How To Get The Perfect Resume

August 13, 2015

Creating the perfect resume is the key to landing your dream job, but what worked five years ago is hugely different from what works today.

Let me shine a light on some of the most important tips to creating the perfect resume in today’s competitive job market:

1. Pay Attention to the Little Things. Resume writers the world over have been told time and again to carefully check their spelling and punctuation, but the fact that this advice still has to be given means that it’s still a huge problem. Next time, try reading your resume backward to proof it – this helps overcome your brain’s ability to trick you into reading what you meant to write instead of what you did write. Attention to detail is one of the most highly-sought qualities in an employee today.

2. Confidence is Key. Writing a professional resume means showing the best side of yourself to a perfect stranger. Don’t use your resume to beg for a job that you don’t already know how to do. Instead show how your skills will apply. A new study from ZipRecruiter revealed that words like “chance” and “learning” tended to have a negative effect on how resumes were viewed, while confident words like “experience,” “development” and “skill” helped create a resume that caught the eyes of recruiters.

3. The Sections You Choose Matter. Depending on the resume format you’re using, a number of once-popular section headers have fallen way out of fashion. ZipRecruiter recommends leaving “Languages,” “Personal Interests,” and “Hobbies” by the wayside, but keeping old favorites like “Summary,” “Work History,” and “Training.”

4. Characters Count, Too. Although you absolutely should tailor your resume to your experience level, a good rule of thumb is to keep the length between 600 and 700 words. This is the “sweet spot” — any longer and you risk boring the prospective employer with irrelevant information; any shorter and you’re probably leaving out relevant materials that showcases your particular brand of expertise.

5. Present Yourself as the Solution. Whatever your potential employer’s problem, be it sluggish sales or trouble with communication between departments, a perfect resume takes your experience and crafts it into a narrative where you’re the hero. Show them that you’re the solution to their specific struggles by building a customized resume for each potential job.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind about writing the perfect resume is to forget yourself and your own needs and focus on those of your employer. Sure, you want their job badly, but instead of throwing yourself at the hiring manager like someone who is a tad bit desperate, you can get to know the company and find ways to suggest yourself as the ideal candidate with confidence and class.

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