A great resume is a powerful tool that can make the difference between landing an interview and being overlooked by potential employers. It is essential that job seekers take the time to create a well-crafted resume that showcases their skills, experiences, and achievements in a way that is compelling and easy to read. In this article, we will explore what makes for a great resume and provide some tips and examples to help job seekers create a winning document.
Clear and Concise Formatting
The formatting of your resume is the first thing that recruiters will notice. A great resume should be visually appealing and easy to read. This means using a clean and simple design with a consistent font throughout. The formatting should be consistent and easy to follow. Include clear section headings and bullet points that help to break up the text.
According to Elizabeth Larssen, a career coach and resume writer, “The most important aspect of a resume is clarity. It should be easy to read and understand, and the most important information should be highlighted.” This means using bold text, italics, or underlining to draw attention to the most important details.
Customized for the Job
A great resume should be customized to the job you are applying for. This means tailoring your skills and experiences to the specific requirements of the job. This is important because it shows that you have taken the time to research the company and the job, and that you are serious about the position.
According to Alison Doyle, a job search expert and career consultant, “One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sending out a generic resume to every job they apply for. Instead, take the time to customize your resume to each job you apply for. This will show that you have a genuine interest in the position and that you are the right fit for the job.”
A great resume should highlight your achievements and accomplishments in a way that is measurable and quantifiable. This means including specific examples of how you have contributed to your previous employers and how you have made a positive impact in your previous roles.
According to Jaclyn Westlake, a career expert and writer, “Recruiters want to see specific examples of how you have added value to your previous employers. This means using metrics and numbers to quantify your achievements. Examples include ‘Increased sales by 20% in six months’ or ‘Reduced costs by $50,000 per year’.”
Relevant Work Experience
A great resume should focus on your relevant work experience. This means highlighting the jobs and experiences that are most closely related to the job you are applying for. If you have had a long and varied career, you may need to be selective about which experiences you include on your resume.
According to Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert, “Your resume should focus on your most recent and relevant work experience. This means highlighting the jobs and experiences that are most closely related to the job you are applying for. You can also include a section for ‘Additional Experience’ or ‘Other Experience’. Simply briefly mention any relevant experiences that are not included in your work history.”
Keywords and Phrases
A great resume should include keywords and phrases that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This means using the same language and terminology that the job description uses. This is important because many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes, and these systems are designed to look for specific keywords and phrases.
According to Brad Karsh, a job search expert and founder of JB Training Solutions, “Applicant tracking systems are looking for specific keywords and phrases that match the job description. This means using the same language and terminology that the job description uses. If the job description says they are looking for someone with ‘strong communication skills,’ make sure you use that exact phrase on your resume.”
A great resume should have an attention-grabbing summary that highlights your key strengths and experiences. This means using a strong opening statement that captures the reader’s attention and encourages them to keep reading. Your summary should be short and to the point, no more than a few sentences.
According to Alison Green, a career advice columnist and author, “Your summary should be a concise and compelling statement that highlights your key strengths and experiences. It should be the first thing that recruiters see when they look at your resume, and it should make them want to keep reading.”
Correct Spelling and Grammar
A great resume should be free from spelling and grammatical errors. This means proofreading your document carefully and making sure that there are no mistakes. Spelling and grammatical errors can make a negative impression on recruiters and may even cause them to reject your application.
According to Wendy Enelow, a career consultant and author, “Spelling and grammatical errors are one of the most common reasons that resumes are rejected. Take the time to proofread your document carefully, and consider having someone else look at it for you. A fresh set of eyes can often catch mistakes that you might have missed.”
Honest and Accurate Information
A great resume should be based on honest and accurate information. This means avoiding exaggeration or falsification of your skills, experiences, or achievements. Recruiters can often tell when someone is being dishonest on their resume, and this can lead to immediate rejection.
According to Debra Wheatman, a career expert and writer, “Honesty is the best policy when it comes to resumes. You should never lie or exaggerate your skills, experiences, or achievements. Recruiters can often tell when someone is being dishonest on their resume, and this can damage your credibility and your chances of getting the job.”
In conclusion, a great resume is essential for anyone who is looking for a new job or career opportunity. A well-crafted resume can showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements in a way that is compelling and easy to read. Some of the key qualities of a great resume include clear and concise formatting, customization for the job, quantifiable achievements, relevant work experience, keywords and phrases, attention-grabbing summary, correct spelling and grammar, and honest and accurate information.
By taking the time to create a great resume, you can increase your chances of landing an interview and ultimately, the job of your dreams. As Brad Karsh, a job search expert and founder of JB Training Solutions, states, “Your resume is your calling card. It’s the first thing that recruiters see, and it’s the key to getting your foot in the door. Take the time to create a great resume, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your next job.”
Find more tips from these recommended reads: 5 Books To Read in 2023 For Personal Growth