7 Tips For the Perfect Resume

7 Tips For the Perfect Resume

Looking for a new job drains your energy and confidence until someone hires you or you give up. I understand, and I’m here to help. You should begin your job search at the natural starting point, making sure potential employers will be unable to turn down your resume. Seven tips follow to help you jam your toe into that open door.

1. Keep the length at one page.

Imagine you’re working at a company, and you’re in charge of reviewing potential new hires. You received 20 new applications for a position this morning. Are you going to want to read multi-page resumes, as the applicant describes every detail of the part-time job he or she held ten years ago? No! In fact, you may end up resenting that person. So only include directly relevant information, and keep the resume under a page. A resume with a lot of white space will give the impression that you’re under-qualified though, so aim for exactly one page.

2. Analyze the job ad or description

The employer laid out the description of their ideal new-hire in the job’s ad. Use this to your advantage. Make sure you use the same words to describe your qualifications that they do in their ad. If they say they require someone “proficient in C++ programming”, and you are, don’t write that you have “a background in various programming languages.” Say that you’re “proficient in C++ programming”.

3. Make sure you stay focused and targeted

You should have different resumes for submission to different employers. Unless you are heading to a job fair, don’t have one version that you send to everyone. If you’re in the finance industry, don’t use the same resume to apply to a job at a credit agency as you would to a hedge fund or accounting firm. Along with tip 2, this will help convince the recruiter that you are the puzzle piece their company is looking for.

4. Use specific actions for descriptions

Your resume will appear more interesting, and your experience more substantial, if the descriptions of your jobs and accomplishments are better written. Rather than saying your last job involved “administrative tasks”, you should say you “organized a running office, improving workflow”. Try to avoid cliche buzzwords, like the infamous “synergy”, as the recruiter will easily be able to pick that out. Resume-Help.org has compiled a list of effective action verbs for resumes.

5. Use facts and figures where possible

These are concrete and easily remembered by the reader. If you know how much money you saved your previous employer with a certain task, or what percentage of customers you handled, or similar information WRITE IT ON YOUR RESUME. If you can get the potential employer to mentally associate you with a concrete level of savings, you’ll be on the short list to be hired.

6. Highlight any large problems you’ve solved or projects you’ve completed

This works in conjunction with tip 5 to show that you won’t just be an adequate employee, you’ll be an extraordinary. Maybe at your last job you had to start a quarterly newsletter, or help open a new office. These things don’t have to be that large either, but tangible examples of impressive work that you’ve done are always the best option.

7. Let a friend read it

Before you send out your resume, let a trusted friend or family member look it over. Do they find it interesting and memorable? Do they find any part confusing? Tell them to give you any constructive criticism they can think of. Once they feel they’d be obligated to hire such a diligent and qualified applicant, send it in. Good luck!