by Alicia Adamczyk, Of Mercer Contributor
We know the importance of confidence dressing for a job interview, but dressing for success won’t take you very far if you don’t have the right resume to get the job interview in the first place. While the process of creating or updating your resume can seem daunting, doing it correctly is especially important when you consider that the average recruiter spends only six seconds reviewing an individual resume.
Thankfully, we’ve rounded up the top tried-and-true (and easy) resume tips that will get just about any recruiter way past the six second point.
Photo Courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo
1. Keep it short and easy-to-read
Unless you’re a mid- or senior-level professional with tons of experience and accolades, your resumé should be no more than one page. If it is, cut it down (or play with the margins to give yourself more space). A Human Resources Associate at my company told me that you should be able to distill the most important tasks you completed and skills garnered from each position and move on. If there’s a project you want to discuss in depth, leave that for the cover letter or interview.
2. Include links to your work online and be consistent
Don’t include a photo of yourself, it just takes up space (and your prospective employer will certainly Google you anyway). Do include links to your online portfolio or blog, or other examples of your work if you’re submitting online. Saving your resumé as a PDF or as a Google doc ensures anyone can open it. Finally, use bullet points to simplify your writing, and always triple-check spelling and grammar. Consistency is key —for example, if you used the oxford comma in one section, use it throughout.
3. Cut the fluff
Joy Haugen, Director of Coaching & Curriculum Development for Bossed Up, said hiring managers want to see what you can do, not what you think you can do.
“Don’t make an empty promise. A good rule of thumb: if you have a question about whether you should include something or not: write ‘so what?’ after it. If you can’t answer it, then take it out or rewrite it,” Haugen said. “Recruiters and hiring managers know when you are trying to fill space on your resume.”
4. Be specific when detailing your accomplishments
Write action-oriented bullet points that show the impact you made in your previous positions.
“Rather than just listing, ‘Arrange weekly team meetings’ you may want to say ‘Orchestrate weekly meetings for a team of X and ensure that meeting objectives are discussed to meet resolution,’ ” Haugen said. “This shows how many people you are having to manage and coordinate their calendars with.”
Writing simply “Created social media content for luxury brand” isn’t good enough. Explain how you performed your duties, why they were important or, as mentioned above, the broader impact they made within the organization. “Created social media content for luxury brand that increased audience viewership and engagement by 75-percent and led to a 5-percent increase in sales” demonstrates the importance of your task.
5. Tailor your resume to the specific job you’re applying to, it’s worth the extra time
If you’re applying to a PR job, put all relative PR experience at the top of your resume, even if you have more recent job experience in a different field.
Rewrite your bullet points to emphasize the skills you gained that are applicable to the job to which you’re applying (it might to help to list out skills you want to highlight and a few experiences that demonstrate each before you start crafting your resume). Incorporate language from the company’s website (especially from its Mission page) and especially from the job posting itself.
If you have more than a page’s-worth of experience, swap out the most relevant depending on the job you want. All of this might seem time-consuming, but it’s worth it — this is your future you’re talking about after all; what’s more important to invest time and energy in than that?