Looks do matter! Your resume is your first impression on a hiring manager. An employer only spends about 10-20 seconds looking at your resume. Updating your resume is usually viewed as a long process that you put off for as long as possible. What if I told you that you can make a few quick updates to your resume, that will take 5 minutes or less? These small things that may seem insignificant, actually make a huge impact on how your resume is viewed.
1. Get rid of the “Objective”
The objective on your resume is redundant. The person reading your resume knows that the end goal of your application is to get a job. Instead, replace the objective with a summary or if you don’t feel comfortable with that, skip it all together. Assuming you have a decent idea of what your target audience is looking for, you should be able to draft out a few sentences that introduce you in a way that aligns you with the type of job or industry you are looking for. This is a brief summary that shows who you are and what you offer right at the top of your resume.
2. Use a consistent font
Using a consistent and readable font looks professional. You want to choose a font that is easy to read and is available on most computers and programs. The font size should be between 10 and 12px with the exception of your resume titles. To a hiring manager, with a huge pile of applications, a resume that is easy to read catches the eye over those that aren’t. They are more likely to pick up a resume with good readability than a resume that is a strain to look at and inconsistent.
3. Avoid Acronyms
Sometimes the person doing the hiring won’t be in the same industry as you. Using acronyms that are company or industry-specific can be difficult to understand. To save space you, can expand the acronym in the first use of it and shift back later. This way the recruiter or hiring manager knows what it means when reading your resume. For example, “ERP - enterprise resource planning (business management software that a company can use to store and manage data from every stage of business).” Then you can shift back to ERP for any additional uses.
4. Use spell check
Maybe spelling and grammar isn’t your strong point. Use an app like Hemingway, Grammarly or Typely to double check your resume for any potential typos or spelling errors. A simple typo in your resume can make you seem unprofessional and uneducated to a hiring manager or recruiter. Using one of these useful tools will ensure your resume looks elegant and professional by saying goodbye to any spelling or grammatical errors on your resume!
5. Full disclosure is unnecessary
Get rid of things like your references, graduation year, and GPAs. You don’t have a lot of time to make an impression on an employer. Wait to give references until they are requested by the employer. This allows you to give a more estimated time range to your listed references and prevents catching them off guard or them possibly missing the call. Graduation year and GPA are irrelevant unless you are fresh out of college with no experience or are applying based on your score. This helps keep your resume clean, simple and easy to read.
6. Save Format
Sometimes a company will request a specific format for your resume. It’s always a good idea to save your resume in a .doc format as well as PDF format. These are the most common requested resume formats and will make it simple to send it over when an employer requests a specified format. Always be sure to open and close your document in both formats a couple of times to make sure they open properly and look correct in both.
It’s time to fight your fears. Go ahead, turn on your computer and open up your resume file. Read over your resume and see if any of these quick 5 minute fixes, can be used on your resume. Following these basic resume rules will make an impact.