6 Tips to Better Resume Writing
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Resumes paper the desks of HR professionals at dream companies each day, so how do you distinguish yourself? Scoring the job you always sketched for yourself in your imagination can be as much about mastering the process of the search as it is about the skill set. Resume formatting is a specific art that can make a candidate shine or flounder. Here is a quick guide to resume writing.
1) Keep Your Audience In Mind. Keep in mind your audience is a busy recruiter or hiring manager. "They are going to be quickly scanning, not hanging on your every word," said Mary Ellen Slayter, career expert at Monster. "Keep your resume brief, clear and to the point."
2) Format Chronologically. When writing a resume, start with your most recent work experience first. If you are a student, start with your education. "Highlight the parts of your education and experience that relate directly to the job you are seeking," Slayter said. "Older and irrelevant jobs can be left off if you are running out of space." Resumes, unlike CVs, should only be one page in length.
3) Use Keywords. Keywords are a critical part of the job search process. Hiring managers scan resumes for keywords every day. More often than not a computer is scanning your resume for keywords. "Many employers use electronic applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out resumes that are off the mark from the job description," Slayter explained. "You can be an absolutely perfect candidate for the open position, but if your resume does not include the right buzzwords, you may be filtered out. Luckily you do not have to guess what those keywords are they are all right there in the job description."
4) Write Better Bullet Points. Employers are looking for a candidate who is going to be an asset to their company. They want to know what you did and how well you did your work. "Focus on your achievements, not just your duties," Slayter said.
5) Remember to Proofread. It is crucial with a document as important as a resume that you look for errors that might turn off the reader. Have a second set of eyes look at your resume before you send it out. "Spelling, grammar and formatting errors distract from relevant work experience and accomplishments on your resume," said Alexa Merschel, U.S. Campus Recruiting Leader at PwC.
6) Have Professional Contact Information. When you are engaged in a job search you should have a professional email address, voicemail message and social media profile. Email addresses should include your name. Voicemail should not contain any slang, and social media profiles should be professional or altered using privacy settings. "Also, make sure to leave some space in your voicemail box," Merschel added. "If your dream job calls while you are in class or working, you want them to be able to leave a message."