1. Make Your Resume Stand Out
Do not use the regular old MS Word resume template! Many people get caught in this trap. Yes, it may contain a good basic outline to start with, but you will not stand out from the crowd. There’s nothing wrong with using a format/template, but find an uncommon (yet correct) one and make it your own. Play with the font, borders, spacing, to make it eye-catching.
2. Integrate a Little Color
Use this resume design tip with caution. If you’re going to use color, use it sparingly and incorporate an appropriate color, dark blue or green. Include color in the border, shading, your name, or your professional title/the title of the job you’re applying for if this fits your style.
If you are submitting your resume for a more ‘creative’ position such as a photographer or graphic designer, you can play with color and layout a bit more than other professions.
3. Implement an Area of Expertise or Core Competencies Section
Adding a section to highlight your expertise is a crucial segment that is guaranteed to set you apart from the competition. Focus on essential skills that are needed to succeed in the job.
Concentrate mostly on hard or technical skills or competencies required to perform the job itself. Examples may include personnel management, staff training, and development, communication skills, specific technological expertise, or administrative skills.
Examine soft skills such as problem-solving, organization, and time management to see if they would be vital to do the job you are applying for and if they suit your expertise. List your qualities in a chart or bullet point format to make them stand out from the rest of your text.
4. Highlight Relevant Career Accomplishments
In your work history section and immediately following your job responsibilities, think of a few key accomplishments that stand out.
Include an increase in revenue or profits, a reduction in labor costs, securing a large account, improving an essential aspect of operations, etc. depending on the job itself.
Regardless of the achievement, you add to your resume, explain how you accomplished it. List these in bullet point format to distinguish the highlights from the rest of your job duties. Try to find at least a couple of achievements for each position. Review these resume samples for ideas to create your own.
5. Double Check Spelling and Grammar
Nothing looks worse on a job application document than someone who either can’t spell or at least use a spell and grammar check.
If you’re a person who struggles with spelling and proper grammar, it may be a wise idea to purchase a pocket dictionary, thesaurus, grammar guide, or have it proofread. If you are attempting to use a “big word”, but aren’t sure if you’ve used it appropriately, don’t bother.
A hiring manager can pick up right away when someone is trying—and failing—to impress them.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!