A good resume is the first step towards getting that all-important interview. Once you reach the interview stage, even if you know you don’t have all the required skills, you can allow your personality and drive to do the convincing. To get there though, your resume needs to showcase you at your absolute best. Here’s how to write a good resume.
Show, don’t tell
Too many people list their responsibilities on their resume and not what they have actually achieved. Don’t tell the employer that you were responsible for growing your last company’s website, tell them that your work led to an increase in traffic of over 50%. Talking too much about responsibilities, with not enough focus on results, is one of the main reasons that job applicants don’t get call backs.
Keep it free of jargon
An employer can spot cliché business jargon from a mile off and, quite frankly, many find it annoying. Using phrases like ‘people person,’ ‘team player,’ ‘problem solver,’ and ‘self starter,’ may sound impressive and these are often used on job adverts, but on your resume they are cliché and impersonal. By all means showcase your very best self, but do so without sounding like you’re reading from a business dictionary!
If you are applying to a job in a creative industry, your resume should mirror this. Whether it’s different formats or unique add-ons such as images or videos, employers will see that you’ve done something different and remember your resume as it stands apart from the rest. Remember to only risk this if it’s a creative job. Otherwise, stick to a more traditional resume.
Showcase soft skills
Finally, it’s important to showcase your soft skills. Employers don’t just want to see that you single handedly led your last company to greatness, they want to know that you didn’t upset all your colleagues in the process! Showcase your personality and other important soft skills, such as organization, efficiency, or communication. With each skill, it’s important to use examples of how this makes you a better employee. Don’t just provide a list of what you think the employer wants to hear.
If you lie about your role, responsibilities, or results you will be caught eventually. Whether your employer looks into your background, or you make a mistake mid-interview, lying on your resume is a big no-no. Don’t downplay your skills or results, but don’t exaggerate them either. Even if you aren’t caught during the interview process, you’ll spend your time in your new role worrying that someone might find out.
The worst thing you can have on your resume is a typo. Typos make both your resume, and you, look clumsy and careless. Proofread your resume twice or even three times. Once you’ve done that, get someone else to proofread it for you. They’ll be able to pick up on things that you might not have spotted.
As the talent pool grows, it’s becoming more difficult to stand out from the crowd, and your resume is one of your best opportunities to set you apart from the rest. Ensure you tailor your resume to the industry you are after, make sure it’s free from typos, and above all, be honest. You’ll be preparing for that first interview in no time.