Whether you are new to the world of job searches and interviews or just haven't had to apply for a job in several years, it's important to know the best methods for ensuring your resume really "pops" for the hiring manager reviewing it. This is sometimes easier said than done, but there are certainly changes big and small you can make to that document to ensure you always put your best foot forward.
The following tips should help you strike that just-right balance between professionalism and wow factor:
1) Copy the keywords
First and foremost, it's important to read the job listing carefully and identify the words that really stand out as being a little outside the norm, according to Indeed. These are most often the kinds of terms the company uses in-house or describe the skills it is looking for. However, you shouldn't feel the need to hammer every one of those keywords into your resume, just those that are applicable to what you bring to the table.
2) Don't write a novel
They say brevity is the soul of wit, and it's certainly critical for job applications — after all, a hiring manager may have a few minutes at most to review your qualifications, Indeed advised. With that in mind, you should certainly aim to keep your resume on a single page, and you don't need to feel obligated to fill that page all the way, either. As long as you get across what makes you perfect for the job, that will be plenty to impress the recipient.
3) Move the most applicable skills and experience to the top
Especially these days, most job listings are going to garner a lot of interest, meaning hiring managers have very little time to really dig into all but the most obviously qualified applicants' resumes and cover letters, according to The Muse. What that means for you is simple: You need to make sure your qualifications that are most relevant to the job opening are listed at the top of your resume, and then everything else can be presented under a separate heading farther down the page.
4) Keep the formatting and design simple
One thing that's a surprisingly big turn-off for many hiring managers is when candidates go too far outside the box in trying to be "eye-catching," The Muse added. That could mean an unconventional format, or even an uncommon font choice, is enough to derail your hopes for getting an interview before they've even begun. Instead, keep it simple and don't try to overthink things.
5) Prioritize quality over quantity
When you're listing your various skills and qualifications related to the position, you might want to say you're good at a large number of things, according to Glassdoor. However, if you try to list too much, it can be overwhelming and even come off as disingenuous. Instead, focus on a small handful of the things you're best at so you can make that the focus.
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