If you thought creating a resume and competing for a job was tough before the pandemic, welcome to 2020, where things got that much harder.
Your resume not only needs to stand out, it needs to speak for itself. Employers receive thousands of resumes for every job posting. No human has enough time to sort through that many resumes carefully. That’s why your resume must stand out, or it gets filed under the letter ‘G’ for garbage.
A professional email address
Your cute email address may be fun to send to your friends, but when you’re trying to look professional, the last thing they want to see is email@example.com or something worse.
Believe it or not, your email gives insight into your professionalism. Don’t give recruiters or employers a reason to toss your resume because of some silly email address you created in your teen years that somehow stuck around.
Don’t give away too much on your resume. Stick to the relevant facts.
In other words, the facts that would make an employer think ‘He is a great candidate for this job.’ Telling recruiters your age, where you worked when you were 16-years old, or even your marital status is irrelevant.
Keep it short and sweet. Remember, they’re sifting through thousands of resumes. If you have irrelevant information on your resume and it catches their eye, guess where it lands?
It’s not enough to say ‘I worked at ABC Company for five years.’ Instead, let your resume speak for itself. Let recruiters and employers know what you accomplished at that job. Use quantifiable results.
How much did you help the company’s sales grow? How much money did you save the company? What return on investment were you able to secure for the company?
Think of any numbers you could share that show potential employers what you’re’ capable of and why you’d be a good asset for their company.
Keywords, but not too many
It’s easy to go keyword crazy, so you grab the attention of anyone who reads your resume, but it may do the opposite.
Too many keywords looks like keyword stuffing, and no one likes that. Use keywords that sound natural, not like you’re the kid in the front of the classroom, raising his hand to the ceiling and screaming, ‘Pick me, pick me.’
Letting employers or recruiters feel naturally drawn to your resume and want to learn more will increase your chances of landing an interview.
Plenty of white space
You may think in today’s competitive environment that you’d want to cram as much information on your resume as possible, but the opposite is true.
Put too much information on it, and you’ll overwhelm readers. It will take them 2.5 seconds to trash your resume. Instead, keep plenty of white space on your resume. Make it look clean, easy to read, and definitely simple to scan.
Most employers skim over resumes as they narrow down choices. With clean lines and plenty of space, anyone can skim your resume and know immediately if you are a good candidate.
Make the most of your resume
Your resume is your first and only chance to make a good first impression. Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple; use a few keywords but not too many, and don’t overshare information.
Let the simple words you use speak for themselves, and then use the interview to fill in the blanks.