Employers use resumes as tools to weed out applicants. These three resume writing tips will help to ensure that your resume doesn’t get thrown into the trash.
1. Choose the right format.
There are two main types of resume formats: chronological and functional. A third type, the combination format, is a mix of the other two formats. There are other resume formats, but these three are the most popular.
Most employers prefer a chronological format. As the name suggests, a chronological resume lists a job seeker’s job history and education in chronological order. This is normally the easiest type of resume to put together. Unfortunately, this type of resume can also emphasize your lack of experience and any gaps you may have in your employment record.
The functional format can be more useful if you plan on entering a new field or if your work history is spotty. This type of resume is typically organized by skills rather than by job history, which is why functional resumes are also called skills resumes.
The combination format is a good option for many job seekers because it allows for a combination of the chronological and functional resumes to better suit your own individual needs.
Job listings often specify the file format they want your resume in. Make sure you keep several copies of your resume in the various file formats, including a text-only resume that can be easily transmitted online or posted in a resume database.
2. Write about your accomplishments.
A common resume writing mistake is to just list your job duties, without listing any unique, quantified accomplishments. This mistake causes your resume to blend into the crowd. To make sure your resume stands out, quantify your accomplishments and use action words.
3. Tailor your resume for each job listing.
Make sure that you tailor your resume for each job listing, so that your resume showcases exactly how your skills and work history make you the perfect candidate for the job. Keep in mind that hiring personnel and computers programs will often quickly scan through your resume to see if it’s a good fit before reading through it. Try to mimic some of the phrasing used in the job posting. Including keywords from the job ad helps ensure that your resume moves on to the next stage.
It’s often best to keep several variations of your resume on hand, so you can customize it quickly and easily. If you’re submitting your resume to a resume database, you should scan through job ads in your desired industry first to get an idea of what to use for keywords.