How To Elevate Your Resume Game; A Definitive Guide.
Talk about a first impression.
Consider for a moment the cadence and volume of information we consume on a daily basis. Similarly, hiring managers intake information by the same peek and scroll directive. The professional world rumors that resumes get anywhere from 2-12 seconds of “face time” before being tossed or added to the interview pile; the HR equivalent to Instagram scrolling if you will. We can confirm that the rumors are true.
Obviously, the goal of a quality resume is to land the interview. But we’ve compiled a shortlist of several tips that will not only elevate your resume game but if followed will warrant an impression that will transcend into the interview itself.
1. Keep It Clean. The Most timeless advice we can give you is to keep your resume simple, clean, and easy on the eyes. Draw your audience in by focusing on what you need to pop. Features such as bullet points, clearly visible cities, and states, and reasonable fonts are opportunities to capture your audience for 2-12 minutes instead of 2-12 seconds.
2. Keep it recent and relevant. Your job as a candidate is to market yourself in a way that makes sense. You may have little to no relevant experience in the field, but if you’re able to confidently frame your past experiences to become transferable to the job you want, your past job descriptions seem instantly less powerful as a determinant to your next placement.
3. Don’t limit yourself to one page. The retirement of the idea that your resume can only be a single page is long overdue. Take FULL advantage of expanding all of your current and previous skills. This is your one free pass to a humblebrag.
4. Tailor your resume by doing your due diligence. If you’ve spent any time exploring the job market over the past few years, you’re probably acutely aware of the demand for a wow factor. Not the kind of wow factor that includes a unique element (although we love that too) but the kind that proves your work ethic and dedication even before we’ve made it through your technical skills. It’s up to you as a candidate to translate the core values of an organization as expressed online into verbiage that is uniquely yours in your resume. Oh, and without them really knowing it. Subliminal, delicate references that align your experience, abilities, and goals with those of the company you’re trying to impress and the opening you’re trying to fill is the way to win the game.
5. Don’t use fancy resumes templates. Use a basic, traditional format, or If you’re going to dish out cash, hire yourself a professional resume writer. Hiring managers need to be impressed with YOU, not how unique the layout of your resume is. However unfortunate it may be, you have up to 12 seconds for someone to be impressed; don’t waste your shot on someone having to hunt through your pretty resume to understand your basic skills. The basic format will do. In fact, if it doesn’t read left to right, have clear bullet points, and follow a traditional format, you’re risking the clarity of your message.
6. Your resume is a marketing tool and should be written as one. EVERY detail isn’t necessary. PLEASE, give your interviewer the highlight reel. Ask yourself what you want to pop out about your skills and experience and make it painfully obvious. You don’t see successful businesses marketing their prototypes, so why would you market the versions of yourself that didn’t work out? Don’t lie, and always have a complete list of employment on hand, but don’t muddle your message! Use discretion and draw attention to the final product; the desirable professional you are today.
7. If there’s a phrase you think should be on your resume-it probably shouldn’t. Opt for original verbiage. Skip all of the token corporate jargon and generic descriptors. Keeping a journal or running document that highlights some of the challenges and praiseworthy accomplishments can be a great tool to jog your memory so that you’re able to speak authentically about your experiences. Resume writing has taken on a rigidity that it never deserved. Claim back your creativity!
8. Measurable results get more attention than even the most articulate explanations. If you can quantify something, take advantage of the opportunity to quickly, easily, and measurably impress.
9. Soft skills are great-but are you demonstrating on your resume the actualization of those skills? Reframe how you’re talking about your history and elevate how people are perceiving your skills. Creating a cohesive picture in a one-page highlight reel is no easy task, but the efforts to do so will give you the competitive edge you need.
In our increasingly virtual world, you have to take every opportunity to prove your value. Gone are the days of a stern handshake, confident posture, and eye contact selling your brand for you. We now have to master the application process and a few zoom calls to even earn an in-person interview these days. Start by harnessing your 12 seconds of fame with a perfectly executed resume. Your prospective hiring authority will notice.