The first step to landing your dream job is to create a stand-out resume. In this article, a recruitment specialist shares his top tips for impressing recruiters and landing your dream job. We also show you exactly how your resume should look in 2020, and make it easy to create your own with customizable resume templates.
If there’s one experience that many professionals dread, it’s creating a resume. Not only are you required to cram all of your experience into one A4 sheet of paper, but you also need to think like a recruiter.
When it comes to your career, you always want to put your best foot forward. And part of this equation is making sure that you are up-to-date with the specific requirements recruiters are looking for when choosing job candidates.
To help us navigate this tricky terrain, Andrew Morris, the director of recruitment agency Robert Half Australia, shares his tips for building a resume that is easy to read, and sure to impress anyone who reads it.
Table of contents:
Make your resume easily scannable
We know that recruiters are extremely busy, so it’s best to make their job as easy as possible. Robert suggests using an easy-to-read format and favoring bullet points instead of long sentences.
“No matter how professionally job seekers conduct themselves in person, a resume will not receive serious consideration if it’s difficult to read. Resumes should not include several quirky fonts (no Comic Sans or Marker Felt), the sections need to be lined up neatly and easy to read with the judicious use of columns, bold fonts, bullet points, and white space.”
By opting for these design elements, with one quick scan, recruiters are able to analyze your expertise and have a better understanding of what your specialties are, without needing to sift through the information for it.
Show some personality by choosing a bright, or muted color palette to work with. For a subtle pop of color, try customizing The White and Black Customer Service Resume or the Grey Modern Professional Resume.
Provide clear examples of your achievements
While it’s one thing to explain your daily tasks in previous roles, Robert suggests giving specific examples of the achievements you’ve had and the unique value you’ve offered to your previous teams.
“One big mistake applicants can make is listing their skills and experience, yet not paying enough attention to giving examples of their achievements. This is essential so hiring managers can understand why a job seeker's skills and experience are the best match for the job they’re applying for.”
Robert also suggests highlighting your growth trajectory within the company.
You need to highlight your accomplishments and promotions. Try writing miniature case studies that include specific results.
Choose your words carefully
While grammar is one thing, Robert also suggests carefully selecting the words you use when writing your resume. “Misused words and careless spelling on a resume can bring trouble to the job search. Grammatical mistakes in a resume make candidates look sloppy and negligent.”
When writing your resume, here are a few points to consider asking yourself:
- What specific skills am I trying to highlight?
- How can I highlight the qualities required for the job in my resume?
- How can I explain my experience in the most concise way possible?
Once you’ve completed the first draft, Robert suggests leaning on the help of online grammar tools to avoid mistakes. “Job seekers should rely on spelling and grammar checkers as they might not catch extra or missing words, subject-verb disagreement, inconsistent tenses or wrong punctuation choice.”
Choose simple font
In design, font plays a vital role in communicating your message. And this is no different for resumes.
When choosing fonts to use, Robert suggests choosing simple font types that will allow your talent to shine. “Job seekers should make sure their resume font is not distracting. When a jobseekers’ resume lands in the hands of a hiring manager, the idea is to have their experience and skills to shine through, not the font.”
Design tip: Create a website to add to your resume
Unsurprisingly, digital resumes and portfolios are only growing in popularity. While this has been prominent for freelancers and those in creative industries who rely on portfolio presentations, the importance of an online presence is now widespread no matter your industry.
When creating your website, clearly display your contact information, previous experience and examples of work, plus links to your other public profiles like LinkedIn.
Having a sleek, professional website also allows for greater exposure, and helps the recruiter learn more about you before you even enter an interview.
When designing your website, make a lasting impression by designing a bold cover page that has your name, a picture of yourself and what your specialty is. Be inspired by Scallop Seashell Photographer Portfolio Website and Pink Events Planner Portfolio Website.