Do you know how long on average an employer looks at a resume? 6 seconds.
It can be frustrating especially as you’ve spent hours combing over and revising every line to make it just right. The purpose of any resume is to move you to the interview stage making it a crucial first step in the hiring process. So how do you make your resume stand out and convince recruiters to spend more time on it?
1. Tailor the resume to the job you’re applying for
Your resume is going to change countless times throughout your professional career. As you have new experiences and gain skills, it’s vital to keep your resume updated. But, before you send that resume off to a company, make sure it fits the job you’re applying for.
Whether it’s academic, occupational, or volunteer experience, you should list the most valuable things or skills the employer will want to know about you– and make it prominent. Does the job ad say they’re looking for a leader? Include the experiences where you held a leadership position.
Does the ad claim they want someone with editing or communication skills? Highlight a project you worked on that clearly showcases these skills. Does your field use certain jargon? Make sure to include those essential keywords throughout your resume.
2. Always list your work experience first
Always list your work experience at the top of your resume. It’s the most important part! If you’re new to the job search, you may be tempted to leave experiences you’ve had in retail or fast food off your resume. What do late night shifts at McDonalds have to do with getting the job of your dreams?
A lot more than you might think. By listing them on your resume, employers will see you have work ethic and can even show you are more rounded than just your academic experiences. Don’t be afraid to talk about those first jobs just because they aren’t in the same field as the ones you are going for now.
Don’t have any relevant work experience? List volunteer or academic opportunities you’ve had. Any experience could be the one that makes an employer call you.
3. Don’t go overboard
As you know, the way your email looks at a glance is crucial. It should be clean and aligned properly. Splitting up content can help organize your resume. Horizontal lines separating the sections goes a long way. Additional like small amounts of color and bolding can also help your resume shine. Small tweaks like these can help your resume stand out in a sea of generic documents.
But, don’t go overboard with this part of crafting your document! Adding in a couple of standout touches is okay, but too much can make the resume look cluttered. Don’t be afraid of some white space. Keep it simple and make those 6 seconds count!