Writing a resume is not an easy feat. It can be difficult to know what information to include, how to write it, and what content will make you stand out from the crowd. However, there are certain resume fundamentals that will ensure your resume has a good chance of getting you invited to an interview. Keep reading to learn about the essentials your resume must have to get you hired fast.
A Professional Design
Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes every day. It’s no surprise that research has demonstrated that they only spend an average of 7.4 seconds looking at each resume. Given this information, your resume only has a few moments to catch a hiring manager’s attention before they move on to the next candidate.
This means that your document should have a professional design that immediately draws readers in, while clearly presenting the crucial information that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Your design should be sleek and minimal, limiting itself to only one or two colors. It should also incorporate clear section headings, the appropriate formatting, and a good amount of white space. Avoid dense blocks of text at all costs, as it’s one of the easiest ways to overwhelm recruiters and make them discard your resume quickly.
One of the best methods to ensure that your resume meets the above criteria is to use an online resume builder. These tools will enable you to build your resume online with the help of professionally designed templates and expert guidance to make sure your design catches the attention of recruiters.
Information Tailored to the Job Role
When recruiters scan your resume, they’re likely to focus primarily on the skills and experience sections. This is because these are the parts where it’ll be easiest to observe your expertise and degree of fit for the position.
However, you keep this information the same for each application, it won’t help show your match for the role. In fact, studies have shown that 63% of recruiters prefer to see resumes that are tailored to the job role.
To make sure your resume is personalized sufficiently for each application, include keywords from the job description throughout your resume. Don’t hesitate to write these word-for-word, as they will jump out to recruiters and immediately show that your resume is relevant.
Many experts in the job-seeking field even recommend creating an entirely new resume for each position you apply for. It’s been found that very few candidates actually do this, so trying this approach can go to great lengths in helping you beat your competition.
Other Additional Sections
Although your work experience, skills, and education are usually what employers give the most importance to, additional sections can be key in helping you stand out from other applicants.
These are sections that usually go at the end of a resume, and help to illustrate other parts of a candidate’s personal profile. The sections you choose to include may vary greatly on your specific background.
For example, if you’re looking for a technical position, it might be helpful to add special certifications or software licenses you’ve obtained over the years. On the other hand, if you’re a student without much work experience to show, you can add an extracurricular activities section to mention the different student societies you may have been involved in over your studies.
Below is a list of additional sections you could consider adding to your resume:
Hobbies and interests
Honors and awards
Certifications and licenses
Extra courses and training
Unique Soft Skills
Most candidates are aware that they should include hard skills on their resumes. Whether these are specific software proficiencies, analytical skills, or abilities from any other area, it’s common knowledge that these should be included to help show your fit for a job.
However, the importance of including soft skills on a resume is less documented, and many candidates neglect this important section. While hard skills are quantifiable abilities specific to a particular job or task, soft skills are more abstract capabilities that are universal in nature.
Although soft skills are oftentimes left out of resumes, 93% of hiring leaders find them to be “essential” when making hiring decisions. In fact, they are one of the best ways to give a more comprehensive picture to recruiters about the value you can bring to their organization.
Some examples of valuable soft skills to add to your resume include:
As you’re making your resume, keep in mind that it should be extremely personalized to the job role. Make sure you use a professional design and include additional sections and unique soft skills to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to get creative, but make sure your document still meets the official requirements of the position.