A resume, perhaps you may be wondering what a resume is, probably you have heard this word used severally around you by job seekers. Well, ask no more as we are going to explain explicitly what a resume is and why it is necessary to have one when seeking for a job. A resume, in a nutshell, can be described as a summation of all your skills, accomplishments and experiences in a document that a potential employer will use to judge whether you are fit to assume a given employment position. A resume will in many occasions sell you out when applying for a job and probably the hiring managers and the HR personnel do not want to interview every person because of the unavailability of enough time or resources. A resume that will attract the attention of an employer when wading through other resumes is one with outstanding features. It is therefore very crucial that you write your resume in such a way that one can notice it by just a mere glance. “How do I write such an outstanding resume?” You may ask. Well, I am just about to take you through the steps one by one.
- Use a strong opening- The first few words that you use in your resume are crucial because this is the time the hiring manager’s attention will be so focussed on your resume. Briefly start by describing your expertise because the opportunity of expanding on your experience will be availed later in the resume and cover letter. Make it explicitly clear in the summary that you are the right person for the job. Sell yourself out by emphasizing on why believe you should be hired and not anyone else.
- Make your resume easy to read- Do not fiddle with the margins. A good resume should be around 2 to 3 pages as opposed to the one paged resumes that were used a long time ago. Resumes that are only a single page are out-dated. The more pages you have on your resume, the more chances you have to tell a compelling story about yourself. There is no harm in supplementing what is on the page by using links to your work. It is very important that you use the regular standard fonts so that your work becomes clean, clear and simple to read. Do not cram your texts by varying the line lengths and ensure your paragraphs are not identical.
- Ignore information that is irrelevant- If you know what not to include on your resume, then you should also know what to include in the resume. If you include irrelevant jobs and unnecessary accomplishments, then you might be hinting to the potential employer that you are not sure of what you are looking for. You should make sure that your reader points out straight away to why you may be important to them instead of them trying to guess why they might need you; because if they do so, then there are higher chances that they’ll move on to others and ignore you.
- Try dwelling so much on your Accomplishments instead of the Responsibilities- Try to inform the potential employer on what you have accomplished while practicing under a given job description. Describe to the potential employer how you have been excelling in your profession and what you think you have achieved above and beyond others. If you can have tangible and concrete examples to support your work, then please attach them as the examples will most likely attract more attention. Do not include very many examples though.
- Be selective- You might think that if you include every volunteer assignment, job, skill, accomplishment and all the degrees that you have then your resume will stand out among others. No, you are wrong. A resume is not meant to be very comprehensive but should rather be very selective. Ensure that every information that you include in the resume will contribute in convincing the potential employer to hire you, if it doesn’t then do not include it.
- Try quantifying your achievements- Attaching figures to your achievements is the best way of describing those achievements. When you attach a number to the achievements that you have accomplished, the hiring managers will then be able to get a rough idea of how suitable you are for their organization. The hiring managers will be able to get a much clearer image of your abilities and skills when you attach a numbered value to your accomplishments. You stand a higher chance of getting shortlisted for an interview should you quantify the achievements.
If you are looking for a job and you want your resume to stand out, just follow the guidelines as mentioned above and for sure you will increase your odds of getting shortlisted for an interview. The moment you land an interview then you are just a few steps away from landing a job. Remember to emphasize to the potential employer why you are the best of the best. Always have a different version of your resume that is suitable for every opportunity and avoid using clichés, cramming your texts or using tiny fonts that make your resume unreadable. I want to wish you all the best as you practice writing your resumes using the above guidelines and using them to apply for jobs.