Resumes are the trickiest bits of writing that the average person is likely to have to deal with in their lifetime. That’s because you’ve got to put together a document that grabs and hold someone’s attention in a positive way in just a few seconds, and then provide enough useful information to allow them to make an informed decision regarding your competence to fill their position. Luckily it doesn’t require stellar computer skills or a writing degree to catch your target company’s attention. Here are a few great resume tips to help you make a great impression so that you’ll get that job interview and the chance to present your skills in greater depth.
1. Don’t Go Over One Page
This first of these resume tips might be the most important, and it’s the theme that we’ll be returning to throughout. Many interviewers will throw a resume out without even glancing at it if there is a paperclip attached, regardless of what incredible accomplishments you might have. It’s also not ok to use a smaller font to fit more information on to the page. You simply shouldn’t need to say that much to convince someone to hear you out in person. Often, if you’re having trouble making your resume fit on that single page, you haven’t researched the job that you’re applying for enough. Know exactly what information is relevant to the job that you want and only include that information.
2. Only List Related Experience
Going further with the above point, don’t list any work experience or accomplishments that don’t relate to the job that you are applying for. A lot of resume tips will warn against leaving gaps in your work history, but your resume doesn’t need to include an exhaustive list of your past work or accomplishments if they doesn’t relate to your current endeavor. This will help to keep your resume short, and will make the entire thing look more relevant overall.
3. Don’t make an Objective Statement
Objective statements are outdated and pointless. Unless the employer specifically asks for one there is no need to include one. They tend to be pedantic, largely meaningless, and they take up precious real estate on your single page of space that you need to use to fill with all of your relevant skills and qualifications. This might be a bit of an unusual resume tip, since some employers are quite attached to their opening statements, but they rarely contribute anything to your chances at an interview.
4. Don’t use Graphics or Color
Flashy graphics, highlighted phrases and sentence, or clip art are all not appropriate on your resume. These things distract from the message of your resume (which is that you’re professional and competent), and suggest that you’re trying to distract the reader away from some other part of it. If you want to specifically emphasize a few accomplishments or skills it’s acceptable to use italics or bolding very sparingly. As far as resume tips go, the most important overarching goal is that the whole document needs to look clean, simple, and easily readable. The reader will need to be able to scan over it in a few seconds and have a reasonable idea of who you are, what you’ve done, and why you’re applying.
There are a huge number of resume templates out there, and chances are that you’re using one of them or a sample resume of some sort if you’re reading this. Don’t feel the need to fill in every bit of information that a template asks for if you don’t think that it’s relevant to the application. Also, if there is something you’d like to mention that doesn’t fit in the proffered template, don’t hesitate to reformat it to suit your needs and reflect your accomplishments as well as possible. These tools exist to assist you, no to constrain you.
Alan Brady is a writer who uses personal experience as inspiration to write about family, the environment, and business practices. He currently writes for attorneys.com, which helps connect people with local helpful labor lawyers in the event that they were unable to avoid or prevent an accident.
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Good luck in your search.