5 Tips for Writing an Effective Résumé That Will Get You The Job
Job hunting can be an arduous process, especially in today’s highly competitive job market where recent college grads are fighting tooth and nail for entry level positions. Although it can be stressful and discouraging at times, finding a job or beginning a new career path should also be an exciting and rewarding experience! But before you can land that perfect job, or even worry about the interview, there’s one thing standing in your way—the perfect résumé. Without it, employers won’t even consider you for the job. Here’s how to write a résumé that will have potential employers calling you left and right!
- Good, effective résumés are ones that are simple, easy to read, and stylized in a way that leads the reader through a logical sequence. If your résumé is cramped or sections are not clearly defined, labeled, or separated, then it can look like an unorganized, jumbled mess. Your résumé should follow either a chronological order, or be clearly labeled with simple headings like “Education,” “Experience,” “Employment,” “Skills,” and “Contact.” Always make it easy for the reader to follow through each section, and end with the best ways they can contact you. Be sure you have a professional email set up specifically for job prospecting, and that you’re available to find easily on networking sites like LinkedIn.
- It sounds obvious, but stick to highlighting only the most important parts of your work experience or skills. Don’t ramble, or even use complete sentences. Your résumé should be short (limited to one page), and concise. Don’t ever lie on your résumé. Not only is it unethical to be dishonest to a potential employer, but it will backfire significantly if and when you get caught. It’s never a good idea to start off on the wrong foot, or worse, be fired your first week when you clearly don’t know what you’re doing!
- Show, don’t tell. Employers don’t want to read lengthy paragraphs about your day to day duties from your previous job. Instead, provide real data to quantify your accomplishments while working there. Rather than stating “Helped to increase sales,” say, “Directly contributed to an increase in 6% sales during the month of May 2017.” Be as specific as possible when quantifying your accomplishments, but be sure to keep it concise and to the point.
- Cater to the job you are applying for. If you’re using the same résumé to apply for a server position that you used to apply for a receptionist position, then you need to re-evaluate your résumé. Similarly, it’s not a good idea to use the same résumé today that you used 20 years ago if you are reentering the workforce. Chances are, a lot has changed in the industry and in your life as well. Make sure your résumé is kept up to date, and that it reflects your current skills, accomplishments, and job requirements. You’ll also want to include only the relevant work experience that applies to the job you’re applying for. Don’t list irrelevant skills that take up valuable space on the page; instead, play up the relevant aspects of your skills that would be necessary for you to succeed in the position.
- Don’t be afraid to be personal. Even though you’re applying for a professional position, it doesn’t have to be all business all the time. The truth is, employers want to see that underneath that serious, perfectly polished exterior, you’re a person, too! It’s a good idea to include a small blurb about you, including your interests, hobbies, or personality type—especially if your job involves working closely with other people. It also serves as a conversation starter during an interview, and can provide a nice ice breaker or room for establishing common ground.
Try not to let yourself get frustrated if you are rejected or don’t hear back right away—it’s all a part of the process. Job hunting is notorious for taking time and even causing a few headaches here and there. But with these expert résumé writing tips, you are sure to have an effective, well-written résumé that will get you the interview you were hoping for. Good luck on your job hunting!