5 resume tips for a successful job search

December 22, 2014

Writing a resume can be tricky. With these five tips, you’ll be ready to craft an impressive CV to help you land your dream job.

5 resume tips for a successful job search

A resume is a one- or two-page summary of your skills, experience, and education. It’s an at-a-glance description of you who are, professionally speaking, and a key component in any successful job hunting process.

  • Resumes should be crafted for the specific position you’re applying for.
  • For example, if you’re seeking a part-time retail job, your skills and experience should be relevant to the position, which would be vastly different than the resume of, say, a designer or financial adviser.

1. Keep it focused

While it’s tempting to include all the work experience you have, it’s best to just include what's relevant for the job you’re applying for.

  • Those who have dabbled in multiple fields might be inclined to include it all, but to a prospective employer, this can seem unfocused and like you can’t commit to one career path.
  • Resist this urge, and instead pare down your resume to include only the experience that will make you appear like the ideal candidate for the position.

2. Edit, edit, edit!

There’s no bigger turn-off to a hiring manager or prospective employer than a spelling or grammatical error. Not only is it an inaccuracy, it also displays a lack of attention to detail and care.

  • After you’ve written your resume, run it through an automatic spellchecker to catch any obvious typos.
  • Then, re-read it carefully to catch errors that the program missed.
  • Finally, get a trusted friend to read through your resume to give you advice on ways you could rephrase, rewrite, or add more detail.

3. Make it easy to read

Hiring managers often sift through hundreds of resumes. Each gets maybe a 15-second perusal, so you’ve got to make a good first impression — fast.

  • Having seen so many resumes, managers get tired and bored, so not only do you have to make your resume stand out, you don’t want to give them any reason to throw yours away without even reading it.
  • Write your resume in a simple, legible font, have one inch margins, and make all your design choices so that it looks professional and easy to read without straining your eyes.

4. Identify your accomplishments

Speaking highly about yourself can be awkward and uncomfortable for most people. But when it comes to a resume, it’s important to highlight what you’re good at, and the successes you’ve achieved.

  • If your actions increased the profits of your former company by a certain percentage, state that.
  • If you won any awards or accolades, make sure they feature in your resume.

5. Include resume keywords

Your resume should include the same keywords that appeared in the job description of the position you’re applying for.

  • If the description states that they’re looking for someone with leadership qualities who can multitask, make sure both of those are clearly stated in your resume as qualities you possess.
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