If you’ve spent any time looking for a job, you know how frustrating it can become. Sending out dozens of applications with your resume, only to not hear back, is one of the most discouraging feelings you can have. With such a vulnerable process, it’s no wonder that finding a new job can be dreadful that most would rather continue with something they don’t enjoy than find a better fit.
With all of the stress and uncertainty that comes with job hunting, it should go without saying that setting yourself up with the best odds for success is worth the effort upfront. The resume you submit when you apply to a new job is the critical lynchpin that determines if you move forward in the hiring process. With job openings often receiving dozens, if not hundreds of applications, it’s critically important that your resume stands out and presents you in the best possible light.
Here’s a proven blueprint I’ve used to secure tons of interviews in the past. Following these guidelines leaves you in the perfect position to score interviews and eventually find the job of your dreams.
You have a lot of creative freedom to format your resume however you like. The truth is there are many good approaches to presenting the information that’ll get your foot in the door. Here’s something to keep in mind, though. You want to choose a layout that maximizes the space you have to sell yourself without it looking cluttered. If your resume looks like a challenge to read, chances are the hiring manager will continue through their stack without giving you a real consideration.
Highlight What Matters
When you are listing your experience, it’s smart to list only the most relevant experience you’ve had for the position you are applying for. Stick to two or three jobs you held for a meaningful amount of time, and use the extra space to elaborate more thoroughly on how you added value.
Use Action Words
Action words are what display your assets most clearly. By sticking to an action word as the first word in every bullet point, you commit yourself to best explaining the tangible experience you have. If you have specific numbers or results, make sure to include them! They signal that you are paying attention and are goal-oriented.
Spend Time On Your Objective
Most resume templates you find online will give you space for an objective. Many will gloss over this section; they write some words but fail to deliver anything with a punch. Clearly stating why you are looking for new opportunities and what those opportunities are, fills in the blanks for hiring managers, and paints a picture of you before you arrive for the interview. Keep this section simple and straight forward, but heavy on the passion and honesty.
By following these resume guidelines, you will set yourself up for success when it comes time to seek out new career opportunities. The elephant in the hiring room is that, often, more resumes are coming in available position than whoever is hiring has time to sort through. The difference between getting your foot in the door for an interview and being dismissed preemptively can come down to how effectively you sell yourself on your resume. Spend the extra time setting yourself up for success, and you will reap the benefits!