7 Ways to Make Your Resume a Winner
When you apply for a job, your resume will probably be just one of many the hiring manager has to look through before deciding which candidates to call in for an interview. In other words, if you want the chance to interview for a position, you’ll need to make sure your resume meets certain basic requirements.
- Tell the truth: It might be tempting to exaggerate a bit by saying you have a Master’s degree when you’ve only completed your Bachelor’s, or promote yourself to restaurant manager in your last vacation job when you were actually waiting on tables. Employers do check this kind of thing, though, so your little lie can come back and bite you, and you won’t get the job.
- Proofread: Typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes send an instant message to a prospective employer: here’s a person who doesn’t care about details – look, he can’t even be bothered to read through what he’s written and use the spellcheck. Go through your resume carefully, then ask a friend to look it over as well.
- Keep the look simple: Resumes should look professional and businesslike, not flashy and cute. Unless you’re an artist or designer, stick to white or off-white paper and black print in a regular font. Many employers and recruiters scan resumes into their databases, so keep the layout simple or your details won’t scan and you won’t even make the shortlist.
- Highlight your achievements: When listing your work history, focus on what you achieved rather than the job description. For your sales assistant job last Christmas, “sold $67,000 worth of electronic goods in two weeks” sounds better than, ”sold TVs and DVD players”. And instead of “took 2 years of Spanish”, let them know you “got straight As in Spanish over 4 semesters of taking the subject”.
- Use a professional-sounding email address: It’s OK to use a free email service, but please use an address like email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Don’t forget the cover letter: Even if you’re emailing your resume you need a cover letter, which can make up the body of the message. Change your cover letter to suit each new job application so that it showcases the skills and experience you have that make you a good fit for that particular position.
- Don’t list your references on your resume: You don’t even need to mention references there. If requested, supply their names and contact details on a separate sheet.
Career Development: “Make your resume a final draft every time you turn it in to an employer.”