Building a strong resumé may sound like a cliché, but it’s surprising how many candidates we’ve seen over the years that pack their resumés with fluff or poorly articulated descriptions. When you put minimal effort into your resumé, it shows!
HR professionals, who receive hundreds of resumés every week, scan each resumé quickly to spot the ones that are compelling and match the skills they are looking for in a candidate. In a nutshell, you have 10 seconds to convince a hiring manager or HR professional that your resumé is worth reading in its entirety. How do you make your resumé stand out in the time that it takes to tie your shoelaces? Follow these 3 tips below:
1. Keep Your Resumé Clutter Free and Easy to Read
Use Bullet PointsYou cannot go wrong with bullet points! Trying to write a book on your experience using long prosaic sentences makes your resumé difficult to read. Bullet points also help HR professionals digest the most important aspects of your experience.
Include Job Titles, Employer Names and Employment DatesHR professionals normally scan these elements first. If you don’t clearly place the job title, company, and dates on your resumé, you make the HR professional’s job harder. They’ll need to spend extra time digging to find out what you do and where. Most likely, the HR Manager will give up and go to the next resumé hurting your chances of getting selected.
Avoid or Keep Logos and Graphics to a MinimumUnless you’re an accomplished designer, try to avoid putting too many logos or images on your resumé. Some graphics can certainly add punch, but when overused it can make your resumé look busy and garbled. Exercise restraint.
Give Prime Real Estate to Work ExperienceCandidates often dedicate too much space to their professional statement or interests, to the detriment of their work experience. The number one criterion on your resumé is your work experience! So be sure to allow adequate space for this and don’t over represent the less important areas like hobbies or your personal statement.
2. List Your Achievements
One effective way to supercharge your resumé is to list your achievements. Accomplishments not only say what you did, but also convey how well you did it. Besides awards of merit, accomplishments describe the benefits or successes that your team or company received as a result of your involvement in a project.
Managed and motivated a team of 30 salespeople across 4 stores, exceeding last year’s sales by 20%
This sentence clearly illustrates the skill involved, the volume of work and how successful it was executed. Remember companies want to hire the best possible candidate for the job – You can put yourself ahead of the pack by giving concrete examples that demonstrate that you are good at what you do!
3. Be Specific and Descriptive
An all-too-common problem on resumés is using vague language. For example, saying “Developed marketing plans” tells the reader very little: What marketing plans were they? For which product or service? What was the scope of the plans, such as national versus international? And, more importantly, were the marketing plans any good?
A better way to say this is:
Developed nationwide marketing plan for a new skin care line with launch sales earning a 50% profit margin in the first quarter.
This description provides more information, and therefore, is far more compelling. Notice how the accomplishment is included within the sentence, which underscores that the candidate is someone who gets results!
In putting the extra effort on you resumé – that is, going above and beyond what everyone else does - you will stand apart from the crowd. Make sure your resumé is easy to read, clear, and compelling for HR professionals who need to quickly discern your background. This will be a giant step towards securing an interview.