According to reports, the average recruiter makes up their mind about your resume within the first minute of reading it. What's more, some recruiters don't even finish reading an applicant's resume before rejecting them.
How you present and prepare your resume could mean the difference between a months-long job search and an immediate callback.
Make sure you get the job with these five resume preparation tips.
1. Follow Standard Formatting
You know what you want to say, but formatting it is another matter entirely. Most people struggle when it comes to formatting their resume.
Yet they could save themselves a whole lot of time if they'd follow the tried and true format. Here's everything your resume should include from top to bottom.
- Name and contact information.
- Work history (current place of employment and no more than two previous places of employment).
- Involvement in activities or clubs relevant to the position.
- Any additional skills that make you fit for the job.
All in all, your resume should come out to about a page in length.
2. Be Specific
Though one page isn't a whole lot of space to work with, you'll need to choose your words carefully. Be as specific with your information as possible.
It's great that you worked with computers at your last job, but what does that mean? Did you enter data? Did you ship computers? Does the term 'worked with' imply that your fellow employees were computers?
Get detailed, and if possible, include figures to back up your info. Growing a company by 25% is more tangible than only stating that you helped a company grow.
Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter. You have a stack of resumes in front of you and only a few hours to get through them.
As you glance through the first resume, you spot a huge spelling mistake, ironically in a section about how detail-oriented the applicant is.
Suffice to say, you're going to toss it out immediately.
It may seem harsh if you're that applicant. You may even be the most qualified person for the job. But careless errors can cost you dearly.
Grammar check software is easy to find. Spending a few minutes proofreading now could help you launch your career.
4. Only Include What's Relevant
Your resume should only include information relevant to the position.
So if you're applying for a job as a software engineer, you wouldn't need to include information about your first job as a McDonald's fry cook, as it has no bearing on your skills as an engineer.
5. Stop Using Cliches
Finally, get rid of any cliche terms in your skill section. Most people are hard workers, and nearly everyone you come across is capable of being a team player.
That information isn't helpful to a recruiter and comes across as lazy.
Remember, be specific with any and all information you provide. Recruiters are looking for concrete examples of what you're capable of.
You're Hired! Final Thoughts On Resume Preparation Tips
Creating a great resume isn't always easy. But these resume preparation tips should help you create a resume worthy of a callback.
Looking for more tips to aid your job search? Check out our career blog archives for more great information to help you find the perfect job.