During your job search, it's crucial to pay close attention to detail when compiling a professional resume and cover letter. Recruiters and hiring managers often review thousands of application materials, and a bad resume can significantly impact your chances of obtaining a desired position. Learn how to eliminate errors so you can transform your bad resume into a fruitful job opportunity.
Evaluate the Layout
It's important to adjust the design and format of your professional resume based on the industry. For example, if you are seeking a graphic designer position, it's acceptable to add bells and whistles, such as headline art and color schemes, to your resume. However, when applying for a position in a financial or business industry, a standard professional resume format is often preferred. Regardless of how you design your application materials, it's crucial to focus on readability and consistency. Use a standard font to detail your experience and qualifications. Avoid adding too much color that could potentially distract employers and be consistent when formatting job duties and bullet points so employers can easily scan your document.
Customize the Information
Avoid creating a professional resume that is generic or based off of a template. Instead, customize your application materials to match the responsibilities and requirements of each position. Scan the job description for keywords you can use in your cover letter and resume during your job search. Make sure the information you include is concise, direct and free of unnecessary words and filler. Detail your proficiency with computer applications, bullet point your accomplishments and list your work experience in chronological order so the document is easy to follow.
Craft an Engaging Summary
If your professional resume does not grab the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter within a few seconds, you might have a slim chance of landing an interview. Spend ample time crafting a career summary that captures attention right away. Make a list of your professional goals, accomplishments and qualifications, and then summarize these elements of your career into a paragraph that is well-written. When applying for positions in creative fields, your professional resume summary should reflect your creativity and include a dose of personality. Brainstorm the professional qualities you admire and identify those traits within yourself. Include these traits in your summary to transform your resume from bad to exceptional.
Crafting application materials is a necessary part of your search. Complete multiple drafts of your materials, and make sure your documents are free of grammatical, punctuation and stylistic errors. Pay close attention to consistency when formatting your professional resume and add some personality when writing your summary. The key to crafting a great professional resume is outlining the unique qualifications and traits that make you stand out from other candidates.
Photo Courtesy of Brand Ready at Flickr.com