So, you’ve finished your career training and you’re ready to find a job. Before you begin researching and meeting with potential employers, you need to make sure your résumé stands out. Follow these tips to make your résumé shine.
1. Do your research.
Your résumé should be as tailored as possible to the job you’re applying for, so before you write you need to dig deeper to determine what the employer is looking for, and how you fit in. Match your goals and qualifications to the employer’s specific needs.
2. Make your contact info easy to find.
List your email address, phone number, city, state, zip code, and LinkedIn account, if you have one. If you’re sending a PDF version by email, consider hyperlinking your email address so you’re only a click away.
3. Ditch the objective statement.
You’re already applying for the job—the employer knows what you’re looking for. They’re only focused on finding the right hire. Opt for a career summary instead. This should accurately and powerfully describe your years of experience, job history, and professional accomplishments.
4. Use the right keywords.
Avoid certain words that employers consider turn-offs or cliche (like “team player” or “results-driven” or “self-motivated”). Instead, describe your skills with words that add value to your personal brand, like “improved” or “achieved” or “influenced.” Hiring managers want to see the specific results you’ve achieved.
5. Make your résumé easy to read.
The design and hierarchy of your résumé matters. Prioritize your strongest skills or attributes at the top. Consider blocking your résumé into sections for easy skimming, or using bullets and bold fonts to highlight your most impressive achievements. White space is important, too.
6. Identify your accomplishments, not responsibilities.
Highlight your strengths and what’s most important to the employer. Put in the extra effort to identify those accomplishments that most strongly support what the employer is looking for in the ideal candidate.
7. Don’t forget to proofread.
Avoid spelling or grammar errors. One lazy typo can ruin your first impression. Try this trick: read your résumé backward or bottom to top to catch spelling or grammar errors, or have a friend review it carefully before sending.