Although it may seem obvious, a standout résumé is imperative to acquiring your next job. Your colleagues or friends may have a good idea or two to help spice up your résumé, but nothing can replace professional advice. Keeping your résumé up to date with professional tips and polishing is what you need to get the attention of hiring managers.
Stratford University offers a number of services to students that are preparing for the workplace. Through Stratford Career Services, students can get writing assistance with their résumé. Career Services is proud to support students in any way they can so that they feel confident and assured about entering the workforce.
We’ve compiled a list of ten tips to make your résumé stand out. These résumé writing tips are meant to help showcase your unique talents and skill sets to help you get the job you desire.
Use a Template
A template is a great starting point. This gives you a foundation to work with, but also allows creative license and opportunity to customize it and highlight your qualifications and experience.
Choose a Streamlined Format
There are several types of formats for résumés, including chronological, functional, combination and targeted. The type of résumé you use will depend on your experience, education, skill set as well as the job that you are applying for. Reverse chronological is the easiest format for potential employers to read. It lists employment history and achievements in order starting from most recent and working backward. If your work experience is limited, you’re switching careers, or you have had a lapse in employment, a functional résumé may be the better choice. This type of résumé highlights skills and experience rather than work history.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Forget fancy layouts, fonts or other special effects. You are wise to stick to the traditional Times New Roman font, with standard fonts sizes, and use bold print and bullet points sparingly, to highlight key information. Keep it under two pages and make sure that it is easy to read and understand. Not everyone is going to understand industry lingo from your former employer.
Check Your Spelling
You may not be the best writer, but a résumé must be written well to make an impact. Keep it concise, to the point, and organized. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. A well-constructed résumé tells the hiring manager you are worth considering for the job.
Skip the Fluff
Hiring managers aren’t interested in your personal life. When doing your résumé review, leave those details off, such as married with children. Even though you may think it showcases you as a stable employee, it could turn off a hiring manager that is looking for someone to travel, and keep you from getting an interview.
Specify Your Accomplishments
Try not to use too many generalizations, but instead highlight specific achievements in your job history. When speaking on education, specifically reference your associate, graduate, or masters degree. Quantify your accomplishments to show hiring managers what you can offer. A résumé is a document that sells your strengths and skills, not just job experience. Use numbers, statistics, and percentages to spotlight your capabilities.
Customize Your Résumé to the Job
Taking the time to customize your résumé to the job you are applying for is worth it. You have a very limited amount of time to impress the reader before they either move on to the next or keep reading. This is your chance to sell yourself and show the hiring manager that you are what the company needs. Study the job description and utilize keywords or phrases to make your résumé stand out.
Highlight Career Summary Instead of Objective
Objectives are basic and usually all sound the same. Use a career summary instead to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Showcase your talents as a solution to their problems. Let them know who you are what you have to offer.
A majority of mid- to senior-level positions are filled through networking these days. As someone who is looking for a job, networking should be your main focus for getting that job. Networking includes reaching out to former employers, coworkers, friends, and family. It can also include any former sales representatives or vendors that you may have worked with in the past. Also, connecting with alumni from your alma mater, and utilizing Career Services and career fairs at Stratford University.
Use Social Media
Networking sites such as LinkedIn are helpful in connecting job seekers to potential employers. You can create a profile, connect with industry colleagues, clients, former coworkers and employers, and post your résumé on the site to increase your chances significantly to find a new job. When preparing for the workplace, leave no stone unturned.