Coming up with a resume that looks and reads like a good book can be difficult. Your resume is your first step and is usually the first thing an employer will hear about you. If it isn’t updated to include the latest style trends and optimization to make your information more readable, you could be missing out on offers or interviews. Take a look at these tips, and use them to refine or build your resume from scratch.
© emiliezhang / Adobe Stock
Info at the top: name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn
These items are used for the purpose of giving the employer contact information, as well as links to help them understand a bit more about who you are.
LinkedIn profiles are optional and best-suited for people working in a clerical or professional field. An industrial worker may have less reason to make a profile, but it should not discourage you from trying it out and presenting yourself professionally online. You can make a lasting impression with a good-looking LinkedIn profile, no matter what you’re looking for.
Additionally, these items don’t need to be labeled. For example, just write your phone number; don’t label it “Phone Number.” This can save some extra space for you to put more information here if you need it.
No objective section
Don’t include an objective section. Objectives aren’t necessary. Not only do they take up space, but they don’t serve a purpose anymore. Scrap your objective and use that space for more valuable information to help push your resume in the right direction. For example, if your Objective section would have normally replaced a key position for your Experience section, you’d be missing out on all that first-impression potential!
Your education or tech school certification is your bread and butter if you don’t have any experience. Use this as an opportunity to showcase any education you think would be valuable towards the position. If your education ended at high school, shift the focus of your resume towards your experience and accomplishments.
If you’ve been in multiple positions in your field in the past, you’ll want to make this the primary focus of your resume. Highlight your achievements in each position, and don’t repeat yourself. You’ll want a list of things that you are proud of, as well as things that will show off your abilities to the employer. A well-detailed work history could be the one thing that sets you apart from others.
Do not include resume ‘buzzwords’
Don’t go for the “team player,” “hard-working,” or “problem solver” types of words or phrases, unless they are descriptive of your job performance and backed up by the numbers. If you want to use these types of phrases, show it in your resume instead of saying it. Describe situations in your education or past work experience where you were a team player, hard worker, or problem solver, and use numbers or proof to show how you achieved these things. Just the words alone won’t cut it.
No work experience past 10+ years
Employers won’t want to know about your job in high school, or anything beyond 10+ years ago. Keep your experience section relevant with only the most-recent positions. A good thing to keep in mind is the balance of information and brevity; you don’t want to make your resume too long (over one page), and writing in non-relevant positions will take space away from sections that matter.
Your skills section should contain everything relevant to the job that you feel you excel in at an above-average level. Many people make the mistake of including skills that are either irrelevant to the job position (for example, machinery experience for a writing job), or they include a skill that they have very little experience with. Keep your skills centered and honest.
Do not include “References available upon request”
If the employer wants references, they will ask for them, so there’s no point in including this part in your resume. It’s just more clutter that they might not get to.
As a side note, it is important to keep references, but they should only be references you’ve asked permission for first. Don’t give out a “reference” for a person who isn’t expecting a call or email. It isn’t appropriate and could burn future bridges with past supervisors.
Also, remember to keep your references updated; don’t keep around references who may give a bad review!
Do some research about resume templates
An effective resume template can help you organize your main sections in a meaningful way. Don’t settle for writing your resume on your own; a template can help you choose fonts, sizes, positioning, and layout. Remember that the goal for resumes is to be easily readable: shoot for an easy-to-read template that focuses on your strong points and lists all important information on a single page.
Simple, right? We hope so. If you’re still in need of help with your resume, we can help!