Getting ready for a job change soon? Are you dreading creating a resume? Its alarming but true
that a vast majority of job seekers are rejected at the initial resume screening due to a poorly
written, unprofessional resume.
Are you in search of that stand-out resume that will catch the recruiter’s attention? Resume
writing has most likely changed since the last time you looked for a job. So, improve your odds
of creating an effective resume by following the tips mentioned below:
Determine appropriate length and format
Use an easy to read format. Include bullet points instead of long sentences. Recruiters scan a
vast number of resumes everyday so ensure your resume is easily readable. Steer clear of
quirky fonts. The sections should be aligned neatly with columns, bullet points, appropriate font
and blank/breathing space (to avoid clutter and chaos).
Equipped with these design elements your resume will be an easy read. Your expertise and
skills will be better highlighted, and the recruiter need not dig through the information for it.
Expertise is what recruiters are looking for among job applicants. A short, organized list of
attributes placed below the summary statement will easily draw their attention and also
communicate your value. These attributes should be easily demonstrated and in-demand in
your field. Specificity is extremely important too.
Be wary not to overload this section. Cramming it with general, outdated and irrelevant skills
could clearly backfire and not achieve the desired result. Also, do not list skills that resemble
This section has become extremely important as you can encapsulate a lot of the keywords (if
relevant) from an employer’s job posting. And that increases the probability of an employer
noticing your resume.
Don’t just mention your skills or expertise, highlight with examples
Begin with a summary statement, a brief paragraph of your expertise and how you would be
best suited to fulfill this particular employer’s requirements.
Pay particular attention to highlighting your achievements with examples. This will provide the
recruiters a better understanding of why you will be a perfect fit for this role that you’re
applying for. It is also best to highlight your career growth trajectory within a company.
However, this section should not be labelled as an objective statement. An objective statement
describes your professional goals and what you’re looking for. Remember that your resume is a
marketing document. So, say goodbye to your resume objective and replace it with a career
statement that showcases your value to an intended employer.
Customize your resume to suit the audience
Sending out a generic resume for all job postings is a thing of the past. You need to tailor your
resume according to the job description and lingo used by the employer. Include words in your
resume that match the keywords they chose to use thereby assuring the employer that you
understand their needs and what they do.
You do not need to overhaul the entire resume for every job posting. Be smart about it. Look
for ways to subtly copy the employer’s language. For instance, include a brief mention of your
ability to execute the ‘specific skill’ in your summary statement. Rearrange the job headings in
your resume to mirror the important qualifications listed by an employer in the job ad.
The current job market expects such a high degree of specialization that using a generic resume
will make you obsolete.
The more closely your resume mimics the job posting, the greater the probability that you will
not be eliminated in the initial screening process.
Details to Omit
Provide a snapshot of your recent experience. A modern resume has no place for jobs that you
did right out of graduation or 15+ years ago. Stick to your most recent and solid professional
experience in your resume.
There is no need to include a mailing address. An employer will either email or call you if
interested in your candidacy. Further, employers may be slightly hesitant if you are applying
from out of state.
Your marital status, age and religious preference is irrelevant. Education, experience, skills and
contact information is what the recruiter or hiring manager is interested in.
Showcase references only when requested. Do not clutter your resume with an overload of
information. A resume needs to be simple and clean- it’s a valuable piece of real estate and it
needs to market your skills and experience.
Social Media Accounts
Unless your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are pertinent to the position being
applied for, it is best to leave them out too.
Do not include pronouns. It’s weird. Always write your resume in silent first person.
Proofread and edit your resume
Finally, ensure that your resume undergoes several rounds of proofreading to eliminate any
spelling or grammatical errors.
While there are proofreading tools to help you with this, it is also advisable to get a trusted
third party (friends or colleagues) to review your resume. A fresh set of eyes might help you
find ways to correct or improve it.