For most industries, RESUMES matter, but few of us actually enjoy writing them. However, learning how to write an effective resume can make all the difference in not only screening you in as a candidate, but also moving you to the top of the candidate’s list. An effective resume can be a game changer. Here are a few tips for writing a more effective resume:
Relevant Information- you usually only get one chance to make a first impression, so the information that you lead in with on your resume is vital. It is best practice if the first page of your resume includes the most important and relevant information to the job. The top third of the first page is “valuable real estate”, so be strategic with what is highlighted in this section! Writing an objective is not always the best use of “real estate.” Consider changing your objective to Highlight of Qualifications section or a Professional Summary, depending on your industry and employment goals.
Elaborate- tell the potential employer what makes you good at your job, what makes you shine- include some detail. For example: “Proficient in the use of computers” can become, “Proficient in the use of Microsoft operating systems, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and…”
Success- talk about your successes and accomplishments in previous employment, rather than responsibilities. For example, if you’re good at fundraising, tell them what you accomplished, as a result of being good at it: “Coordinated three fundraising events for local shelters that resulted in raising more than $50,000 that went towards services and resources for individuals without stable housing, while improving community awareness.” This tells the employer more about you and what you’re capable of, as opposed to saying, “Was responsible for coordinating all community events.”
Update as Needed- make sure you update your resume with current information. Update your resume on a regular basis as “general” resumes are a thing of the past. Resumes need to be adjusted, reworded and sometimes reorganized, depending on the job you are applying for. Applicants need to provide a resume tailored for each job, that makes it as easy as possible for the employer to screen you through. This includes education, training, employment, skills, and even links to up-to-date LinkedIn profiles.
Market Yourself- some of us have difficulty talking about ourselves, whether in person or on paper. Your resume is not the place to hold back and be humble. This doesn’t mean you need to be boastful or exaggerate, but it is essential to include information, skills, education and accomplishments that let potential employers know, exactly what you have to offer and how you would be an asset to them.
Eliminate Irrelevant Information- only keep in the information that is relevant to the job for which you are applying. Including information on skills or previous employment experience not related to the position you are currently applying for actually makes your resume less effective. More is not necessarily better.