If you’re in the market for a new job — here are the top 5 resume building tips I’ve collected, as an experience professional and a hiring manager, that may help you land your next interview.
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In my 18 year corporate career, I’ve been recruited into 4 different Fortune 100 companies. And within those companies, I’ve interviewed for and have been hired into over 10 different positions.
And later on in my career, becoming a hiring manager, I’ve also done my fair share of conducting interviews and selecting candidates to join my team. So as you can imagine, I’ve got quite a bit of experience tailoring my resume to be extremely marketable and also have seen a good deal of well crafted & eye catching resumes in my hiring efforts as well. And over the years, I’ve seen that there are consistently 5 things that all good resumes have.
So, if you’re in the market for a new job — here are the top 5 resume building tips I’ve collected, as an experienced professional and a hiring manager, that may help you land your next interview.
1. Tailor Resumes To Each Individual Job Application
Remember, every job posting is meant to be a solution to a problem or a gap, that the hiring team has. Therefore, your resume has to reflect that solution back to the reader — to show that you are a good fit for that position.
Here is one practical way to do this.
First, find a word cloud generator like this one online, then copy and paste the job description into the tool — to determine what the prominent key words are within the posting. This will give you a good idea of what the core focus areas are within the open req.
Then look through your own resume and within your experiences, make sure you tailor your bullet points to highlight your work that has relevance to the prominent key words that you’ve discovered.
For example, I’ve done this exercise with a random Vice President of People job posting, and the results I’ve gotten back show that performance management, being a team member and a champion of culture and mission are frequently recurring themes within that job description. So focusing your resume content on experiences and examples where you’ve led a high performing team and instilled a strong sense of culture and mission would be relevant and likely interesting to the recruiter or hiring manager — of this particular job.
2. Follow An Effective Resume Bullet Structure
Within your resume, when you get down to your actual job description and their respective bullet points, you need to keep in mind 2 important things.
First, only the initial bullet point in this area should be a detailed description of your job responsibilities and accountabilities. This bullet should the 30-second elevator pitch for what you do.
Secondly, the next 2–3 bullets should be specific objectives and key results that you’ve achieved within your role. These should be quantifiable measurements of your impact within your role and should be solidly supported with data points.
For example: this first sentence on my resume shows what it is I do in a detailed and clear manner. Then the next 3 bullets outline what key objectives I’ve had in the role and what my results or outcomes have been. That’s effective resume bulleting structure.
Very often I’ve seen resumes that have all three or four bullets under a specific job, simply describing their role & responsibilities. This leaves the hiring manager wondering what is the exact impact you’ve specifically had in your position, and makes it hard to compare your unique value within a sea of other candidates.
3. Don’t Over-Index On ATS & Resume Screening Systems
Yes, many companies use ATS systems and other screening software to automatically accept or reject resumes based on key relevancy factors — and yes, there are many tips out there on how to format & cater your resume to pass these automated gates.
However, I want to caution you on over-indexing towards ATS friendliness within your resume. If you litter your resume with forcefully fit keywords, or alter your resume writing style to match what a machine algorithm will pick up, you can at times end up with a document that passes the ATS screening, but reads awkwardly to the recruiter or the hiring manager.
In fact, in one instance I’ve had in the past, is that I interviewed someone that re-wrote a job description bullet, to be so heavily skewed towards the ATS system, that it actually misrepresented her actual impact and influence within her role. That led to a bit of confusion on my part as the hiring manager, and we ended up wasting most of our interview session clarifying what her actual contribution was to that particular aspect of her job.
It does you no good if you pass the ATS system — only have have a misunderstanding in your resume with the hiring manager .
4. Avoid Typos / Misspellings / Grammar Mistakes
Your resume is your professional profile — and nothing diminishes the impact of your resume like typos, misspellings and grammar mistakes.
This is especially true when you are applying for a high profile job that has hundreds and hundreds of candidates — in that type of scenario, every little detail matters. Do yourself a favor and triple check every word in your resume, and as a standard practice, make sure you ask at least two other people to proofread your document before you start using it for job applications.
5. Follow Resume Best Practices
Lastly, I just wanted to list out a few key best practices that should be fundamental within your resume writing.
A) Make sure you include your LinkedIn profile in your resume.
According to this Forbes article, a study shows that having a robust LinkedIn profile listed on your resume, gives you a 71% higher chance of landing an interview. So make sure you put this front and center into your resume and also keep your LinkedIn profile is up to date.
B) Make sure you keep your resume to the appropriate length.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your resume at one page in length, if you have less than 10 years of professional experience and less than two pages if you have 10 or more years of experience. Remember, a resume is designed to be a summary of your background and experiences, not your full life story.
C) Make sure you send your resume as a PDF.
PDFs are great formats to send resumes in, because it preserves all of the formatting that you’ve done in the document. If you send it any other way, there’s a chance that the styling, formatting or font may come out differently on the recruiter or hiring manager’s PC, than on yours. It’d be a shame to do all that work to pretty up your resume, only to have it be lost due to improper file conversion.
D) Lastly, make sure you name your resume file correctly as you submit it.
Remember, recruiters see a lot of resumes in their day, so ensure you have your first and last name clearly stated on the file name so that they don’t accidentally misplace your document among the sea of other resume files they have to keep track of.
In this competitive job market, the quality of your resume can make all the difference — so I hope these tips help you build the best resume possible and lead you to land that job interview you’ve been counting on. Good Luck!
**** Disclaimer *****
The content here is strictly the opinion of Daniel’s Brew and is for entertainment purposes only. It should not be considered professional financial, investment, or career advice. Investing and career decisions are personal choices that each individual must make for themselves in accordance with their situation and long term plans. Daniel’s Brew will not be held liable for any outcome as a result of anyone following the opinions provided in this content.