Ahh, the resume. The single document at the heart of the job search. Never has writing one page caused so much strife. From the infinite layout possibilities to the key information you need to decide to include or not, it can be overwhelming for stressed job seekers. But fret no more; we’re here to teach you how to write a resume with ease. In fact, when following these tips, most of the writing will be done for you before you even begin.
Tips for How to Write a Resume
Tip 1: Reframe Your Entire Approach
As a job seeker, you need to find a job. Sometimes in a hurry. But if you approach your job search merely through the lens of your needs, you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage.
Instead, it would be best to focus on the hiring manager’s need to find the right person. Reframing your search in this way will help you write a resume tailored to your audience.
Tip 2: Write a New Resume For Each Application
It’s tempting to think of a resume as a static, “one size fits all” document. This is how most job seekers approach their resumes. And it’s why over 80 percent of resumes get ignored.
Learn how to write a resume instead of writing a single page and blasting it out to anyone and everyone, tweaking each version according to the job posting’s needs. Think of your resume as akin to an audition tape; an actor would never submit a comedy sample to film directors seeking to fill a serious role, so why would you submit the same resume to dozens of companies all seeking different skills and experiences?
Tip 3: Use the Job Posting to Write Each Version of Your Resume
Ok, tip number two for how to write a resume sounds like a lot of work. But here’s the thing: tweaking your resume dozens of times per day is actually quite easy when you let the job description write it for you.
Your resume needs to match the requirements and skills listed in the job description to get considered for an interview. Busy hiring managers will only have enough time to skim all the resumes they receive for matches to the job description. So it would be best if you rewrote your resume using the same words used in the job posting, word for word. This doesn’t mean you should say something about yourself if it’s not true, but it does mean you should describe yourself verbatim to the company’s description. Write “good written and verbal communication skills,” not “I’m a good writer, and I communicate well with colleagues.” Write, “possess strong leadership skills,” not “proven leader.”
Tip 4: Trim the Fat
It’s tempting to list EVERYTHING you’ve ever done on your resume. We think this depth will be viewed favorably by companies, but, in reality, it often leads to resumes landing in the rejection pile. Because your resume needs to focus on what you can do for them, not on why their job opening works for you, you need to write a hyper-focused resume that only contains relevant information for your audience.
Suppose you worked as a marketer for the first five years of your career before becoming an IT professional. In that case, your next application for an IT opening doesn’t need to include five bullet points on what you accomplished in marketing. The hiring manager won’t care because it has no bearing on whether you have the skills and experiences necessary to become their next IT wizard. Feel free to keep the job on the resume to fill any voids in your timeline, but it can just be a single line. Save the precious space to expand upon your success in IT.
The job search is hard enough. Don’t let a weak resume stand in your way. Follow these four tips and watch the interview invites roll in.
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