Put The Best Stuff Above The Fold
In marketing speak, above the fold refers to what you see on the front half of a folded newspaper , but basically its your first impression of a document. In resume speak, it means you should make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see firstand what will serve as a hook for someone to keep on reading. So focus on putting your best, most relevant experiences firstand then check out these five other marketing tricks to get your resume noticed.
Focus On Your Education And Skills
In lieu of a work experience section, it’s best to expand and focus on an education section on your resume to highlight the skills you’ve developed. What can you do well that this job requires? What will be useful to the hiring company? What have you done in school and what have you studied that has prepared you for assuming this job? This is generally a little easier if you’re a college graduate with specialized education, but even a high school graduate can talk about their electives and relevant coursework, why they wanted to take them, and what they learned from the class.
Tailor Your Resume For Each Position
Its important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that its a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on whats listed in the job description.
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Include A Summary Statement
Resume objective statements, where you state exactly what career goals you wish to achieve, have mostly fallen out of fashion. This is largely because you want to focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the employer can do for you. A resume summary statement, on the other hand, sums up who you are professionally at the top of the page in a sentence or two and serves as the first impression you give a hiring manager to entice them to keep reading.
Add Your Personal Details And Contact Information
Your name and contact information should go at the very top of your resume, and include key information such as:
- Personal phone number
- LinkedIn profile URL
- Link to your online portfolio/website
Your resume header may look something like this:
YOUR FULL NAME
City, State | ###-###-#### | email address: | LinkedIn URL:
When writing your resume contact information section, keep in mind the following tips:
- You can include a professional title under your name
- Use a larger font or bold to highlight your name
- Make sure your email address sounds professional, preferably that has your name on it
- If you include a LinkedIn URL, ensure the information in your profile is updated and consistent with your resume
- Theres no need to mention your full mailing or physical address, but you can include your city and state
- Dont include your current job phone number or business email address
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Should You Include Resume References
While every resume should include summary, work experience, education and skills sections, whether you should include references from previous employers is far less clear cut. Lets explore in more detail.
If the job description requests references on a resume, then follow it to the letter, but if references are not requested it doesnt mean that they may not contribute to your application when you write it.
As you should seek to use your resume space to create the optimal impact, here are a few tips about when including references might be appropriate:
- If you are new to the field or your references are not relevant.
- If you havent managed to ask permission from your referees.
- If you have already listed your references in an online form.
- If you are more comfortable writing references on request.
Resume Layout & Formatting
Okay, now that youve got your font picked out, its time to focus on your resume formats . Dont worry if you cant remember all of this stuff, because we summarize it all on our Perfect Resume Checklist we made for you. Simply click here to get your copy.
The first rule of layout is, keep it clean and clear. You want a resume thats easy to read and easy to follow.
Again, remember, you get 10-20 seconds to catch a hiring managers eye so handing in something thats messy, unorganized or confusing is going to end up in the trash.
Keep your margins to ½ to 1 inch on all sides of the paper, especially if youre sending your resume to anyone you think might print it out. The last thing you want is to have a printer crop your resume and leave off important information!
Font Size With the exception of your name which can be larger, you want to keep your font size at between 10 and 12 point. Keep in mind that some fonts are larger and/or smaller than others so an Arial 12 is larger than a Times New Roman 12. Ideally you want your resume to be a single page so feel free to tweak your font size a bit to make it fit but remember, keep it readable! Dont sacrifice legibility in order to get everything on the page.
Spacing Generally single spacing works the best, with a blank line between each section of content.
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Next Add Your Key Achievements
Next, think about your greatest accomplishments while you were in those roles. If possible, use numbers, percentages and dollar amounts to show to the hiring manager the impact you had on the organization. For example, instead of writing, Exceeded my monthly and quarterly sales quotas regularly, you could write, Regularly exceeded my sales quotas by 25% or more, driving $100k in additional revenue.
Action Verbs And Power Words
Speaking of unique, the primary goal of your resume is to make you stand out from the rest of the people applying for the same job and another way to make that happen is to use action verbs and power words .
Action verbs and power words are exactly thattheyre words that help catch a hiring managers eye and give you an edge. After reading hundreds of resumes, many using the same words and phrases, its nice to have one that stands out and one of the best ways to do that is by incorporating action verbs and power words!
Youre not exaggerating and youre certainly not lying, youre just swapping out old and tired words for ones that are a bit moredynamic and exciting!
When listing skills, accomplishments, or job described, try using the most impressive words you can think of .
Were you a leader of a project? Instead of saying Led, use one of these words:
Chaired, controlled, coordinated, executed, headed, operated, orchestrated, organized, oversaw, planned, produced, programmed.
Did you pull a project from conception all the way to completion? Instead of saying developed, created, or introduced, try:
Administered, built, chartered, designed, devised, founded, engineered, constructed, established, formalized, formed, formulated, implemented, spearheaded, incorporated, initiated, instituted, introduced, launched, pioneered.
Are you an organizing wizard? Are you increasing productivity? Sales? Efficiency? Use these words to really hit home how dynamic you are:
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How To Write A Convincing Cover Letter
Every job application consists of 2 parts – the resume and the cover letter. Now that weve covered the first, lets briefly explain the latter.
Most job-seekers flinch when they hear that they have to write a cover letter. What do you even mention in a cover letter, anyway? If you were good at writing cover letters, youd be applying for a writing job!
In reality, though, writing a cover letter is pretty simple, if you know its purpose.
You should think of a cover letter as a direct message to the hiring manager. You get to briefly explain why youre such an awesome fit for the position. When we put it that way, it doesnt sound as hard, does it?
Heres a format you could follow:
- Introduce yourself – As a start, give a brief run-down on your work experience and mention why youre interested in working for the company youre applying for. You can also mention 1-2 of your top professional achievements to leave a good first impression.
- Explain how youd excel at the job – Identify the top 3 requirements in the job ad. Then, dedicate one paragraph to explaining how you fulfil each requirement. So for example, if the requirement is Facebook Advertising Experience, mention how you have done Facebook ads in the past and how youve excelled at it.
- Wrap it up and say thanks – Thank the reader for reading your cover letter and propose the next steps. For example, If youd like to know more about my experience with Project XYZ, Id love to chat!
Fast Tips For Resume Writing Success
Along with the technical aspect of actually writing your resume comes the unspoken rules that recruiters and hiring managers expect jobseekers to already know. These quick tips will help you edge out the competition and stand out from a crowd of qualified candidates.
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Start With Your Basic Information
Your contact information should always go at the top of your resume. In this header youll want to include anything that could be helpful for a recruiter to get in touch with you. Usually, this means adding in:
- Your full name
- Your phone number
- Your personal email address
You might also choose to include other basic information, such as your LinkedIn or personal website URL, your GitHub , your social media profiles , or your address. If youre looking to move for a job, you may choose to leave out your address or write open to relocating to better your chances of getting an interview.
The key is to make this part as clear as possible. If a hiring manager cant reach you, theres no point in perfecting the rest of your resume.
How To Make A Resume 101
If you are reading this article, I think it is safe to say that we can call you a job seeker, correct?
But what kind of job seeker are you?
Are you looking for a change of pace from your everyday job?
Are you just starting out in the workforce?
Maybe youre a seasoned veteran trying to make the leap up the chain of command?
Or perhaps youre just fed up with the way things are going with your career and its time for a change?
Well, no matter what stage you are in your career, youre going to need to know how to write a good resume for a job interview and we are going to show you how! So start by downloading our Free Perfect Resume Checklist that will help you overhaul your resume and will get you more interviews.
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What Not To Include In A Resume
Use your common sense when writing your resume. If you have been employed for many years and your career has evolved over time, knowing how to write a resume well means you will not include every role youve ever held, such as the casual retail position you had in high school or the captaincy of your social sporting team. Rather, use the limited space on your resume strategically by ensuring every line shows how you are relevant to the particular job youre applying for.
Similarly, if you have an advanced degree, few people are going to be concerned about the exams you took when you were 16 years old. Instead, only include training that is relevant to the position you are applying for.
Unless otherwise stated, you dont need to attach copies of certificates, qualifications or references. You should instead bring these to a job interview.
We also advise candidates to avoid listing their hobbies or interests. Focus instead on the experience and skills that make you suitable for the job youre applying for. The exceptions occur when you have limited relevant experience or if the employer specifically asks applicants to list hobbies. In these cases, keep it brief. Avoid anything that could be contentious, such as political affiliations, and instead show how your personality is suited to that of the organisation. For example, consider listing a hobby that requires expertise relevant to the role, such as organisational or communication skills.
Write Your Name And Contact Information At The Top
Now that you have the template open, start by editing your resume header at the top of the page:
At the very least, you should include your:
- Full name
- Phone number
Here is what a properly formatted header looks like in Word:
Optionally, you can also include your current job title in your resume header to immediately advertise your professional background.
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Consider Adding Optional Sections
If you have significant white space on your resume, consider adding an achievements or interests section. This can help supplement a shorter resume, especially for those with limited work and educational experience. Makes sure that the achievements and interests you list support your career goals and are relevant to potential employers.
How Do I Make A Resume In Microsoft Word
There are two primary methods for making a resume in Microsoft Word:
To use a template, go to File > New and then select a template from the Resume and Cover Letter section.
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Write A Standout Resume Headline
A resume headline is a concise, one-line description of who you are as a candidate. A well-written headline can grab a recruiters attention and encourage them to take a more detailed look at your qualifications.
Your headline is a short but powerful addition to your resume, often the first thing a recruiter reads. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a strong first impression. Its also another opportunity to include a specific job title or keyword that might be used to sort your resume in the ATS.
How To Write An Effective Resume Writing Job Post
With a clear picture of your ideal resume writer in mind, its time to write that job post. Although you dont need a full job description as you would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a contractor to know if theyre the right fit for the project.
An effective resume writing job post should include:
- Scope of work: From keyword research to proofreading to writing a resume from scratch, list all the deliverables youll need.
- Project length: Your job post should indicate whether this is a smaller or larger project.
- Background: If you prefer experience with certain industries or software, mention this here.
- Budget: Set a budget and note your preference for hourly rates vs. fixed-price contracts.
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List Your Social Media Profiles
Many hiring managers today screen candidates on social networks. Save them a step by providing your profile links on your resume. Seasoned applicants with a professional social presence would do well to include URLs for their LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and blog, if applicable.
“If, and only if, your social media accounts are filled with professional posts pertaining to your industry, listing them on your resume can be advantageous,” said Richie Frieman, author of Reply All and Other Ways to Tank Your Career. “They can show you have a strong network and are up to speed with modern-day marketing and communications practices. The hiring manager will see that you like to keep up with what’s happening and that you care about learning more.”
Your social profiles can be a powerful tool to supplement your experience and position as an expert in your field, but only if they are leveraged correctly.
If your social profiles are not professionally applicable, do not list them on your resume, and make sure they are set to private.
Objective Vs Summary Statement
Whether you should use an objective or a summary statement depends on the type of career youre applying for. A summary statement is best for candidates who are planning to move into a role thats similar to the one they currently hold or previously held. For example, if you are working as a project manager in one industry and plan to apply for a project management position in a different industry.
A resume objective is ideal for students, recent graduates, those looking to change careers or those who want to take a different, more advanced position. An objective allows candidates to highlight their most relevant skills to demonstrate their aptitude for a position, even if they dont have any prior experience in the position.
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Common Sections To Add On Your Resume
Resumes tend to have some common sections that employers are used to seeing. Here’s a list of what’s generally expected as best practice:
- Heading / Name
- York Work Experiences
- Your Skills
Of course not all people are alike. Thereâs no one-size-fits-all model for resumes. Depending on your job, you might want to include more unique sections. Remember any information you include on your resume should have valuable insight into your experience. Employers want to know why you would be a great hire.
Other sections to include on your resume
If you don’t have enough information for the sections described above, you can try to add some of these sections below. Keep in mind that you should only add it if it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.
As you can see, there are many sections to add depth to your resume. So donât be alarmed if youâre lacking skills or experiences, there are other ways to let employers learn of your potential.
Tip: Only add information thatâs relevant to the job youâre applying for. As a best practice, always remember that the most valuable details is the information that recruiters are specifically looking for in the job description that youâre applying to.
Letâs break down each of these sections and how to add the most value to them.