You likely already know your resume should be formatted so it appears clean and professional, you're probably careful to keep it to one page in length, and there's no doubt you realize the importance of proofreading. While this is all great advice, there are other factors to keep in mind to ensure your resume scores you that coveted job interview. Consider these five quick tips when crafting your resume.
1. Include a Summary Statement
Open your resume with a summary statement to grab the hiring manager's attention from first glance. Include this section directly beneath your contact information. Think of it as your sales pitch that summarizes your value and sets you apart from other candidates. Introduce yourself, state your top skills and strengths that are relevant to the potential employer, and list your most impressive achievements or the challenges you've overcome.
2. Focus on Experience
Make sure your resume includes all the relevant experience you have that relates to the position for which you are applying. This may include jobs you've held or volunteer opportunities in which you've participated. If you're a recent college grad with little or no work experience, include internship programs or work-study jobs. If you've completed specific coursework, such as projects or presentations, that relate to the job's duties, include those details as well.
3. Quantify Your Accomplishments
Go above and beyond on your resume to really demonstrate your achievements by including quantitative data to back up your accomplishments. Rather than stating you "Led sales staff in selling service plans," beef up your resume by writing that you "Supervised a sales team of 12 employees, exceeding sales goals by at least 15 percent every quarter for five years."
4. Tailor It to the Employer
It's never acceptable to send a generic resume to a potential employer. Each and every document you send should be customized for the hiring organization. Scan the job description, and pull out keywords that are relevant. Incorporate these keywords into your resume. Research the company's culture, current employees, mission and challenges, and then tailor your resume to demonstrate how you can bring value to the hiring organization.
5. Choose Quality References
Include at least two references on your resume, choosing mentors, former supervisors or professional colleagues. If you're a recent grad, include college professors who can vouch for your work ethic. Make sure you verify and include their name, title, telephone number and email address. Always ask any contact for permission before listing it as a reference on your resume.
Your resume is the first impression you make on a hiring manager so it's imperative that it captures attention and makes you memorable. With these five quick tips, you can dazzle the decision makers and stand out from the competition.
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