Resume writing is an art. Sure, you know what information to include, but deciding how to present that information takes skill and finesse. You get one shot at making a good first impression – and your resume is your first impression, so it’s important to make it count.
If you’re stuck in a rut trying to land your dream job, use these six killer resume tips to impress the hiring manager.
1. Show Them the Numbers
Accomplishments are an important part of your resume, but to catch the hiring manager’s eye, you need to demonstrate the impact of your efforts. What’s the best way to do that? Use numbers to show off your accomplishments.
For example: Developed a marketing campaign that increased sales by X% and revenue by $X.
Quantifying your accomplishments serves as evidence to support your argument that you’re the right candidate for the job. It gives the hiring manager an idea of the results you can produce as an employee – something every employer wants to see.
2. Keep it Recent
If you have a long work history, include only information from the last 10-15 years of your career. Unless you have a particularly notable achievement from decades ago, that experience is no longer relevant and only makes your resume longer than it needs to be.
You can fine-tune your experience section even further by only including experience that is relevant to the position you’re applying for.
The only exception to the “keep it recent” rule is if a previous role is more relevant to the job than your more recent work experience.
3. Show Off Your Achievements
Achievements, awards and acceptance into selective programs can help you stand out in the crowd. Not only should you include these noteworthy achievements, but you should also make it clear that these were impressive feats.
Were you accepted into an exclusive program that only admits 12 students each year? Did you win an industry-relevant award or competition that hundreds (or thousands) of other people competed for? Talk about the competition to impress the hiring manager.
4. Add the Right Buzzwords
Include buzzwords and keywords from the company’s website to catch the recruiter’s eye. These words should be relevant to the job listing and the company’s goals.
Some recommend including these important words in your resume seven times. Why? Because you have to see an advertisement seven times before you take action. Your resume is, essentially, an advertisement for yourself and your skills.
5. Tailor it to the Job
Sending out the same resume to every employer will only hinder your chances of success. Tailor your resume to each job listing to make your skills and qualifications more relevant to the position.
When editing your resume, use the same terminology the company uses and in the same order the company uses it in the job listing.
Tailoring your resume for the job will show the hiring manager that you care about the position and the company, and are truly interested in the job.
6. List Your Best Achievements First
You have about to catch the recruiter’s attention. Use that time wisely by including all of your best accomplishments first (in the top third of your resume). By including your most impressive work experience and accomplishments first, you stand a better chance of impressing the hiring manager and getting called in for an interview.
Bonus Tip: Show your resume to an employee. He or she may be able to provide you with some feedback that can help you land an interview and a shot at your dream position. If you’re not networking with company employees, it’s time to start. The right connections can help you get hired, or in the very least, help you find a few familiar faces when you start working for the company.
If an employee is willing to take a few minutes of their time to read over your resume – and you’ve already built a rapport with him or her – he or she may be willing to help out in other ways, like making referrals or arranging introductions.