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs. Also, whenever possible start phrases with action verbs.
3. Be consistent
Everything on a resume must be internally consistent. Select a format and then make certain that everything is set up in that same format. For example, if you have a work experience section with three jobs listed, place the job title in in the same location for each job and use the same font for all three. The same principle would apply for all other elements of the listings.
When checking your resume for consistency, check your spacing, abbreviations, date formats, section headings, and fonts throughout the resume. Consistency not only helps your resume look better, but it also makes it easier for the employer to quickly find the key information they are seeking in your resume.
4. Make it look good
You want to impress the employer with appearance of your resume. It should have a sharp, professional appearance and all information should line up neatly.
While it is generally best to avoid color and fancy fonts, you do want to capture the employer’s attention. To do this, use bold, italics, and bold/italics typefaces. Make sure that when you use these typefaces, you do so consistently and sparingly. Do not use any of these typefaces for larges areas of type or it will become difficult to read and it will mean that less information actually stands out.
5. Check for errors
Mistakes on a resume can eliminate you from the job candidate pool. Employers expect your resume to be an example of your best work. Therefore, they expect it to be error-free. Many employers assume that if there are errors on your resume, you lack attention to detail. Therefore, it is extremely important to carefully proofread your resume. It is also helpful to have a friend proofread it as well because it is easy to miss your own mistakes.
Employers often have a larger number of applicants for every opening. Therefore, it is important to do all you can to ensure your resume makes the cut. Use the five tips above to increase employers’ interest in your resume and improve your chances of securing an interview.