Updated: May 14, 2020
Building a resume takes time and thought. Not to mention the need to customize your resume to each job you're applying for. Focus on these 5 resume writing tips to help make your resume shine brighter.
Refresh Your Professional Summary
If your professional summary doesn't pop and make you excited to meet you, you can bet the hiring manager is less than enthused. Make your resume introduction 3-4 sentences summarizing your career expertise thus far and add a relevant job result you've achieved. See the image below for some examples of professional summaries. Stay away....I repeat...stay away from the generic, redundant, filler sentences that have zero impact on getting you hired. Case in point: I frequently see professional summaries that use fluffy language and say the same thing twice, just worded differently. Often professionals use wordy resume introductions that don't get to the point and use redundant sentences. See what I did there? Good, now go refresh your professional summary to WOW everyone who reads it.
Put Your Most Critical Skills, Experience, & Certs First
The most relevant job experiences, certifications or skills should be put above the fold, so to speak. Above the fold refers to what readers see first - this is your chance to make a big first impression, it's your elevator pitch to the employer. At first glance, your resume should be visually easy to digest with formatting that allows all of your experiences, skills, and higher education to tell a story about you. Formatting should allow hiring managers to gather the most critical details while skimming over your resume. The most relevant jobs and skills should pop when the hiring manager first glances over your resume. Put the experiences and skills that are integral to the new position.
Maintain a Running List of Jobs & Responsibilities
Not all of your previous jobs or skills are going to be relevant in your job search. Make sure you keep a master list of all the jobs and tasks you did, so you can pull from it when you're searching for a new job. Record the software, platforms, and products you used to accomplish these skills. What type of customer relationship management system are you familiar with, did you utilize a user-generated content platform, are you experienced using a particular lead generation software? As time passes from one job to another, it's nice to have these listed so you don't forget the tools you have experience using. You should also keep track of your achievements, awards, and results. Which leads me to our next tip...
Not all of your job responsibilities listed need to show your results, but you should list a result or two for each job you have on your resume. A hiring manager wants to see how you positively impacted a company with quantifiable achievements rather than just listing general job task descriptions. Your future employer wants to see that you can achieve results. To gather these results, use previous annual reviews, think of projects you've contributed to, or processes or software you have implemented, and start documenting the results you've achieved. For instance, what was your monthly newsletter open rate, how many employees did you supervise, what was your weekly customer satisfaction rating, what kind of annual budget did you work with and did you stay on budget, and so on. Results should show something measurable within a specified time frame. Start documenting your work wins today to make a great impression on those reviewing your resume.
Keep Your Resume Up-to-date
No matter whether you're actively looking for a new career or not, you should always be updating your resume with achievements and tasks so you're ready for new offers or exciting opportunities if one should suddenly pop up. It's also your life preserver during company layoffs or times of temporary furloughs to immediately get you back in the job market. Keep your resume current and always be open to hear any job offers. Being open to a new job even if you're happy in your current position is good for several reasons: first, interviewing is a skill that you should maintain for when you really need it, and second, it gives you the upper hand to negotiate your salary when annual review time rolls around.
If you're wondering why your resume is always getting rejected, hop on over here Why is My Resume Being Rejected to learn what you can do to improve your resume today. Ready to get the job you want and the salary you deserve? Stand out during your job search with helpful tips on creating an effective cover letter, resume and nailing the interview by subscribing to our newsletter here. Hire Resume Writer today to help you with your professional search services, from writing resume and cover letters to preparing for your interview, we can help you make the best first impression! Check out our services here.