Your resume is one of the most important documents you will have to write in your entire life. Sounds scary, huh? Or it seems like we are exaggerating? After all, we are recruiters. All we do entire day is reading resumes. No wonder we think it is the most important document in the universe. But please - take a second and think about this statement. It is the first thing potential employers will receive from your end in order to get to know you and to learn more about your background. It is the document on which you will be judged on. Eventually, it is the document they will use as a foundation while making a decision about you being the right person for the job or not. This is why we believe we are right when we say that your resume is the most important document ever. It holds the keys of your destiny. Ok, maybe not destiny (...we did exaggerate a bit here, sorry). But definitely of your career, as it can unlock the doors of the next big job opportunity. Or lock them, too. Depending on its quality.
Therefore, we cannot stress enough the importance of a well-structured, updated, grammatically correct, keyword friendly, and million times proofread resume.
If you want to improve your resume, simultaneously improving the chances of being invited to an interview and showing your best in person, follow these 3 suggestions:
1. KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE
This is the most important advice we can give you – keep your resume short and simple.
A rule of thumb says that a resume shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages, regardless of your years of experience.
There are some exceptions in certain industries, but two pages is what the majority of job seekers should go with.
And don’t make it shorter simply by making your font smaller. Recruiters can see what you have done there!
A better way to do it is by using bullet point lists instead of plain text wherever possible. Additionally, you can play with the layout of your CV and get creative with sorting all the information on 1 or 2 pages.
However, it wouldn’t be wise to simply exclude some responsibilities, certificates or courses, especially if they are important for the role you are applying for. Therefore, don’t sacrifice the relevant content in order to make your resume more concise. Instead, focus on this keyword – relevant. And this word leads us to the second suggestion…
2. TAILOR YOUR CV TO THE JOB YOU WANT TO APPLY FOR
Sending the same resume while applying for 10+ different roles sounds familiar?
Yes, we know - we all have done it.
But the key to successful application and landing the job interview is a resume tailored to the role you are applying for. It means that you should include all the relevant information to show that you meet all the requirements specified in the job advertisement and/or job description. Take your time and re-read job advert to understand the requirements completely. After that, tailor your resume accordingly to reflect all requirements or at least majority of them, if you meet them.
It refers to educational background and previous experience in the first place. Moreover, it refers to additional information enlisted, such as desirable certificates, soft-skills, etc. Additionally, use descriptions of your previous key responsibilities as supporting evidence about you having all the skills required.
If you still think that tailoring a resume is time-consuming and tiresome, here are some benefits of it:
A tailored resume provide strong evidence of your motivation for the role, as it will be obvious that you have taken your time to familiarize yourself with the job description and to amend your resume accordingly. This gives you a strong advantage among other candidates!
They say a lot about you by presenting you as a motivated, well-organized, goal oriented person who can easily distinguish relevant from irrelevant information. And the best part is that they do it implicitly - without you saying a word about these traits!
If you include only relevant information, it is really hard to make your resume longer than 2 pages. Talking about killing two birds with one stone…
You will help recruiters to easily find all information that suggest you are everything they have been looking for, and they will definitely appreciate your effort. Consequently, it will increase your chances of receiving an invitation for the interview.
Makes you think twice about constantly sending the same resume, doesn’t it?
If you want to learn more about tailoring your resume to the job, check what we have written here.
3. MAKE IT EYE-CATCHING
Finally, if you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to bear in mind that the visual aspect of your resume is as important as its content. Therefore, focus on its structure, layout, and formatting.
When it comes to the structure, it is important to include all the relevant parts - contact details, work experience and qualifications. Sort them logically. Your contact details should be at the top, while less relevant information, such as additional skills, hobbies or interests, should be at the bottom.
Be consistent with the formatting. It means you should apply the same writing style to each end every job within your CV. If you have used a bullet point list to describe your current role, you should use bullet point lists for all the other roles too. Don't mix it with the plain text or different style of bulleting. Finally, don’t combine too many font styles or font sizes. There is no need to use seven font styles and vivid colors to stand out. You don't want to give your future employer a headache before the two of you have even met in person. Two font styles/sizes or bold font can do their magic too. Use one font size and type for the majority of the content. Combine it with the other font, size or color to highlight headings and subheadings – find the one you like and stick to it.
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IF YOU STILL STRUGGLE WITH PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER, READ THIS: You want 121 help with your CV? Not a problem - we've got your back! Contact us for a professional resume review coaching session! If you believe you can do it on your own, but you just need inspiration, here you can find a collection of resume and cover letter templates we have created. All of them are aligned with every single lesson we have learned on the other side of the table on what works and what doesn't - so you don't have to bang you head against a wall to put all these pieces of information together. Just edit the text. Simple as that. Oh, and start preparing yourself for the interview. Interview invitations will start coming in no time!
Do you have any questions about writing a resume? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? We’d love to help you out! Send us a message. Or if you prefer having a chat, book a FREE conversation with our career coach and get all your questions answered in 30 minutes.