Resume Writing Tips (Do’s and Don’ts) applicable this year

resume-writing-tips

If you are considering to go for a job hunt, every aspect of your game needs to be razor sharp—especially your resume. Along with your cover letter, your resume will serve as your first impression to prospective employers, hiring managers, and HR personnel, and we’re all aware of the lasting power of first impressions.

Ask any professional responsible for reviewing the resumes of potential hires and they’d most likely be able to share a laundry list of hilarious—and tragic—resume missteps and mistakes that sunk the chances of their creators before they ever had the chance to show what they’re capable of. Forbes even published an article about some of the more outlandish resume writing tips that they’ve come across. These include:

  • One candidate who sent his resume in the form of an oversized Rubik’s Cube, where you had to push the tiles around to align the resume.
  • A job seeker who applied for a food and beverage management position sent a resume in the form of a fine-dining menu.
  • An applicant created a marketing brochure promoting herself as the best candidate.
  • Another job applicant crafted his resume to look like Google search results for the “perfect candidate.”

The Forbes article also mentioned that “one-in-five HR managers reported that they spend less than 30 seconds reviewing applications and around 40% spend less than one minute,” so opportunity for making a good impression is likely small. When creating a resume, there’s little room for error and a misstep can be costly.

Please check out the following resume writing tips where dos and don’ts are described when working on your resume, and you’ll be setting yourself up to make a great impression.

 

Resume Writing Tips – Do’s

Define your goals:

What is your primary goal for your next big job hunt? Your primary goal will be your “guiding compass” as you craft your resume—everything from your objective to the keywords you use should be targeted towards the industry and position you’re hoping to nail down. Without a primary goal, your resume may come off as unfocused or ambiguous, two qualities that won’t score you any points with hiring managers. Great Resumes Fast suggests asking yourself the following questions when trying to define your purpose and goals:

  • What vision do you have for your career over the next 1, 3, 5, or 10 years?
  • Which values are driving your goals?
  • What’s your purpose?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Why do you do what you do?

Target your audience:

Once you define your goals, you should be able to articulate a clear vision of your resume’s intended audience. These are the companies, industries, and insiders that you’ve targeted to help you achieve your goals. Great Resumes Fast suggests asking yourself the following questions when trying to define your audience:

  • Are their specific companies I’m interested in?
  • Am I aiming to secure a position in a specific industry?
  • What advantage or benefit does this position bring to their business?
  • What will the company be lacking or missing if there’s no one in this position?
  • Consider some of the struggles and obstacles facing the employer and the industry. Make a list of the most critical ones, and reflect on times in the past when you’ve confronted similar challenges.

Define your value proposition:

Once you’ve targeted your audience, you can use your resume to identify their issues and needs and demonstrate how you can help address them—your unique value proposition. Ask yourself the following questions when trying to define your value proposition:

  • What benefit or contribution do you add?
  • Is there anything what would you say is unique about yourself and how you do what you do?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • Reach out to friends, family, and your network and ask them which words they would use to describe you.
  • What do others see as the value you add?
  • Read through your LinkedIn recommendations and past performance evaluations and look for themes. When you put similar words and phrases together what picture do you get?
  • What do others say are your greatest strengths?
  • How do others describe you?
  • What key accomplishments or successes have you delivered time and time again?
  • What do your boss, team, and direct reports come to you for on a regular basis?

Define what makes you stand out:

The truth is, for every position you decide to go after you’ll be going up against a slew of qualified and capable individuals. Therefore, your mission is to convince those who come across your resume that you possess certain attributes that make you stand out positively from the job-hunting pack. Ask yourself the following questions when trying to communicate on your resume what makes you stand out:

  • What would others say is fascinating, compelling, or interesting about you?
  • How have you positively influenced others?
  • What benefit would an employer or company get from choosing you over another candidate?
  • What benefit or value did you bring to your previous employers?

Resume Writing Tips – Don’ts

Avoid the red flags:

If you want to be taken seriously by hiring personnel and prospective employers, there are just some things that should not be a part of any resume. This includes weird email addresses, nicknames, any dubious distinctions, or creepy or disturbing work experiences or accomplishments. Remember, you want the first impression that you give off to be that you’re a polished and capable professional who could potentially add real valuable to your target companies’ teams.

Don’t get too cute:

Using wacky and colorful fonts or paper or utilizing a too-cute but ultimately confusing resume format will only detract from your perception as a competent and mature professional. Unless it’s standard practice in your industry, or you’re asked specifically to take a creative approach to applying for a particular job, stick to the traditional format and let the content of your resume serve to make you stand out from the crowd.

Don’t let mistakes take you out:

The people who’ll read your resume are likely seasoned professionals with plenty of experience, and you better believe that they’ll be able to laser focus on any typo, error, or mistake you leave behind. Do yourself a huge favor and check and double-check your resume for errors before you send it out. Better yet, have someone you trust check your work; a second fresh set of eyes is always a good idea.

 

So what do you guys think about these resume writing tips? Do you follow them or plan to use them for your next resume? Or if you have other resume writing tips, please share them with us on our social media channels. If you are ready to start working on your resume, you can also check out our templates like http://www.worldofresumes.net/modern-swiss-style-resume-template/ or more.

 

Tips to freshen up your resume

Employers are on the move trying to meet talent shortages and discover new ways to find qualified candidates. Job seekers are now being infused with optimism about the all the available opportunities. If you’re one of the 74%+ of job seekers open to new opportunities this year you’re probably taking a good look at your resume and wondering if it’s as ready as you are for a new job search. If you’re having a hard time writing your resume or simply not feeling confident about the current condition of your resume, here are three quick tips that you can use right now to freshen up your resume so it’s ready for the job market.

CULTURE FIT IS IMPORTANT

The majority of recruiters say that culture fit is an important factor in their hiring decision. You don’t hear much about culture fit when it comes to resume writing, but your resume is a great place to start setting the stage for a great culture fit. Start by researching the company culture of the organizations that you want to target in your job search. Find out what beliefs and values drive their organization and if these align with yours, be sure to include that information within your resume.

DITCH POINTLESS WORDS

Meaningless words that take up space and add no value to your resume do not market or brand you strongly enough. Examples of these words include; results, success, professional, accomplished. These words are not inherently bad—it’s just that they don’t tell the employer much about you and the distinct value you are offering. Instead, replace these generic phrases with specific terms.

Instead of saying you are results-driven describe the results you deliver with metrics, facts, and figures.

Replace the generic term success with the actual successes you’ve had using specific examples, keywords, and industry terms.

The word professional can be switched with the actual position title that you’re pursuing.

Accomplished is an overused phrase that’s hard to quantify. So instead of using the phrase accomplished, share your accomplishments with metrics.

MODERNIZE YOUR RESUME

If you haven’t updated your CV in the last two years it’s time for an overhaul. Our society has become increasingly more visually driven. Just Google some basic stats about the performance statistics around videos, visuals, and info-graphics over plain text. Or, research what our current attention span is. Content-heavy resumes that lack visually engaging elements, design, and color are now becoming outdated. It’s time to revamp the design of your resume for visual design elements that will engage the reader and make content easily digestible and quicker to consume. For examples of visuals in resumes here are several resume samples that include color, borders, shading and graphs.

25 Resume Tips to Dramatically Increase Interview Requests

One of the biggest challenges I have seen job seekers face is nonresponse from their resume submissions. It can be frustrating to wonder whether it is your resume or something else that’s causing the lack of response. I’ve compiled this list of 25 resume tips and tricks to help you evaluate your resume and make changes now to dramatically improve your response rate.

25 Resume Tips to Increase Interview Requests

Resume Tip #1: Create a master resume and commit to keeping it updated.

When you find yourself job searching, and you sit down to write your resume, it can be difficult to recall all the figures, accomplishments, and successes you’ve had over the last 10-15 years of your career. It’s much easier to keep a log of it as it happens. Sure, it might take a couple of minutes a month to jot down your most notable achievements, and to keep a log of them; but when you sit down to write your resume or work with a professional resume writer, you’ll thank me.

Resume Tip #2: Consider an infographic resume.

Would an infographic resume benefit you? The concept has been around for a couple of years, but job search candidates haven’t widely used it. I, however, think it could be an interesting way to stand out from the crowd – especially if you’re in a field where this type of resume would be appropriate to use. I wouldn’t recommend it for conservatice positions such as banker or lawyer.

Resume Tip #3: Get rid of the objective statement.

Objective statements are generic and don’t share the value you offer the employer. Write a persuasive branding statement and laser-focused career snapshot instead.

Resume Tip #4: Bring on the numbers.

Going back to keeping a master resume … if you have one, adding in numbers should be no big deal. If you don’t, then start tracking those numbers now! Quantify everything! If you led a team, tell me how many people were on the team; if you saved money, tell me how much you saved. Grew revenue? By how much? Managed a budget? Tell me how big the budget was. Always include a number!

Resume Tip #5: Focus on facts and figures. 

Making generalized statements within your resume accomplishes absolutely nothing except taking up space. Give employers something concrete and tangible about your career history that proves the value you create.

Resume Tip #6: Remove two words from your resume:

Success and results.

Resume Tip #7: Answer three simple questions.

Three simple questions will help you write a more concise and polished resume. Here’s a link to those three questions and how to incorporate them into your resume: http://www.greatresumesfast.com/blog/2013/12/03/3-simple-questions-to-help-you-write-a-better-resume/

Resume Tip #8: Add your LinkedIn profile URL.

90% of employers will go to LinkedIn to find out more about you. That is a high enough percentage for me. Make it easy for them to find you (and make sure they are finding the right YOU on LinkedIn) by including your personal LinkedIn profile URL on your resume.

Resume Tip #9: Needs-based resume, please!

Long gone are the days of telling employers what you want and need (ahem … that objective statement that had BETTER NOT be on your resume!). Instead, review the job ad to see what the employer’s greatest needs are, and make sure your resume addresses your ability to meet those needs.

Resume Tip #10: Use a career snapshot instead of a nonspecific summary.

 Use numbers, company names, and figures. The introduction of your resume does not have to be a bland and boring overview that sounds like everyone else’s. Use things unique to you to create more depth and impact as a career snapshot. High-profile companies or clients that you can name—include those. Managed lots of projects or big budgets? Use those numbers and quantify in your summary.

Resume Tip #11: Cut the fluff.

Oh, how I cannot stand resume fluff. Reduce the content to the lowest common denominator. Make your words work for you—and deliver the most bang for your buck. In other words, cut out the “team player,” “excellent communication/written skills,” and all those other overused terms and phrases that find their way into so many resumes.

Resume Tip #12: Use keywords in all the right places.

Don’t be afraid to put keywords in your headline, branding statement, career snapshot, and work experience sections. Keywords are not just for the bulleted “key skills and core competencies” section of the resume.

Resume Tip #13: Call out those accomplishments.

Have a career achievement or success you were particularly proud of? Create a key achievements section on your resume in the top third to draw attention to the best results.

Resume Tip #14: Brand yourself.

If you don’t, the employer will.

Resume Tip #15: Incorporate YOU.

I see so many resumes that contain generic and vague statements. I cannot harp on this enough: Get rid of all the general terms and phrases—especially within your career snapshot. If you get six seconds to capture the hiring manager’s attention and stand out from the other applicants, and the first five lines of your resume read exactly the same as everyone else’s, then you’ve done absolutely nothing to set yourself apart.

Resume tip #16: RUN from simple resume templates.

Templates are cookie-cutter resumes that thousands of other job seekers are using. Again, not the best strategy when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the others.

Resume tip #17: Include a specific position title.

At the top of your resume, include the specific position title you’re applying for, and any relevant keywords. This creates the connection between your experience and the opening.

Resume tip #18: Commit to customization. 

Make a commitment to customizing your resume as you apply for each opening. It could be as simple as changing the position title or job target at the top of your resume to removing irrelevant keywords. The more you tailor the resume to the specific position, the better your chances are of it getting you an interview.

Resume tip #19: Reflect on past achievements.

Take time to think about what you’ve accomplished in your career, and quantify it when and where possible. To help jog your memory, think about challenges you’ve faced during your tenure, how you addressed those challenges, and what the outcomes were. Typically, this great exercise will help you to think of two or three critical successes that will work well on your resume.

Resume tip #20: Put those achievements in context.

Once you’ve thought about those great results, place them in the context of how they relate to the position. Make the connection between what you can bring to the table (your past wins) and what the employer needs right now.

Resume tip #21: Nix the common resume myths.

The false notion that a resume can be only one page long or no one will bother to read it is a myth. So are the misconceptions that you need to include an objective statement, that you have to include every job you’ve ever had—even back to the ’80s, and that you have to have a degree to get a job. What’s not a myth is that hiring managers spend about six seconds on their initial resume reviews; so needless to say, the top third of your resume had better look great.

Resume tip #22: Proofread—and then get three friends to do the same.

Don’t ask them for their opinions about what it should look or sound like—unless they’re a recruiter, resume expert or they wrote their resume with a tremendous response. Just ask them to review it for any typos or spelling errors that you may have overlooked. Nothing gets your resume thrown in the trash quicker than a bunch of errors because you neglected to proofread.

Resume tip #23: Your resume is a personal marketing document.

Your resume is a tool that markets you to employers. It’s the first piece of information they see about you and determines whether they will research you further or schedule an interview or discard your application. Make sure it is an authentic representation of your career history and the value that you create for the organizations who’ve employed you.

Resume tip #24: Make sure your resume is ATS-Optimized

80% or more of companies (big and small) use applicant tracking software to screen out candidates. So, while tapping into the hidden job market is your quickest way to secure a position it’s almost impossible to avoid online applications and applicant tracking software. As a result, it pays to ensure your resume is ATS-optimized. Here’s what you want to avoid and what you want to include to be sure your resume is ATS-optimized.

AVOID: Specialformatting, text boxes, poorly planned tables, live links, and headers/footers.

INCLUDE: Section headers, full contact info, spelled out acronyms, months/years of position durations

Note on file formats:

–      Use a .doc file format, older computers may have issues with .docx.

– Ensure your name and position title are in the document properties

–      Save the file name in one of the following two formats: FirstNameLastNameResume | FirstNameLastNameJobTitle

Resume Tip #25: Make sure your resume is a keyword match.

There’s a great online job search tool you can use at Jobscan that allows you to compare your resume to a job ad to make sure that your resume is a match. While it may not be a 100% correct analysis, it will at least give you an indication of whether you are headed in the right direction with keywords and writing your resume to make sure it’s relevant to the targeted position.

So how did you like our resume tips and tricks? Is there anything missing? Let us know your own resume tips and tricks on our social media channels.

How to write the perfect CV for the job you want

Today we have another set of tips how to write a perfect CV.

Rather than list your skills – adapt your CV

A common mistake is to write a career history – rather than explaining why you are perfect for the job. You will naturally list skills from your job 5 years ago, which may have little relevance to the job you want.

If you are applying for a management role, then will your photocopying experience still be relevant?

You adapt yourself every day, when attending events, when fashions change, hairstyles, music trends, the list is endless – so why wouldn’t you adapt your CV for your desired job?

How to adapt your CV

  • Google the ‘top skills required’ for your chosen job/industry – there is so much content out there to help you
  • Write down the top 10 skills needed
  • Number these 1-10 (E.g. communication skills, analytical skills etc)
  • Review your CV and write a little number next to time you have demonstrated this skill.

Your CV should now be covered in little numbers.

Make a note of how many 1s, 2s, 3s etc you have. You should be in this situation:

  • For some of the 10 skills, you do not have any numbers on your CV
  • You have bullet points / paragraphs with no numbers against them
  • Your CV emphasises some skills too much.

This is good. You are starting to analyse. When a hiring manager reviews a CV, it is a tick box exercise to see if you have the required skills. Make it easy for them – show them what they are looking for.

Go back to the past to help your future

By now, you realize that there are some gaps – E.g. you have no 1s, no 5s, no 8s.

For example, you are applying for a sales role, your CV hasn’t mentioned your good presentation skills.

It’s time to reflect, think back, discuss with friends / family, meditate – whatever it takes to remember that you once got an A for a presentation at Uni, or you are currently captain of your sports team, or you chair a weekly meeting at work.

You will have many more examples than you think, it’s just about getting into the right mindset. Do this for every area that is lacking numbers on your CV.

Responsibilities vs Achievements

Another common mistake in the ‘what I’ve done vs what is relevant’ conundrum, is how to highlight your achievements.

The solution – why not have responsibilities and achievement as subheadings for each job in your employment history?

That way the reader can quickly flick over your relevant responsibilities… and move onto being impressed by your outstanding annual review, your promotion within 6 months or your reward lunch with the CEO.

You are Interview ready

Once you have re-written your CV to reflect the skills needed for the job, you have started your interview preparation.

You have a list of examples in your mind for skills 1-10 – which you can elaborate on further at interview.

This will give you confidence to blow the interview panel away.

Extra tips for perfect CV

  • Two pages ideally, three pages maximum
  • Short, punchy language, this is not an essay so keep in snappy
  • Bullet points are much easier to read than paragraphs
  • Structure your bullet points in order of importance
  • Use Figures for your examples, figures jump out at the reader
  • The ‘look’ is important – use Google to find examples of good CVs
  • Use tangible examples wherever possible, but just hint at them, to elaborate on at interview.

 

Let us know, if these tips helped you to write the perfect cv.

Powerful Action Verbs for a Memorable Resume

When writing your memorable resume it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of using the same verbs over and over or even using vague, generic phrases applicable to every candidate in the job market. I advise to avoid generic and overused phrases like: responsible for, duties included, expertise in, skilled at—and find some creative alternatives for some overused action verbs such as managedcreated, and developed. Instead, be more specific about your contributions and successes. You can use terms like launchedpioneered, or accelerated. When it comes to action verbs, as long as you’re being specific and not general, you will do great and end up with memorable resume.

Remove Vague Terms

On a similar note, there are two phrases that I highly recommend job seekers remove from their resumes: success/successful and results/results-driven. These terms are very broad and are hard for an employer to quantify. What you consider a success and what the employer considers a success may be two very different things. It’s much better to state what the success was or what result you achieved as opposed to just saying you were successful or delivered results. If you would be specific about what you’ve accomplished in your resume so that the employer has a clear picture of the value you would bring to their organization.

Here are some quick ideas for replacement words to get you moving in the right direction:

If you led a project, department, or division, instead of using the word managed, you can use:

  • Chaired
  • Coordinated
  • Guided
  • Headed
  • Inspired
  • Mentored
  • Motivated
  • Operated
  • Oversaw
  • Synchronized

If you brought an idea to fruition, instead of using the word created, you can use:

  • Crafted
  • Charted
  • Choreographed
  • Devised
  • Enhanced
  • Forged
  • Fulfilled
  • Implemented
  • Pioneered
  • Spearheaded

If you grew a department, project, or vision, instead of using the word developed, you can use:

  • Advanced
  • Amplified
  • Cultivated
  • Expanded
  • Fostered
  • Initiated
  • Matured
  • Progressed
  • Renovated
  • Widened

If you saved time, money, or a project, instead of using the word saved, you can use for your memorable resume:

  • Conserved
  • Consolidated
  • Lessened
  • Reduced
  • Revived
  • Salvaged
  • Secured
  • Spared
  • Strengthened
  • Yielded

If you improved sales, efficiency, or customer satisfaction, instead of using the word increased, you can use:

  • Accelerated
  • Amplified
  • Augmented
  • Broadened
  • Capitalized
  • Expanded
  • Furthered
  • Generated
  • Maximized
  • Stimulated

If you made something better, instead of using the word changed, you can use:

  • Clarified
  • Customized
  • Effected
  • Integrated
  • Merged
  • Modified
  • Overhauled
  • Refocused
  • Streamlined
  • Transformed

If you were responsible for bringing in something new, instead of using the word acquired, you can use:

  • Collaborated
  • Conferred
  • Converted
  • Forged
  • Innovated
  • Navigated
  • Negotiated
  • Parleyed
  • Partnered
  • Secured

If you were helpful with customers, instead of using the word assisted, you can use:

  • Advised
  • Advocated
  • Arbitrated
  • Consulted
  • Counseled
  • Educated
  • Encouraged
  • Informed
  • Resolved
  • Supported

If you researched something, instead of using the word examined, you can use:

  • Analyzed
  • Assessed
  • Calculated
  • Discovered
  • Forecasted
  • Identified
  • Investigated
  • Measured
  • Qualified
  • Tracked

If you spoke, lobbied, or emailed, instead of using the word communicated, you can use:

  • Authored
  • Campaigned
  • Convinced
  • Critiqued
  • Documented
  • Illustrated
  • Marketed
  • Persuaded
  • Publicized
  • Reviewed

If you hit a goal, instead of using the word achieved, you can use:

  • Attained
  • Bettered
  • Completed
  • Demonstrated
  • Exceeded
  • Outperformed
  • Realized
  • Showcased
  • Surpassed
  • Transcended

Please let us know, if you managed with all the tips to write your new memorable resume. Or you are using different verbs and adjectives?