Even in a robust job market, most employers still receive applications from many more candidates for each job than they can reasonably interview. That is why you need an exceptionally attractive resume in order to stand out. Here are a few ways you can make yours look better to potential employers.
Nobody likes to read rambling, redundant texts – especially when they have a pile of documents to review. Save employers some time by summarizing your skills.
Open your resume with a career summary that highlights what makes you uniquely qualified for the role. Let employers know how your interests are a natural fit for the job and how your skills and experiences will make you successful at it. A winning summary can be your elevator pitch. It is your answer to that common first job interview question, “So, tell me about yourself.”
Confident people naturally come across as more competent and attractive. We tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, so if they express confidence in their abilities to do something, we believe them. Your resume should display your confidence in your skills to do the job. Highlight your key accomplishments and describe how you made a difference in each role that you’ve held. You know that you can do it – so make the employer believe it too.
Sometimes people cut and paste from several documents or sources to put together their resume. Just make sure that your final document is all in the same font, with the same spacing, and the same bullets and indents.
If you start using full, grammatically correct sentences, then use them all the way through. However, resumes often need formal sentence structure. Bullet-pointed phrases are fine – so long as you are consistent. For example, it is usually considered preferable to leave the ‘I,’ ‘We,’ or ‘Our’ off the beginning of sentences in a resume for a crisper sound. Just don’t switch back and forth between abbreviated phrases and full sentences.
Consistency indicates that you know the correct grammar rules, but you are bypassing them in the interest of brevity. Inconsistency could imply that you simply don’t know how to write properly.
The truth is the many, if not most, resumes are never actually read by a real person. Employers often use screening software to filter out resumes that required skills or certain keywords. Do the research for your industry, and read numerous job postings for the kind of job you are after, and make sure the language in your resume closely matches the wording and phrases that employers use.
The keywords employers will scan resumes for are often included in the job posting itself. Be sure to describe your qualifications in similar language to that used in any job postings that you apply for.
This will help you get past the filters, and when an employer does survey your resume, the skills they are looking for will be there, highlighted in the language they identify with.
And finally, of course, any resume is going to be more attractive if it is well-written and free from typos, spelling mistakes, and awkward or misused words or phrases. Here is how you can proofread your document like a professional editor.