Ever heard the expression "You never get another chance to make an impression". Although its origins are unknown, the phrase became very popular after it was used in an advertising campaign for Head & Shoulders shampoo in 1980. The slogan is a reminder that how we present ourselves to others can make a huge difference in how they perceive us. This is a great way of looking at the purpose of your resume.
A resume is often the first impression that a hiring manager or recruiter has of you. We've all done it. But did you know that there are some things you can do to make sure your resume stands out from the rest? These are the do's and don’ts for creating a resume that grabs attention at job sites.
Here are 9 Things to Remember When Creating a Resume
Do: Include relevant experiences
A resume's purpose is to showcase your skills and achievements. You should include any work experience (and personal) that will show that you are the right person for the job. Only include information that is relevant to the job for which you are applying. This will ensure that your resume isn't overloaded with unnecessary information.
Do not go back further than 10 years
It's unlikely that you will list every job you have held, even if they don't relate directly to the advertisement, unless you've worked for a decade. If the experience is not too pertinent, it is a good rule of thumb to limit your backlog to 10-15 years.
Do: List concrete examples/numbers of past success
Your resume will stand out among other applicants by using concrete numbers and examples to show your achievements. This gives a clear picture about how your past job helped you. Instead of saying "Managed social networks profiles," you might say "Increased the number of social media followers by 10% in 6 months." This gives you a tangible result.
Do not: List every responsibility that you held at each job
It can be tempting to list all of the responsibilities that you have had in your previous experience to help managers better understand your abilities. It can distract from the most relevant and important aspects of your work history. Make sure to be concise and mention only the most important responsibilities that will impact the job you are applying for.
Do: Use templates
Most resumes follow a certain format, especially when it comes to alignment. A resume that is too messy or chaotic can give the impression of being careless and frantic. There are many resume templates that you can choose from so you don’t have to start over. You can use templates from Google Docs or Microsoft Word to make a professional looking resume that reflects your personality.
Copying from another person is not a good idea.
It may be tempting to just leave out the parts that you find interesting or that are consistent with your experience if you are using a pre-written template from a friend. It's best to resist the temptation. If you are later questioned, it might be difficult to explain.
Do mention any certificates or courses that you have completed
Include any certificates or courses you have completed that are applicable to the job on your resume. It will make you more appealing to employers and show that you are invested in the industry.
Do not list skills such as Microsoft or Google Workspace.
It was once a common practice to mention your proficiency in platforms such as Microsoft Workspace or Google Workspace. But in today's technology-driven world, these skills are now mandatory. Employers will expect you have experience in either one or both, but they are designed to be easy to use and learn. You can also find training for Microsoft and Google.
Do: Keep it short and to the point.
A resume should contain a brief summary of your work history, which will make the recruiter want you to come in for an interview. Managers recommend that your resume be kept to one page. However, if it contains all the information they need, it is not a problem. Include it in your cover letter if you feel it is necessary to provide more information before interview stage.
Although a strong resume is not the only thing that recruiters are looking for, it's crucial to make a first impression. Create a document that demonstrates who you are as an employee. These are the do's and don’ts for creating a resume that impresses managers and will be a great fit for their next hire.
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