Tips for writing a resume that will actually get you a job

January 5, 2015

Need a few tips on how to write a fantastic resume? Here are a few pointers that can actually help you score your dream job.

Tips for writing a resume that will actually get you a job

In today's job market, you're one of thousands of talented and qualified candidates. From your perspective, that's a tough market to crack. Imagine how tough it is for an employer who gets all those resumes and cover letters piling up on their desk. If you really want to stand out, you're going to have to use a very powerful tool – your resume – in the job hunting process. Here's how to make it a good one.

What is your resume and why is it so important?

To you, it's just a document that outlines your relevant experience. To your potential employer, your resume is:

  • The story about who you are; how you fit into the organization; and how qualified you are for the role. It determines whether or not you get asked in for an interview.

So, if you're resume is littered with typos, not documented chronologically or confusing to read and follow, it's headed straight to the bottom of the pile.

  • If your resume is organized, researched, proofread and well-written, then it may get you in the door!

What to include in your resume

If you really want your resume to do the heavy lifting, here are some ways you can create a successful one:

  • Content: Make sure you tailor your resume for the position you are applying for. Highlight and focus on areas that are relevant to the role you want.
  • Header: Your header should be clean and simple and include your name and basic contact info including city, phone and email.
  • Career objectives: Surprisingly, many people omit this area. This sentence clearly communicates what you’re looking for and demonstrates that you have clear goals and aspirations. It can help prospective employers determine whether or not you are a good fit.
  • Education: List your degrees and educational institutions, area of discipline, and years attended. Avoid going into too much detail. Keep it short and to the point.
  • Work experience: This is a critical area of your resume so make sure you include past experience that's specific and relevant to the position you're seeking. You can skip your first part-time job at the local coffee shop.
  • Skills and certifications: Avoid obvious references such as common computer programs. If you’re applying for a position where these are necessary, it's likely assumed you already have these skills. Highlight skills that set you apart instead. Maybe you're a pro at coding or tracking web analytics.

Your resume is the most important tool in your job search so make sure to be concise, organized and free of any typos or poor formatting.

Remember that a well-written and properly laid out resume can quickly make its way to the top of the pile.

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