You’ve completed your studies and are looking for a job. Congratulations! This is an exciting step in anyone’s life. But it can be a bit stressful too when you’re unsure of how to proceed. That’s why we put together these 7 top resume writing tips to help get hired.
Use Customizable Resume Templates
Using customizable templates takes a lot of the hassle out of creating a resume, and it also looks more professional. But when using such free templates like google resume templates or others, make them your own. Adding a few personal tweaks is what will set you apart from the rest.
Adjust the font, or use an elegant border. Whatever changes you make though, keep it relevant for the job you’re applying for. A more creative approach may work for an ad agency or graphic design company, but not for an insurance company. Think about the image you’re trying to convey.
Make Sure Your Reference Details Are Up To Date
If you have any work experience that you have mentioned, give the name and contact details (mobile number and email) for references. Depending on the nature of the job, a character reference may be a good idea, too. When listing references for work experience, the last one or two jobs will suffice.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your references won’t be checked. All references listed should be factual, honest, and up to date. Ensure this by checking that the contact details for everyone and every institution listed, are still current.
People change their mobile numbers and even email addresses. Heads of departments change. Do the necessary digging and check that all information you’ve given is correct. If a prospective employer tries to check your references and hits a dead end, you risk losing an opportunity you may have been great for.
Tailor Your Resume To Fit The Job
While a generic resume may seem like a good idea, the reality is that you may apply for a range of different positions. Tailor your resume to fit the job, to avoid companies picking up on a generic one-size-fits-all vibe.
For example, if you want to apply for a position as an IT manager, your Microsoft project training would be relevant. Your more creative courses may not be. Read through the job posting again, and consider what the hiring department will be looking for.
A formal tone is usually best unless you’re applying for a job in a more casual type of environment. Avoid the use of slang and colloquial expressions though, no matter how informal the workplace is. Your aim, always, is to appear approachable, yet professional.
Format Your Resume For Easy Scanning
Use formatting that makes your resume quick and easy to scan through. There should be no large sections of text. The eye easily gets bored, and that’s the last thing you want when someone is reading your resume! Good formatting is essential for any document, so get into this habit right away.
Break up any large text blocks with paragraphs, and use appropriate headers. Don’t get carried away with lots of unnecessary headings, though. Use headings only where necessary, and keep them short. This not only makes it easier to scan through quickly, but it also looks neater.
Stick To Relevant Info Only
Many job seekers are swayed by the allure of being their “own boss”, and starting a freelancing career. This can be a very rewarding move, but you’ll still need a resume to market yourself. Be sure to stick to relevant info only, though.
When starting a freelance career, you should concentrate more on your qualifications, and relevant references, than on part-time jobs you’ve done, etc. You are marketing yourself as a responsible, reliable, and qualified person who is offering your services. You are not advertising yourself as an employee.
This is an important distinction, so keep it in mind if you want to do freelance work. If, however, you are looking for a job where you are employed, instead of contracted, go ahead and mention any relevant work experience.
Proofread – Use A Spellcheck/Grammar Check
Everyone sometimes makes simple spelling and grammar mistakes, no matter how well educated. It’s even more likely when creating your resume, as you may be nervous. If you don’t catch it in time, you will have wasted your efforts.
Just one spelling mistake could put you in a bad light, no matter how qualified or experienced you are. Always do a spell and grammar check once you have completed your resume, and proofread it afterward just to be sure.
There are several free proofreading apps available online. These will be invaluable to you for compiling your resume, writing cover letters, and even perhaps in your job once you get it. Install it on your computer before starting to draw up your resume. It will make all the difference to your professionalism.
Keep It Simple
If you’re starting in the working world, you probably haven’t got much work experience to speak of. Although you have an academic qualification, perhaps more than one, it doesn’t take pages and pages to list these. So keep it simple, short, and sweet.
You are not the only person applying for that job. Hundreds or even thousands of people may have responded to the job posting. That’s a lot of resumes to go through, and even with a dedicated recruiting team, most companies don’t have the time to scroll through tomes.
A one-page resume that looks professional, is relevant to the job position and contains no errors is far more likely to be successful. Before you send off your resume, ask yourself the following question; ‘Would I hire this person?” If the answer is no, you may need to make some changes.