Your resume is your self marketing tool. Professional and effective resumes get noticed faster than others and most of time these gets interview call first among other candidates. So, your resume should be perfect without any mistakes that many others do. So that you can stand out from the competition and get hired faster.
1. You should write separate resume for each job you apply, with targeting specific audience
This is the king of all resume rules. Do not ever use same resume for all the job you apply. It’ll not work and you’ll never get interview call from any employer. So, this rule can’t be stress enough. Do not do this mistake ever.
You should tailor your resume for each position you apply.
Because different positions will need a different resume because they require different skill sets. First thing employers look for is your skill set and achievements. So make sure to optimize your resume skill set and achievements that matches to the job description.
If you have less experience, you’ll need to highlight different aspects of your job responsibilities to appeal to each individual hiring manager.
A hiring manager at an office may want to know what software you can use, what tricks you use to be efficient, and whether you have writing skills.
To find out what skills the recruiter is looking for, read the job description they wrote CAREFULLY. They listed all of the special skill sets you need to have to work well in their company. So, what you have to do is simply include those specific skills that mentioned in job listing on your resume (if you have those skills) and you’re set.
Tip: When you list your experience, you have be very creative to add those skills they are looking for to the your experience part. And demonstrate how the skills you currently have are transferrable into an unrelated position. In this way, you can write a tailored resume.
(NOTE: The Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is software that can read your resume, specially if you apply for large scale companies, they are created such a way that to read and find the resume with that specific skills that feeds by the recruiters. So if you are unable to add them, most probably your resume will be rejected. This is another major reason you should tailor your resume.)
2. You have to use clever action verbs on the bullet points to impress your audience.
Writing in complete sentences will force you to be descriptive. The worst resume descriptions are come with boring, old, 2-4 word descriptions like, “Cleaned accounts,” “Wrote invoices,” or “Dealt with angry clients.”
Instead you should use action verbs to start the each sentence, preferably one that best describes the your responsibilities. Some action verbs are better than others. It’s depends on the situation and your particular work. Use this giant list of action verbs to find just the right action verb for your specific bullet point!
For instance, the verb phrase “Managed 5 marketing associates” is better than “Told 5 associates to what to do”.
Here are some other excellent verbs you can use:
Use Verbs Like These To Start Your Bullet Points
Basically, if it’s a verb and it sounds good, use it. On the other hand…
Don’t Use following Words to Start Your Bullet Points
- Pronouns (I, you, we, us)
- Adverbs (boldly, bravely, brightly, cheerfully)
- Adjectives (Massive, huge, small, smart, quick, efficient, intelligent)
3. Quantify your resume to the best of best, add numbers to describe your experience
Adding numbers to your resume makes them more descriptive and specific, which will catch the hiring manager’s attention. Numbers also allow you to show off your achievements and abilities that others may not have.
The rule of thumb here is this: if the duty you performed can be described in numbers, do so.
Browse these perfectly quantified resumes for a taste of how your resume should look:
Still not sure how to do it? In the following examples, we’ve written each job description twice to show an right resume description and a wrong one.
Wrote five 5,000-word technical reports per week for the direct manager, summarizing market trends and suggesting courses of action
Wrote technical reports for the direct manager, summarizing marketing trends and suggesting courses of action
Served in a 250-seat restaurant, handling up to 4 tables at a time in a fast-paced restaurant the city.
Served food and drink and took orders in a fast paced restaurant
Up sold $350 in wine daily on average by leveraging knowledge of hundreds of wine brands and matching them with entrees to entice customers into bigger purchases
Upsold wine by using knowledge of wine and entrees to entice customers into purchases
Managed and trained 10 sales associates, successfully opening a new branch of our office while maintaining company standards
Managed and trained new sales associates to successfully open a new branch of our office while maintaining company standards
Other items that can be quantified include:
- Customer satisfaction ratings
- Number of customers served daily
- The size of your company/establishment
- Total yearly/monthly/daily sales
- How much you outperformed your co-workers by
- How much money you saved the company
4. Do not include a section about your hobbies and interests
Including a section about your hobbies and interests is not a accepted widely except some cases, and it’s widely regarded as a newbie mistake. The companies are highly interested in what skills you have and how you can help to earn money for them, not whether you can juggle or swallow swords (unless you are applying to a entertainment industry job, then these skills should definitely be on your resume).
If your hobbies, interests, and side projects do coincide with what the company is looking for, then you should include them in your Additional Skills or qualifications summary section.
5. Be careful with your employment gaps
Career gaps (where you were not working professionally) are not good things for your resume. You have be careful with them. And try to avoid them as much as possible.
There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this. The first is with resume formatting.
The first format you can use is called a Functional Resume, which leaves off work dates altogether in favor of simply listing your most relevant qualifications.
VIEW > Functional Resume
The other format you can use is called a Combination Resume, which splits your resume into two sections. In one section, your work experience will still be written in reverse-chronological order. Then, once you reach your gaps in work experience, you again simply list your qualifications and ignore dates altogether.
VIEW > Combination Resume
Other thing what you can do is, you can leave months off of your resume entirely. If you did not worked from May 10, 2018, to March 1, 2019 – simply leave off writing May and March, which will show that you worked from 2018-2019. If pressed in your interview, tell the truth.
The point is to get your foot in the interview.
6. Be professional when you present yourself in resume
This mainly concerns your contact details section.
Make sure to avoid these 3 don’t of Professionalism
- Don’t include your nickname. We once received a resume from Mark “The Baby” Forest. It was ineffective and highly unprofessional.
- Don’t include a picture of yourself on your resume. Generally, we don’t include head shot in resume nowadays unless If you are an actor. Then you will need to include a professional head shot. For all other industries, including a picture of oneself is considered extremely unprofessional.
- Don’t label your saved document with inappropriate names, which is common mistakes among applicants. It seems that sometimes people forget that the other party will see the file name.
Make sure to add these DO’s of Professionalism
- Use a professional email address. For instance, email@example.com is unprofessional, use like James.gorge@gmail,com for better professionalism.
- Make sure you resume is saved with your full name and the word “resume”. Example: “James Gorge Resume” Include the position you’re applying for if you know it. Example: “James Gorge Resume – Marketing Manager”
- Be 100% sure that your contact details are correct and active. Not being able to contact you for an interview is the height of unprofessional.
7. Format your resume so that it is aesthetically pleasing and legible
In modern world visual representation of your resume is also a critical factor for interview call. So make your resume aesthetically pleasing for eyes. Follow these 10 simple rules to make an aesthetically pleasing resume. Or, simply download some of the best resume templates on the web from our website for free.
The 5 DO’S of Resume Aesthetics:
- DO leave spaces between your work experiences to make reading easier
- DO bold your headers to standout from the other text
- DO italicize sub-headers to make it easier to change
- DO create columns to save space and use more of the page (1-Page resumes have best results)
- DO incorporate bullet points to list job descriptions to make it easy to read
The 5 DON’Ts of Resume Aesthetics
- DO NOT use font below size 10 pts
- DO NOT use crazy font styles
- DO NOT write a “Block of Text” (no spacing, too much text, too much information)
- DO NOT use bright colors that are difficult to read
- DO NOT include images
For more, read our detailed guide on resume design to learn how to craft a resume that stands out.
8. Be Yourself on your resume
Presenting your self better than real you is not a good thing and finally both your employer and you will be in trouble with lot of time wasting.
Getting caught for lies on resume will follow you for the rest of your work life. You can get high salaries for well paying jobs by claiming the skills and certificates that do not have by lies on resume.
Bu most probably, you will get caught eventually, because it will be obvious that you do not know how to perform well for selected position.
In other hand some people are trying to lie on their resume because they blindly believe that their work experience and education histories are insufficient. In reality, many employers are willing to take risks on employees that have the basic skills and attitude to do the job as they can.
9. Never repeat any bullet points
Most of time resumes should be in reverse chronological order. Such a way that your resume should be formatted with your most recent work experience at the top, and least recent at the bottom. That means any bullet points towards the top means that you know how to do that job responsibility already. There’s no point in repeating it again towards the bottom.
It’s redundant, and unnecessarily lengthens your resume.
10. Be careful with grammar or spelling errors
Grammar and spellings mistakes are big no go things even in a stellar resume. Because resume is such an important document which should be perfect, mistakes like grammar and spelling mistakes immediately set off red flags in the hiring manager’s view.
The thinking is, if you can’t take the time to correct basic mistakes, then you might also be a low quality worker.
Take these steps to make sure your resume is error free:
- Run spell check
- Have two friends or family members look over it
- Look over it yourself
So keep in mind that, your resume is your self marketing document. Do not do any negative things. Follow above steps and make it perfect and get hired faster.