The resume acts as a bridge between you and the prospective recruiter. Hence the importance of a resume can never be underestimated. So, to make the first impression, it is imperative that your resume stands out from the crowd. Since companies do not have enough time to interview each candidate, they ask for resumes from candidates to select the best ones. We took a survey of several recruiters and resume editors and summarized the 7 most essential attribute of writing a perfect resume.
Step 1 – Cover all the Basics
The goal of a resume is to best represent your relevant skills and achievements, and there are many ways to do that successfully. Having said that, every resume requires these basic elements:
Relevant educational degrees and certifications. The importance of your educational background varies based on the job type and industry you are applying to. You do not need to include all your educational credentials, rather you should include the ones that are most relevant to the job description.
Relevant work and volunteer experience. Most people choose to list their experience beginning with their most recent job. You should not only include everything you did in your past jobs, but you should also focus on volunteering experience.
Contact information. Your full name, the city where you live, your email address and phone number. Because this personal information is sensitive, you should be cautious about who you share your resume with. Read over these guidelines for a safe job search to protect yourself.
Step 2 – Follow Coherent Structure
Have you ever read something that was hard to follow, where the writer jumped around from idea to idea and did not have unity or consistency? That is something you want to avoid while writing your resume.
Your resume should follow coherent structure starting with your current job and moving systematically to your previous work experience followed by your educational background. This chronological structure is very important from a recruiter’s point of view as they have on average less than 10 seconds to shortlist a resume. An unstructured resume has very high chances of rejection.
Step 3 – Be Concise
Employers need to quickly understand your work experience. Format your experience as a list of short, stainable statements, rather than writing out dense paragraphs.
The typical resume is two pages maximum, so make sure all the information you’ve included is essential. If you can’t decide what is essential, ask yourself if it’s relevant to the job description.
Keep the experiences that you want to keep building on and match what the employer is looking for—this meets the definition of essential information to include on your resume.
Step 4 – Quantify your Achievements
Numbers and data bring your work experience to life and indicate the hiring managers the potential impact you could have in their organization. Back-up your achievements with real data to boost your credibility and add informative detail to your resume. For example:
Unquantified: Improved lead generation through strategic content marketing initiatives.
Quantified: Achieved 180% year-over-year lead growth through strategic content marketing initiatives.
Step 5 – Understanding the Job Description
Hiring managers want to see that you can speak their language and know the language that’s commonly used in their industry. When they see their job requirements getting fulfilled in your resume, it reinforces the idea that you’re a strong candidate for the role. And if your resume will be posted to an online database, the right keywords are critical to getting found by employers.
Carefully read and analyze the job postings that interest you, and take note of the key requirements that employers are including there. You may begin to notice commonalities and can write your resume to showcase your relevant skills.
Step 6 – Review your Resume at least thrice
Unfortunately, a single typographical or spelling error is sometimes enough to get your resume discarded early in the game. Proofread your resume multiple times, doing a thorough line-by-line, word-by-word edit. Reading content backward is one great way to catch minor mistakes that you might otherwise miss. Getting an outside perspective is always a good idea. Ask a friend, mentor, or family member to review your resume before submitting it to employers.
A strong resume can streamline your job search process, helping you showcase your strengths and get one step closer to your dream job. With some diligent work upfront — and by adhering to these rules — you can turn this fundamental job search document into one of your strongest professional assets.
Step 7 – Take Third-party Feedback
It is helpful for an objective third party to look at your resume from a recruiter’s perspective, and suggest ways to improve your resume. This third party can be your friends, your boss or a professional resume writer. Many people go for the best professional resume writers available in the market. You can choose any of the best resume writing services to assist you. The general thumb rule is to pick any of the top 10 resume services available in the country.
1. Unbiased perspective on your resume
As already mentioned above, your opinion of the resume won’t get you the job. Therefore, the second set of eyes can be a great way to get feedback.
2. Specific details and examples from your resume
It is fair to expect specific details and examples from the text to source information to support the critique. For example, they will refer to a particular section in your resume, such as your skills section or your professional summary, and provide feedback specific to that area.
3. Focus on strategy
Your resume is a strategic document, and it should be specifically crafted to present you as the best candidate. A few of the important factors are — action verbs, keywords, skillsets, achievements, key performances, and job profile mapping. Additionally, your resume needs to be formatted appropriately so that it is visually appealing, but without letting design be a distraction. A resume critique will focus on all of this, providing feedback on how your document can strategically work to improve your job application and land you more interviews.
4. Constructive Criticism
A good resume critique isn’t meant to simply tear your resume apart and make you feel like you could never rework it yourself. A critique will identify weak areas of your resume, suggest how they can be strengthened, and how improving the areas will benefit you. It’s not just about a quick fix — it’s about equipping you with the knowledge that will help you in your job search.
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