Keywords – Read the Job Description
Employers put exactly what they are looking for in the job description. Companies will search through resumes using several methods; larger companies may use automated resume scanners, while smaller start-up companies may sort through applications by hand to get a more in-depth look at each applicant. Skills like ‘Leadership’ and ‘Critical Thinking’ are common keywords that, when used correctly, are compelling descriptors for your resume.
Numbers – Measurable Change
The best way to show a company you are a valuable asset is providing the recruiter with measurable results that demonstrate your potential. Including metrics in the experience section of your resume can massively improve your resume’s chances. A quantifiable change includes percentage change, sales totals, client satisfaction, etc.
Example: “Implemented new communication channels to engage clients, resulting in a 62% increase in client satisfaction and a 30% increase in client retention.”
Visual – Proper Formatting
Employees who are just joining the workforce, you have likely been shown best practices for resume formatting, but it is often the case that more experienced professionals may need to update their resumes. Keep it short, make it specific, and ensure your age isn’t inhibiting your eligibility. Create some contrast by separating sections and individualize your resume to suit your personality. Companies will have different standards when choosing applicants; if you are not sure, keep it professional. Finally, use standard fonts like Times New Roman, font size 11 or 12, and use bold fonts to distinguish sections.
Skills – Noteworthy Achievements
Include any outstanding achievements you have accomplished in your previous jobs. Include measurable metrics, if possible. These should be accomplishments and skills that set you apart from your peers, distinguish your experience in the industry, and highlight the value you add to a company. Maybe it is a certification in change management, Industry Awards you’ve won, or innovations you have implemented in previous companies.
Contact Info – Social Media
Employers will want to contact you if you are a candidate. Make sure to include your full name, phone number, and an email address. Include the country and city, but avoid putting your address in most cases. Include any professional social media accounts or websites you manage. Be aware; employers may search you on Google or social media to ensure your public image is in line with your resume, be sure to avoid posting content that may tarnish your image or brand.
References – Upon Request
Don’t fall victim to the traditional ‘References available upon request’ line. There is no need to include a reference section in most resumes. When employers ask for references, it is better to have a separate page of references to hand in immediately. Creating a separate reference sheet shows you are well prepared and allows you to add more details about the connection, including their job title and their relationship to you.
Unique – Be Yourself
Most importantly, be yourself, let employers know who you are before the interview. Show your personality through an executive summary, highlight your strengths, and talk about how the company’s mission aligns with your own goals. A resume is you, your personality, experience, and the value you bring to an organization. When possible, apply to a company you can stand behind; if their mission statement and your views don’t align, you won’t feel at home working for the company.