As a job seeker, your primary goal is likely impressing hiring managers with a professional resume and cover letter. However, if your resume doesn't win over recruiters or employers within the first six seconds, your opportunities begin to decrease. Learn how to make your application materials stand out from the competition to nab respect and an interview.
Tailor to the Industry
Document skills and experience relevant to the position you're applying for when crafting a professional resume. Scrutinize positions you've held to offer insight into your skill set to perform the job rather than including every job you've held. Search job advertisements and job descriptions to locate keywords commonly used within your field, and include these keywords on your resume to describe your experience.
Highlight Your Online Portfolio
Hiring managers typically search for applicants online, making it important to provide a link or URL to your online portfolio or LinkedIn account on your professional resume. Make it easier for potential employers to confirm your experience and area of expertise by creating a portfolio and social media accounts that provide evidence of your accomplishments rather than showcasing your personal life.
Provide Company Descriptions
Outline the nature of your previous experience by providing brief descriptions of each company you've worked for in the past. When listing your experience in reverse chronological order, resist the temptation to simply name the company. Offer a one-sentence explanation of the company's industry or an overview of the products and services it offered to save your hiring manager research time.
Incorporate White Space
Resist the urge to impress hiring managers with your graphic design skills. In fact, a professional resume that's too busy may distract from the information you include. Utilize white space to make your resume look clean and fresh, and avoid dense blocks of text. Also, be sure to format your resume to ensure it retains a consistent look, and format your cover letter in the same manner. These simple things display your attention to detail to hiring managers.
If you recently graduated and lack substantial experience, then your education first. However, if you're already a professional with ample experience in the field, move the educational portion of your professional resume to the bottom of the page. Highlight your skills and experience first versus your educational career so employers can see you're well prepared to assume job responsibilities right away.
Job seekers must carefully compile application materials that accurately display their skills and experience, but also adopt a visually appealing format. Ensure your professional resume captures attention with a clean-looking document with ample white space and information relevant to the position for which you're applying for to increase your opportunities in the job market.
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