If you’re looking to clean up your resume and make it more concise yet well-rounded, check out this list of helpful resume tips from hiring managers. You’ll discover what they’re looking for when they read your resume — and how your skills can transfer to a position at the company. Keep reading for the best resume tips in order to craft a polished summary of your experience.
7 Resume Tips From Hiring Managers
Specifics about the Job Posting
A mistake potential hires often make is sending a generic version of their resume and cover letter. To distinguish yourself above amateur applicants, read the job description thoroughly. Then, tailor your resume and/or cover letter to address any specifics that the job post discusses. For instance, in the cover letter, you might emphasize your particular interest that drew you to the role, and how your prior job experience transfers smoothly into this position.
Since much of today’s hiring process takes place online, many recruiters use online tools and search for keywords to find candidates. Include important terms or common buzz words unique to your industry to help distinguish your resume. Also, clearly provide and highlight specific words and phrases, depending on the skills and experiences considered assets to your field. To practice, try to put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes, and imagine what word you would type into the search engine if you were trying to fill the position for which you are applying. You can also infuse your LinkedIn profile with keywords, to boost your online presence.
To brand yourself as a professional, experienced candidate, use exact numbers, dollars, and other quantities wherever possible. For instance, if you increased traffic to a website, was it by 20% or 30%? Using numeric values is helpful in terms of elevating your resume and making it attractive to hiring managers. Particularly in roles such as marketing or accounting, numbers matter on the resume. That’s why this is one of the top resume tips from hiring managers.
It may seem obvious, but make sure your resume is air-tight in terms of correct grammar, spelling, and syntax. It’s key to ensure your resume works its way up the chain to the hiring manager. In the professional world, your resume is only supposed to be about one page. Regardless, you want to make sure your words remain concise and polished. If you need a second pair of eyes, grab a peer or family member with excellent writing skills. Ask them to help you touch up and potentially condense the writing in your resume to keep it sharp. Furthermore, ensure your interview follow-up email is free of errors, to put your best foot forward after submitting your resume!
This also may seem obvious, but hiring managers often feel dismayed at how many resumes they receive that fail to read in a standard, clean font. Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial are your best bets. Using fonts such as Comic Sans will probably make the hiring manager’s skin crawl — so pay attention before submitting! You might also consider printing it on professional resume paper, for the most impressive effect.
Organization and Formatting
The jury is out on the best way to format your resume. There are three types of resume formats: chronological, functional and combination. But as long as your timeline is appropriate and your work experience is grouped accordingly, your resume will be strong. If you’re not a recent grad, it’s OK to move your education section to the bottom (as opposed to the top, where many people often format it to precede their work experience). Make sure your timeline proves accurate in terms of all the jobs you’ve held, with the most recent ones at the top. Bullet points must also quickly and clearly convey, in an attractive way, the duties for which you were responsible at each job.
You probably know that any excellent resume includes a “skills” section. This encompasses basic office and professional skills you may have. For instance, Microsoft Office and foreign language proficiency can fall under this category. What skills do you have beyond that? Furthermore, which ones are particularly relevant to the position for which you are applying? Echoing tip #1, make sure your resume appears non-generic and tailored toward the particular job/field for which you’re applying.
Utilize these tips the next time you’re trying to touch up your resume to increase the chance it will make it through to the hiring manager! What other resume tips from hiring managers would you add to this list?