Whether you’re an industry vet or new to the workforce, the most important document you can provide is your resume. Creating your resume takes time, and you need to tailor it to each position you apply to. However, anyone can make a simple mistake on that page. We’re here to help you prevent those slip-ups with a quick checklist of what you need before you send your resume out.
1. Think Like a Recruiter
One of the best ways to make sure you’ve accomplished everything as you create your resume is to think like a recruiter. Whether you’re searching for an entry-level role or an executive position, you need to put yourself in a hiring manager’s shoes. If there’s anything you’re unsure about in your resume, fix it or take it out entirely. Tailor your resume for this specific position, and make sure all information is directly related to what the company is seeking.
The step that often gets skipped is the one that can be a candidate’s downfall. You may feel like it’s not necessary, or you may not be able to find someone to help. No excuse will help you if your resume has errors you didn’t catch. Always, always have a trusted colleague proofread your resume. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your resume with a co-worker, reach out to your network. Run your resume by friends or family members that have an eye for detail or know your area of professional interest.
3. Plan Your Pronouns
Traditional resume writing should always be done in the third person. This means avoid using “I” or “me” when describing your experience. This won’t come up too much in your resume, but be sure you’re always phrasing things in a way that avoids first-person speech. This may seem too robotic or formal, but it’s what employers are expecting and it’s the best way to keep things professional.
4. Keep It Relevant
Make sure there is no extra or unnecessary information on your resume. Everything should pertain to the job. Avoid sharing your age, gender or marital status. Do include everything your potential new employer will want to see. If you’ve received accolades in your field or you’ve completed a certificate program or special training, list it.
5. Consistent Wording
As you describe your experience, it’s important to phrase things correctly. There are two ways to describe your experience:
- Former Experience: Use the past tense to describe duties (achieved, collaborated, etc.).
- Current Experience: Discussing the job you have now is the only place to use the present tense (work with, create).
Misusing either of these tenses will show a potential employer you aren’t perceptive. Grammatical errors indicate you aren’t capable of the handling the job, and mistakes like these can cost you a job opportunity.
6. Attention to Detail
When we say attention to detail, we mean it. Every letter, every period and every bullet point needs to be placed and formatted correctly. Hiring managers are trained to pinpoint the smallest resume mistakes; so any misspelling will be spotted immediately. Keep all spacing and sizing consistent, and maintain the same font unless you’re utilizing a special design element.
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