Your resume is your first impression on a hiring manager; looks do matter!
An employer only spends about 10-20 seconds looking at your resume.
Updating your resume is usually viewed as a long process.
As such, people often put the task off for as long as possible.
But 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, which may seem insignificant, actually make a huge impact on how your resume is viewed, increasing your chances of getting an interview.
1. Get rid of the “objective”
The objective, usually right on the top of a resume, is redundant.
The person reading your resume knows that the end goal of your application (your objective) is to get a job at their company.
Instead, replace the objective with a summary as these are generally preferred by recruiters.
If you don’t feel comfortable with writing a resume summary, skip it altogether.
There are two main reasons you would not choose to write a summary:
- You are a recent graduate with no work experience to summarize.
- You are changing careers and have no relevant work experience.
Let's assume, however, that you choose to write up a simple summary.
Hopefully, 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 with the type of job or industry you are looking for.
- This summary should be brief: 50 to 60 words; no more than 100 words.
- It should show who you are and what you offer.
- It should be placed at the top of your resume to set the stage.
2. Use a consistent font
Using a consistent and readable font looks professional.
- Choose a font that is easy to read.
- Avoid comic-style or script; these are distracting and difficult to read.
- Make sure it is available on most computers and programs.
- The last thing you want is a resume that looks completely different to your reader because they don't have the unique font you chose.
- The font size should be between 10 and 12.
- The one exception is for your resume titles; these should be a larger size.
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 or one that is inconsistent with varying fonts and sizes.
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 and frustrate the hiring manager.
If you must use an acronym to save space, expand the acronym in the first use of it. Then you can shift back to the abbreviated version in later uses.
This way, the recruiter or hiring manager knows what it means when reading your resume. Here's an 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.
Making simple choices like this shows that you are a thoughtful job candidate.
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 single 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 avoiding 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 with your resume.
Wait to give references until they are requested by the employer.
- This allows you to give a more accurate time range to those you have listed.
- It prevents catching them off guard or them possibly missing a reference call.
Additionally, graduation year and GPA are irrelevant unless you are fresh out of college with no experience or are applying based on your score.
Some rare positions do request or prefer to see your GPA.
If this is the case, it is often stated on the job description. If not, leave it out.
These choices will help to keep your resume clean, simple, and easy to read.
6. Choose the right save format
Sometimes a company will request a specific format for your resume.
It’s always a good idea to save your resume in more than one format (usually .doc format as well as PDF format).
These are the most commonly 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.
What are you waiting for?
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 and improve your chances of getting a callback.
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