Nobody likes to write resumes, but it’s a task you have to handle if you’re out of work or looking for better opportunities.
Don’t worry though. There are ways to write a good resume.
Creating a strong resume that is both relevant and that showcases your strengths will increase the likelihood of you getting a job. Your resume is what the recruiters will see when they’re looking for the top candidate for any given position, so it’s only natural that you should spend a little bit of time and research on it.
If you’re looking for some ways to inject some life into your old resume, you’ve come to the right place.
As you apply to more and more jobs, you’ll start to learn that large companies are experts at finding ways to automate their processes. That means that hiring teams find ways to parse through applicants to find the ‘diamond in the rough’.
Applicant Tracking Systems will scan your resume when you upload them through an online career portal. They look for keywords that are applicable to the job you’re applying for. In essence, you’re being filtered out by the system before an actual person takes a look at you.
A lot of Applicant Tracking Systems scan vertically, so having a resume that is aligned down the center is a smart move. Also, make sure you include keywords from the job description into your resume. That way, the ATS will have a higher chance of moving your resume forward to the recruiters.
If you don’t know what keywords to choose, a good way of doing this is to go through the job description and picking out words that show up several times. You can actually find some websites that will allow you to paste in bodies of text to find commonly recurring keywords.
Introduce keywords to defeat the ATS
Instead of having your mailing address, it might be more prudent to include your LinkedIn address next to your name and contact info. Having an accurate and robust LinkedIn profile can improve the chances of you being hired.
Your typical resume template builder on Word might suffice for one or two places, but let’s be real: it’s not very nice to look at. That doesn’t mean you should overload your resume with color and flair (unless your profession expects that). All you need to create a simple and sleek design is three colours: one dominant, one secondary, and one an accent.
If you are looking for jobs in traditional or professional industries, such as finance, consulting, legal etc., make things easier by using black and white as a base and adding in a third color. The third colour can be something modest, such as deep green, grey, or navy. You can also use light grey instead of white as the background colour. If your industry leans towards the ceative side, like graphic design, marketing, or advertising, be bold and use sharp colours. You can even throw in icons to showcase your creativity and design sense.
Mix it up with your fonts. Don’t just go for a default font like Times New Roman. Test out some modern fonts and make sure it looks good on the screen AND on paper. Digital comes first, but most hiring teams will still print out a resume to use as reference during an interview.
Time New Roman is quite traditional, out-dated even. Calibri is an excellent option as it is safe and universally readable. It also renders smoothly on computer screens. Another safe option would be Georgia, which is great for on-screen reading and is available on any computer.
Cambria is created by Microsoft Word in 2004. It is designed to look good on screen and when printed at small sizes.
Pick Didot if you are feeling fancy. This classy font is elegant and sophisticated, and is best used for headings.
You may also consider Helvetica. Its clean and modern design makes it a favourite of many designers, giving it a place on numerous corporate brand logos and the New York subway signs.
The top one-third of your resume is incredibly valuable, so why not place your most impressive attributes there?
At the top of your resume, you should include your name, contact information, LinkedIn URL, summary statement (an elevator pitch of why you’re the best candidate for the job), and any relevant skills that you have in relation to the position. It might also be a good idea for you to rename your resume for the title you’re looking for. For example, if you’re applying for a Software Engineer position, instead of having your resume be “FirstName LastName Resume 2018”, add in the position at the end of the title. It’s a small thing but it can have lasting effects on the recruiter.
Not sure where to begin? These beautiful designs may be able to inspire you.
Three colours are all you need for a sleek design
Showcase your style with icons and graphics
You can use similar design for both cover letter and resume
A good resume is an important tool to have when applying for jobs, so put in the effort to make it great. With these tips, it should help you get better results in your efforts to find new opportunities. Be selective, succinct, but confident, and you should have no problems achieving your professional goals.
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