2021 comes with strides and challenges for jobseekers. With several aspects of our economy still recovering from the lasting impact of a global pandemic, the competition for opportunities in the industry is tightening as ever and the best way to standout is through writing a good resume.
Your resume is the key to ultimately attracting the attention of recruiters and eventually, earning yourself an interview. It should be effectively written by encapsulating your relevant skills, experience, and achievements.
However, writing a good resume is easier said than done (we know!)
So the question is: how do you make your resume stand out among other applicants?
Here’s what you have to keep in mind when creating or updating your resume: hiring managers do not have the luxury of time to review each resume. That’s why, it’s important to take the time in building your resume because it communicates your story, a story that reflects your career growth.
But how do you begin writing that resume? Here, HawodTech gives you three tips to creating an effective resume.
- Customize your resume for the industry you’re applying for
Your resume layout is important and it is dependent on the position. If you are seeking a designer role, your hiring manager or recruiter might want to see a dash of creativeness. If it is a developer or an analyst role, your recruiter would want to see numbers.
Tailor-fit your resume to the needs of your industry. Ask yourself, is the content of my resume aligned with the position or industry I am applying for?
- Indicate keywords from the job posting
The job posting serves as the blueprint for your resume. Most recruiters write the job description with certain keywords in mind. To specify your soft skills, begin your sentences with words associated with action specific to the job you are apply for, such as, coordinated, led, managed, collaborated, developed, enforced, organized, oversaw, administered, supervised, etc. To emphasize the hard skills, include the technologies, tools, framework and methodologies that you have used in your experience, such as Office 365, Google Workspace, Asana, Quickbooks, Adobe, Jira, Agile, Lean Six Sigma, etc. When they see a resume with those representative words on it, it captures their attention.
There are some companies that use keyword tools when sorting the resumes, they receive. What this tells you is that those terms are important to include if you want to earn a spot in an interview. More interviews, more opportunities to get you hired.
Yes, it may sound tedious but your future self and your career will thank you for taking the extra time to customize your resume, with the keywords needed, for each job you applied for.
- Make your resume clean, clear and concise
Try to view your resume from a hiring manager’s or a recruiter’s perspective.
Most employers agree that even in the context of resume building, simplicity goes a long way. You never know how a recruiter, or a hiring manager will be reading your resume. Whether it be through mobile, a laptop or another recruitment platform, being clean and concise with what you put in your resume makes it legible across platforms.
With being clean, clear and concise, it requires you to be attentive to details and here are some points to watch out for.
First, Grammar. Review your grammar, punctuation and construction. If you are explaining a past experience, express it properly in past tense. If you are currently with an organization, use the present tense. Not only does correct grammar help you properly express your abilities and skills towards the position. But a flawlessly written resume can also show your ability to be attentive to details.
Second, your profile photo. Photos are not deemed necessary unless you are in the creative field. But if you are to put a profile photo, make sure it is recent, not more than three or five years ago. It should be also be of appropriate format and font.
Third, your resume must indicate your professional experience in chronological order with the proper description. If the position requires it, consider using numbers or metrics to back up your claim of success in the position held. This might be a deciding factor than extra two paragraphs of explaining what you did. Include your training and certifications but remove those that do not have any relevance to the job you are applying for. Case in point, if you are applying for an IT Project Manager role, include certifications that will amplify your knowledge about the industry instead of including a Basic Life Support Training. Veer away from including licenses or certifications that have expired or at least indicate that they have expired.
Fourth, use your space wisely. Be careful and selective with the information you put in your resume. Details such as height and weight are irrelevant when you are not filling out a biodata. Use less flowery words that would only consume the space of your resume. Allocate that for insightful information instead. Every space in your resume is important.
Lastly, hyperlink your portfolio or your LinkedIn profile – a smarter and digital way to provide access to your resume. And as we mentioned in our previous article, LinkedIn should serve as your online resume. Tell your story on this platform. Give recruiters a sneak peak into your professional background.
All these points may sound tedious and time consuming but again, your future self will thank you for making a resume tailor-fit for the position you are applying for.
Last reminder: It is also important to be truthful about what you state in your resume. You might find yourself in shambles later if you cannot support your resume in an interview. In building an effective resume, be brave and confident enough of your expertise. Sell your experiences, your skills and yourself. Find a balance: neither undersell nor oversell.
With that, you are bound to stand out among other applicants.
Gutterman, A. (2019). How to Make Your Resume Stand Out, According to HR Executives. Time. Retrieved 6 October 2021, from https://time.com/5483970/how-to-write-a-resume-that-stands-out/.