The first step to securing your dream job is getting an interview, and unless your resume is written in a way that makes you stand out, you won’t have an opportunity to impress a prospective employer face-to-face.
Luckily there are a number of tips and tactics to try out when writing a resume that will give you the edge, so here are just a few hints to help you on your road to a rewarding career.
Write for the industry in question
If you are a newcomer to your industry of choice, you might not realize that there will be different expectations with regards to resume formatting, layout, and content depending on the sector you are targeting.
To avoid making any faux pas or missing out on something crucial, you should follow the best resume format for each industry. Starting with a template is also a more efficient way to write a resume, saving you time as well as improving the look of the final draft.
Tailor your resume to the role itself
The most important thing for jobseekers to recognize is that if you send out the same generic resume to lots of employers, it will not do you any favors.
Instead, you need to take the basic resume format, fill it with your details and then customize it so that it is tailored to the specifics of the position you are applying for.
One easy way to do this is to read the ad for the role thoroughly, pick out some of the main keywords and ensure that you use your resume to demonstrate that you are a good match for them. If applicants are required to have specific qualifications or experience, for example, be sure to pinpoint these attributes in your resume.
This also means cutting out sections if they are not relevant to the role. Trimming the fat is better than overstuffing your resume.
Keep sections concise
You might be tempted to wax lyrical about your achievements, but an overly bloated resume is both unwieldy and a waste of time to create.
Recruiters rarely have time to read every last word you write, so cut to the chase while still including all the relevant info you expect them to be looking for.
Brevity should also apply to individual sentences. Keep them short, and use powerful yet commonly understood words, rather than waffling.
Support your application with a cover letter
If your resume is received by a prospective employer out of the blue, it helps to give context to it with an attached cover letter.
This applies whether you are physically posting your resume, or sending it as an email attachment. It can even be relevant when submitting it via an online form, where sections for adding a cover letter are not uncommon.
A good cover letter needs to gel with the content of your resume, and also explain the reasons for your application and your suitability for the role.
You have the opportunity to use this letter to express a little more of your personality and flare, although again it needs to be suited to the industry, so if a greater degree of professionalism is preferred, take this into account rather than letting your creativity run away with you.
Go back and proofread before sending
Proofreading your resume is just as important as writing it in the first place. If you can, get someone else to look over what you have written, as an outside perspective will be more likely to pick up mistakes you have missed.
As you can see, writing a resume presents you with a chance to shine. A less-is-more approach is helpful, as it will sow the seeds of intrigue while setting you up for an interesting interview.
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