Resumes are a topic that can be argued about endlessly (how many pages? charts & diagrams? testimonials?) but in the end, a successful resume really comes down to how well you portray your skills and experience in a simple and compelling way. Take a look at your resume, and see if you are following the points below.
1. Formatting. Clear formatting is always important. Our quick tip here is to make sure all your titles and text are consistent, with the font size is easy to read (between 10-12pt) and good separation between each section. Are your job descriptions one big block of text? Try separating the paragraphs to make the resume easier on the eye.
2. Add some keywords. Many employers scan cover letters and resumes for keywords as a way to pre-screen a candidate. There is no way of knowing what words a company has chosen, but a good rule is to focus on nouns related to the job and industry. Look at job descriptions and see if you can use similar terminology about your past jobs. ex: Held a project management role; coordinated a sales team; provided cost estimates.
3. Keywords are a perfect way to describe yourself or previous roles. Add descriptive words that are relevant to your particular skill set and industry, as well as adjectives that describe you as a person. Are you proactive? Reliable? Consistent? Did you manage? Supervise? Review? Expand on your keyword nouns: “Held a project management role in which I supervised numerous workers, ensuring accurate completion of tasks”. While this example is fairly vague, try to be specific (what type of workers and tasks).
4. Have someone else read your resume. No matter how accurate your editing skills are, it is always best to have a second pair of eyes looking out for those spelling or grammar mistakes. Never rely on spellcheck.
The general consensus regarding number of pages, is that as long as the content is meaningful, it doesn’t matter how many pages there are. If you have many years of valuable, applicable experience, than 3 page resume works for you. If you are looking for an entry-level position, than a one-page resume is fine. Most people will fall in the two-page resume range. Avoid being too dense and wordy, or so minimal that you don’t describe yourself enough.
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