No resume is ever perfect. You might have selected the perfect font, put together the crispest heading and explained your crazy amount of experience. But all that smooth, flowing work history is bound to need re-arranging once it smashes up against the sharp rocks of the job search.
Frankly, almost every application is going to require little tweaks to your resume to guarantee success. Your painting in broad strokes while recruiters are looking for a photorealistic rendering of the person they want. But that’s no reason to lose hope. You just have to work hard to be given the opportunity to maybe, one day work hard.
Here’s a few tips to make sure that your resume is as close to perfect as any one piece of paper can get.
Include keywords from the job posting in your resume
This is the easiest and perhaps most-crucial step in getting through the callouses that the average hiring manager has over the CV-scanning part of their brain. People are attuned to respond positively to people who speak like them. (Semi-related fun fact: when people like each other, their accents move closer together over the course of a conversation. Cute and scientific!) If you reflect the words that they chose back to them, you’re not only piquing their interest in this way, but you’re guaranteeing that you address their specific needs.
Resume Tip: You can shorten this process significantly by searching for 10-15 jobs in your field and noting the skills that all the listings have in common. Be sure to list those words in your skills section.
Don’t have to talk dirty, baby, to impress recruiters. While we don’t imagine you’re chucking vulgarities into your bullet points, there’s more than one way that a resume can be unclean. Follow the acronym K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, stupid.”) to keep yourself in line of you’re thinking about adding a little too much flair to your application. The less you have going on with your resume, the easier it is for people (and the machines that aid them) to read. A few quick and easy resume tips under the KISS umbrella:
- Use standard fonts: Arial, Calibri, Georgia, Times New Roman and the like
- Try to avoid tables, graphs or pictures
- Save it in a widely used format like .docx or .pdf
The average hiring manager spends less than seven seconds looking at your resume before making a decision on whether or not it’s going in the trash. Make it easy to read or you’re going in the worst kind of outbox.
Use task/result structure
Instead of telling hiring managers what your job responsibilities were, try telling them what you did specifically that made your last workplace better.
Here’s a comparison of two bullet points:
- Ran fundraising campaigns
- Launched a fundraising campaign that raised $10,000 in 8 weeks which extended runway for X months
Take note of the use of numbers, too. Quantifiable impacts are catnip to hiring managers.
Isn’t there an easier way?
Of course! We understand that all of this can be a hassle. It’s very hard to land a job and making sure that your resume is on point every time is a lot to keep in your head. So, why not use ours? Our collective brainpower and our ResumeOptimizer tool can help make sure that you never send out a bad resume again. For just $10, we’ll clean up your resume to fit the positions you want and automatically send it out to the people who are looking for you! And we stand behind our work, guaranteeing that we’ll land you an interview or your money back.