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Believe it or not, creating a solid resumé is just as important as prepping for your job interview. Your resumé is your chance to make a strong first impression on the recruiter. But before you get too freaked out, know this: Building the perfect resumé is actually pretty simple. Once you’ve read these tips, you’ll be ready to move forward into the job search with confidence.
1. Make it one page
Do you know how much time a recruiter spends looking at your resumé on the first go-around? Less than 10 seconds. If they have to go through pages of your accomplishments and experience, this party could be over before it even starts. Keep things simple, relevant and to the point.
2. Link to online portfolios
Try including a link to an online portfolio or professional website if you have one. That way, you’ll be able to showcase more of your work without taking up space on your resumé.
3. Make sure your contact info is professional
Nobody wants to send an email to sk8rboi2002. Just a normal, boring email account with your first and last name will get the job done. Don’t forget to include your phone number.
4. Include relevant social media
Double-check all your social media accounts to make sure they’re recruiter-friendly, especially if you include any of your social media handles on your resumé. But even those should only be on your resumé if they’re relevant to the position.
5. Skip the bio
It used to be trendy to put a paragraph about yourself at the top of your resumé, but it’s okay to let that trend die. Remember, we’re keeping this relevant and to the point.
6. Do you need a photo?
Be strategic about putting your picture on your resumé. It makes sense to include one if you’re applying for a modeling or acting job, but accounting? Nope.
7. Keep the listing in mind
Recruiters post job descriptions for a reason. They want to be clear and specific about what qualities and skills they need. Look for those buzzwords and find ways to work them into your resumé.
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8. Tweak your resumé for each role
It might sound like a lot of work to tailor your resumé to each job application, but the effort will pay off. By doing this, recruiters will know you took time to read all the info and your interest in their company is serious.
9. Tell the truth
This is a no-brainer, but enough people have lied on job applications to make it worth mentioning. Don’t say you know someone at the company if you’ve never talked to them. Don’t say you know how to use Excel and PowerPoint if you don’t. Get it? Don’t lie!
10. Make it easy to read
Put yourself in the recruiter’s position. What would you be looking for? You’d probably want something that’s clear and easy on the eyes:
- Use 10- to 12-point font.
- Use a professional font like Times New Roman, Helvetica, Arial, or Calibri.
- Keep your headers simple, and use concise bullet points.
- Don’t use too many variations in font size, color and style.
For extra help with formatting, check out my free Resumé Guide.
11. Use active words
What if the language in your resumé was just a little more engaging? Here are a few active and interesting words to use where it makes sense:
12. Explain why you’re a good fit
Your resumé should include a few words about why you want to work for the company. It’s one thing to know someone wants to work for you, but if you see they care about the company and its mission, wouldn’t you be more likely to want them on your team?
13. Give concrete examples
When talking about your experience, it’s a good idea to quantify by using a measure of success. That will give recruiters a clear picture of the kinds of results you deliver! Here are a few examples:
- Increased sales by 200% in one year.
- Structured, wrote and posted four to five articles per week.
- Served 20 to 30 clients per week and generated $10,000 in revenue per month.
14. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Even just one case of using the wrong their can sway a recruiter’s opinion. Read over everything several times. Ask a few other people you trust to give you some feedback, too.
15. Put your education last
Most astute recruiters don’t care where you went to school, as long as you’re educated in your field. And don’t forget to include any other training or educational courses that are relevant to the job you want.
Good luck out there!