These days, job seekers are going to great lengths to create an eye-catching resume. It may take a completely nontraditional route, such as an online video or a stylish infographic about yourself. Whatever path you take, it’s clear that a great resume must combine several traits in order to land an interview. Even if your resume doesn’t get worldwide attention, putting together an effective list of your accomplishments can be done if you follow certain guidelines. Here we’ll discuss 5 strategies for crafting a job-winning resume.
1. Start with a Clear Objective
Whether you call it a career objective, a branding statement or anything else, consider this the mission statement of your job search. In just a few sentences, you must be able to explain what you’re looking for and why you’re interested in doing so. Employers often look for something that summarizes your career plan and this is a chance to succinctly describe your ambition and goals. Whether it’s a short paragraph or a brief list of bulleted attributes, this serves as a profile of who you are and sets the tone for what’s to come.
2. Add the right keywords
With so many resumes to process, many businesses are relying on tracking systems that crawl for certain keywords within the submitted documents. The best keywords can often be found within the job posting itself and will help get your resume noticed while preventing you from being weeded out. The keywords may consist of the job title itself, work responsibilities, common industry terms or buzzwords, or the necessary skills you’ll be expected to have.
3. Make it Scannable
You can take it from many different career experts: Most employers only spend a matter of seconds when reviewing resumes. In that miniscule amount of time, you have to be able to prove that you’re right for the job. In other words, your resume has to quickly convey some crucial points about your skills and background. The information you present has to be organized and easy to absorb by someone who will scan over the page for the characteristics they’re looking for. An intriguing presentation can send the message that you’re a professional and ready to join their company.
4. Showcase your Skills and Achievements
The bulk of a resume entails a person’s accomplishments at previous employers, yet if your career is just beginning, you may not have a great deal of employment experience, if any. It’s imperative that you highlight your education and any related extracurricular activities or academic awards you’ve earned. Also, any internships or summer jobs here can be included here with descriptions on your responsibilities and what you gained from the experience. If it was dealing with difficult customers, or even difficult coworkers, your ability to think on your feet and solve problems will be assets to your work life regardless of the field you pursue. Resourcefulness, character and good decision-making abilities may not be on a job description, but they’re qualities everyone wants to have in a new employee.
5. Include Community Accomplishments
Achieving a perfect GPA and being involved in campus life are excellent ways to get yourself noticed. Yet other endeavors can indicate something about your character and your interests beyond your desired career. Any volunteer work can be listed here, including any local community groups you’ve been a member of or any overseas work you’ve participated in as a volunteer abroad. These kinds of accomplishments will make you stand out and display your exposure to different cultures and your involvement in making a difference in the lives of others. This will also provide some insight as to who you are on a personal level, something missing from many resumes out there.
Being able to craft the perfect resume must be done with your target audience in mind. Ask yourself, what is my future employer looking for in a candidate? What will let him or her know that I have both the skills and the enthusiasm for the job? A great resume can convey both with the right content and an effective presentation. By following the guidelines here, you’ll be able to create a compelling resume that will end up with you receiving a job offer and the start to your career.