In 2020, the recruiting process has been streamlined by the use of technology. Your resume first needs to get through the application system to get selected for even the initial screening. When it finally makes it into the employer, you would be getting only a few seconds to garner their interest.
Your resume can open doors for you or hinder your career growth. It depends on how you present it and where you draw the lines to get over creative in the presentation. We had a conversation with resume writing service to create a list of what works and what doesn’t work in resumes. These are the tips that will guide you in updating your CV for the future.
Dos Of Creating A Resume
1. Optimize For Applicant Tracking Systems
Today, large companies rely on automated applicant tracking systems to weed out unqualified candidates. The process essentially matches the keywords of the job descriptions to those in your resume to ensure that you meet the predefined requirements. As such, it is increasingly significant that you have included the relevant keywords in your resume.
2. Tailor Your Resumes For Different Jobs
Regardless of whether you are applying for the same position, it is always recommended to tweak your resumes for the different applications. Considering the previous point, you have to tailor your resume for each job to match their specific needs. This also applies to the cover letter, emphasizing the value you bring to the particular organization.
3. Use One-Line Points
It is now a common tendency to offer descriptions of your responsibilities in your previous and current job. However, as you know by now, recruiters rather skim read through the resumes first. Replacing the paragraphs with clear and concise bullet points will make it easier for them to track the crucial aspects and skills you possess.
4. Highlight The Relevant Achievements
Recruiters want to see quantifiable presentations of your skills rather than a generic resume. If your previous role is more relevant to your target job than the current position, it should take the front lead in your application. The goal is to try to connect the target job to your existing skills and convince the recruiter that you are the right fit for the role.
5. Include A Summary Of Qualifications
Employers are trying to get a quick grasp of your skills right away. Have a concise description of your most marketable skills and previous experience at the top of your resume. Make sure that this also covers the work tasks required for your target job. Having this as your opening sentence will present you as an attractive package.
6. Always Proofread Your Application
Whether you are entering information through an online form or sending out a completed resume, you must double-check the writing. If possible, it would be best to have someone else look over the content to correct any mistakes that might have slipped through the net.
Don’ts Of Creating A Resume
7. Don’t Go Overboard With Graphics
A quick search on the internet will get you resume templates of all colors and designs. While formatting might be one of the ways to stay apart from the crowd, you also need to know who your audience is. While a quirky resume format might work with few, standard formatting will make it appealing for everyone. You also need to remember that the recruiter might be viewing your CV on their phone. So you need to plan the graphics to be eligible and formatting to be readable across all screens.
8. Don’t Hide Graduation Years
As you work up your career, you might think that graduation years are not that significant, or it might make you look old school as a candidate. However, recruiters prefer to see graduation dates so they can verify your qualifications. Excluding any crucial years might give the impression that you have something to hide. With 30% of job seekers bending the truths on resumes, the hiring process now includes rigorous verification to ensure the authenticity of the information provided.
9. Don’t Use Abbreviations
You might be used to college acronyms, but your recruiter won’t be. Make sure that you spell out the names of colleges, cities, titles, and any other abbreviations. While at it, you might also want to avoid using too much technical jargon in the resume.
10. Don’t Exceed Two Pages
It is always best to keep your resume short. Fresh graduates or those who have less work experience, you should aim for a single-page resume. Professionals with extensive careers can extend to a second page, and a maximum third if the information is indispensable. When you have over 10 years of work experience, you have put forward only the roles that best fit your narrative of your career journey.
11. Don’t Forget Your Cover Letter
Even if not explicitly required, it is always best to include a cover letter in your application. It would be even better to attach it as a part of your CV and follow the same colors or formats. Your cover letter might be offering valuable details of explaining any gaps in your resume and would work best hand-in-hand with your resume.
12. Don’t Include Negative Information
The resume is not the right place to describe that you were fired or laid off. If you need to explain a career gap, you could do it in the covering letter if necessary. If not, merely list the dates of employment without specifying why you left the position.
As a thumb rule, before including any points in the application, ask yourself whether it will help you get the job. In case the answer is no, take it out.
Admittedly, it could be hard to get everything right on your first try. The aim is to get as many points as possible to ensure that your resume caters to your target job’s needs. As you progress, remember to update your CV and covering letter to the most common file formats preferred by the recruiters.
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