Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Get Noticed: 9 Tips for Creating a Modern Simple Resume

great resume

Less is more.

Writing a great resume is not an easy task and although the overall unemployment rate is down,  competition for the best jobs at the best companies continues to increase. Hiring managers now have a large pool of talented candidates to choose from.  You can try to stand out but adding a ton of flair to your resume but using a modern simple resume template can work to your advantage.

“According to Glassdoor senior data analyst Jyotsna Jayaraman, competition is high for jobs when there are more job seekers than open jobs. Knowing how competitive a job is will prepare you for a longer search, perhaps, but it can also motivate you to really make your resume, cover letter and experience shine.”

So what does that mean for you?  That means you are going to have to step up your game and create an outstanding resume that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.  How do you go about creating a resume that will really impress potential employers?  Not to worry, we are here to help you with 10 tips for creating that simple resume that really stands out.

1. Your Resume Format Matters

99% of the effort put into creating a resume is spent on content (as it should be), but your resume format is just as important as the content.  In fact, many would say that the format is more important than the content.  How can that be?

Simply put, even if you have the best experience in the world, if your resume looks like crap you know where it’s headed. Not to underplay content, but you need to pick the right format for your industry and experience.

2. Put your most impressive work first

For English speaking countries, the human eye is trained to read from top to bottom, left to right.  So it is natural for anyone looking at your resume to look at the top of your resume first.  Putting your most impressive work and accomplishments on the top, you will ensure that your resume gets noticed.

Because recruiters usually have tons of resumes to go through, they will not spend more than a couple of minutes on a resume.  So there must be an obvious reason why they should spend more time on your resume.

But remember, what’s impressive to you may not be impressive to hiring managers.  Think like a recruiter; what would a recruiter want to see first?  What piece of information will let them know you are the perfect fit for the job?

If it is a computer programming job you are applying for, then you might want to put all the programming languages you know first and foremost.  Be sure to start with the most complicated or sought after languages first.

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3. Less is More

Leave out anything that doesn’t have to do with the job you are applying for.  If you are applying for a position as a budget analyst, you do not need to talk about your prior career in retail sales.  However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave out everything that doesn’t deal directly with the job you are applying.

Listing experience in related fields will definitely help your resume as it shows that you have a wide knowledge base.  So going along the lines of the budget analyst example, you should definitely put in your experience as a tax accountant or a project manager if you have such experience.

4. Approach your resume with a minimalist attitude

Too many people make the mistake of cluttering up their resume, trying to fit as much as possible on that “one page”.  That’s a big mistake.  Clutter makes it hard on the eye.  Rather, you should adopt a minimalist approach when trying to write your resume.

What does that mean? If you have a lot of prior experience, then you should just pick a few of your most impressive projects and talk extensively about them—rather than giving a brief synopsis of all ten of your prior projects.

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5. Don’t make an Objective Statement

Objective statements are so outdated and pointless. Unless the recruiter specifically asks for one there is no need to include one. They tend to be 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 objectives contribute anything to your chances of getting an interview.

6. Focus on Your Training and Education

Just because you don’t have a degree doesn’t mean you don’t have the training necessary to perform the job. If the education section of your resume is lacking, add a personal development section and include any professional or informal training you’ve had in the past.

Think back to seminars, conferences, certifications and even studies you’ve done in your free time to show you’ve got a good foundation to perform the job.

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7. Draw Attention to Your Strengths

While other candidates might have more experience than you, that doesn’t mean they’ve got the same credentials or accomplishments as you. Focus on the qualities and strengths you possess that make you stand out from other candidates.

“When you’re job searching, employers will be looking for evidence that you possess the right strengths to get the job done as they screen your resumes, cover letters, and job applications. You will also be asked questions aimed at uncovering your strengths during job interviews. – Alison Doyle, thebalance.com”

The best way to draw attention to your strengths is to compose a list of your professional accomplishments, industry insights and the results you’ve generated in your line of work.

Most importantly, be sure you include your strengths section before your education section. That way, employers are likely to be so impressed with your credentials that they gloss over the fact that you don’t have a degree.

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8. Send Your Resume to the Right Person/Department

Crafting a successful resume is somewhat dependent on the employer. Make sure your resume is well-written and stands out (for the right reasons). Thoroughly proofread your resume and send it through an online editing tool. Leverage friends and family to give your resume a once over.

If you have any professional writers in your life, have them look over your resume to ensure it’s in the correct format and written in the right font. Read up on the format and cover letter should you decide to include one with your application.

Get the name and email of the hiring manager to ensure your resume gets to the right person. Employers are sure to be impressed with your level of professionalism, a level that was achieved without a formal degree.



9. Be Sure You Have a Cover Letter

Cover letters offer a great opportunity to show how passionate, eager and excited you are about the job position and your chosen industry. That passion, eagerness, and excitement likely won’t transfer well in your resume, making it even more important that you include a well-written cover letter with your resume. Additionally, your exuberance might serve you and the company better than someone with a degree who’s merely looking to move up the ladder.

Creating a great resume is the first step to put you the running for landing your dream job. Use these tips, and make sure the rest of your resume is top notch to increase your chances of getting an interview.

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