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Your resume is one of the most important parts of applying to universities, potential jobs, and more. The way you format and write this document can help change your life in many different ways. From being accepted into your dream school to receiving a job offer, your resume is vitally important throughout all of these processes. A great resume tells your story, achievements, education, and anything else that could make you suitable for a potential position. Building your resume doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with a few easy tips and tricks, your resume can stand out compared to the rest.
Did you know employers only spend a few seconds looking at each resume that crosses their desk? This means the content in your resume needs to be eye-catching and worthwhile for them to read. Although your resume may change throughout the years and job applications, there are a few essential components you should include on every resume you submit.
Including contact information on your resume may seem like a given, but you’ll be surprised to know how many individuals leave it out. Below your name at the top of your resume, be sure to include a professional email, personal phone number, and city and state for someone to contact you. If you haven’t created a new email since middle school, you may need an updated account for more professional information and opportunities. If you do not have a personal phone, do not put someone else’s number on your resume. Instead, simply leave that information off. Make sure your contact information is clearly visible for employers to see. You never want them searching for ways to contact you.
If you apply for a job with a resume that doesn’t highlight skills and assets that are discussed in the job description, your resume may be passed over completely. When hiring, employers are oftentimes looking for applicants who took the time to thoroughly read through the job they are applying for. In fact, many employers use scanning technology to select a handful of resumes to look through. Therefore, if your resume includes keywords from the job description, your chances of receiving a job offer can increase drastically. Adding in keywords naturally throughout your resume is one of the most beneficial ways to help your resume stand out. A few places to find keywords to include on your resume are:
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Every job you apply for may have a variety of different skills needed for the position. On every resume, you should include a section labeled “Skills” for an employer to skim through. However, it’s incredibly important to switch up a few of your skills based on the position you are applying for. The skills section of your resume is a great place to incorporate keywords from the job description, mission statement, and more. In the job description, most employers list specific skills they are looking for in a potential job candidate. To stand out from the rest, adapt your skills to what the employer is looking for. Oftentimes, skills can simply be formatted in a bulleted list, making it easier for the employer to skim. For example, if you are applying for a receptionist position, a few of your skills may be:
You gain vital skills through professional experiences. Whether you’ve had a job related to the industry you are looking into or not, your experience has the potential to shape you into the perfect candidate for this position. You should always include an “Experience” section on your resume to display previous job positions, team work, and other accomplishments you have achieved while working. In the professional experience section, you do not have to include every other job you have held in the past. Instead, include only 3-4 relevant job titles followed by a summary of your job duties in that position. By explaining your prior professional experience, you will add value to your resume and display your potential abilities to the employer. One great tip for beefing up the experience section is to include statistics and other numbers. Did you help increase sales by 20% as a retail manager? Did you oversee a group of 10-15 children daily? Numbers will help your resume to stand out dramatically from the next.
Do you have a certification or credential related to the job you are applying for? If so, these are incredibly important to include in your resume. For example, if you are interested in sales, you may learn raw skills through certifications like MEDDIC, CISP, and Spin Selling. In the achievements section of your resume, you may also include awards you have received in the past for accomplishments. It’s important to only include relevant certifications and awards on your resume, as these will make you unique and your resume attention grabbing. Certifications and achievements will show a recruiter that you have gone above and beyond in previous positions in order to get where you are today.
Writing a well-rounded resume doesn’t have to be difficult. Everyone’s resume may look different, but there are a few universal rules for writing an attention grabbing resume. By following these dos and don’ts of resume writing, you can help your resume stand out.
If you’re applying for a job, it’s expected that you sell yourself throughout the process. When writing your resume, include any relevant accomplishments and skills you’ve received in the past. Don’t sell yourself short while up against other candidates.
It’s easy to try and beef up credentials and accomplishments. However, this can be a dangerous move and potentially cost you the chance of receiving a job offer. Although you should sell yourself on your resume, do not over exaggerate your accomplishments by rounding numbers or changing key words.
Because employers only spend a few seconds skimming through resumes, it’s important to keep it to one page. By keeping your resume to a single page, you will limit yourself to only including the most important and relevant information.
Keeping your resume to one page isn’t as daunting as it seems. Although you may want to include all of your achievements, experiences, skills, and more, your employer may thank you later for making the process easier. Don’t squeeze words in on the page. Instead, embrace white space for a more clean and professional resume.
Your resume is a document that you will use for many years in your professional career. It’s important to understand the significance behind your words and grammar in your resume. Use simple and straightforward terms in order to sound professional throughout each part of your resume document.
If your resume includes jargon, incorrect grammar or other mistakes, you won’t be taken seriously. Recruiters are looking for individuals who know what they are talking about. This doesn’t mean using big words to make yourself sound smarter. Instead, write with clear and concise language. It can also be beneficial to remove any cliche resume builders that are on almost every other applicant’s document, such as “hard working, people person, and results driven.”
If you are looking for resume building resources, the team at Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund is here to help. We are passionate about providing single parents with opportunities they may not have elsewhere. Through a variety of valuable resources, we can help you begin your journey to a professional career today.
ASPSF offers job skills workshops across the state. To learn more about resume writing and how to excel in your new position, check out our events calendar to find upcoming workshops near you.
Contact us today for any questions you may have or check out all of our resources.