You’ve done what all the general advice says—your resume isn’t too long, has a nice template, clearly shows your experience and skills. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled the 12 best ways to improve your resume that’ll take no more time than enjoying your morning coffee.
A resume is a living document—you should always be open to improving your resume. After all, an improved resume means higher chances of getting that dream job. That’s something everyone can get on board with. The good thing is that it’s easier and takes less time than you think.
here are the 8 best ways to improve your resume in minutes:
Make Your Resume Header Stand Out
You can think of your resume header like a business card—if it’s unclear and not up to date then it’s not of much use. An outstanding resume header can really enhance your resume.
Make sure your resume contact information is clearly labelled and current. Your first and last name, phone number, and professional email address are a must.
Use Action Words
“I talked over the phone with 20+ clients daily about company services.” Another best way to say this is “I consulted with over 20 customers daily over beneficial company services over the phone.”
See what we did there? Action verbs are like resume boosters and change your content from something bland and boring into something much more compelling and intense. Action verbs not only convey the action, but also your willingness to take ownership, be proactive, or your ability to handle tough situations. All definite pluses.
Get Your Formatting Right
Improving your resume means double checking these resume format guidelines to make sure your resume is up to common level:
- Set your resume margins to 1” on all sides of the page.
- Choose a modern and professional resume font like Arial or Georgia and set it to 12 pt.
- Double check if your resume sections stand out and make it easy for employers to find relevant information about your experience or skills.
- Use bullet points instead of long sentences to make your resume easier to read for employers.
- Make sure your resume layout is neat and smart.
- Save your resume in PDF unless the job ad specifically says otherwise.:
Start With a Strong Objective or Summary
Your resume objective or summary are one of the first things that the hiring manager is going to see so you need to make it a home run if you want to improve your resume.
If you’re just starting out your career or are in the middle of switching careers, choose the resume objective. It’ll focus on your knowledge and skills and show hiring managers that you’re committed to succeed.
If you already have several years of work experience, a resume summary is just the thing for you. It focuses on your job skills and work experience to show recruiters that you are the perfect hire for them.
Use Quantifiable Achievements
Sprinkle Your Accomplishments All Over
There’s no one, holy place on your resume where you should put your achievements. Of course, if you have a whole truckload of them, then by all means create an additional resume section just for them.
You can mention your accomplishments through your work experience, projects you’re proud of, through your education or extracurricular activities from your school days, or your resume header.
Proofreading your resume is super simple and very important. You can use the built-in spell checker in your word processor, but don’t rely just on that. You can also use programs like Grammarly to check your grammar and word choices. Reading your resume out loud can also help you catch errors you might have missed. Having a friend or family member read through your resume can also be a good idea.
Highlight relevant skills and experiences.
Your resume should target the specific job you are applying for. Be sure to prioritize the skills, qualifications and experiences that are directly applicable to the job you are trying to land.
If you are applying for a marketing position, you could include your former retail experience and bullet the communication, branding and interpersonal skills you learned in that position.
If you don’t have a work history that directly relates to the job you are applying for, get creative with how you present your other experiences. Draw on the skills you used and how your contributions benefited the organization or project.
Add Additional Sections to Your Resume
There are a number of things that can help give your resume a major boost and cool points from employers. Here are a few winners:
- Volunteering. Volunteering is similar to any other paid job so use your volunteering experience to demonstrate skills, passions, or mindset to employers.
- Projects. Projects can demonstrate a number of skills and characteristics so definitely add them if you can.
- Achievements and awards. Include awards or achievements that showcase your skills, hard work on the job, or desire to deepen your knowledge.
- Foreign language skills. With 9 out of 10 employers relying on employees who know more languages than just English, foreign language knowledge can really swing open some doors. Include them along with a standard level rating.
- Hobbies and interests. For example, the blog you maintain about the environment can make a difference at a company that offers green services. Just keep it relevant.