Your resume is still the best first impression you can give to an employer. But we so often get our resumes wrong, which can shut the door in your face faster than you can say, “Typo.” If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it can be stressful. Where do you even start? Which jobs should you include? Are there new resumes rules that should change the formatting? Should your resume be just one page? What about references? We have answers in the form of eight crucial resume tips to help you make a great first impression.
8 Tips for Crafting a Better Resume
1. Less is more.
The truth is you probably shouldn’t put every single job on your resume. Your resume should be less of a chronological document and more of a marketing piece that sells you to employers. This means you should only highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying to—and not much else.
2. Lead with your best skills.
The top half of your resume should get the attention of anyone skimming the document. Your best experiences and skills should be in the top one-third of the resume. Think of that section as the enticement that will keep a hiring manager reading the rest of the document.
3. Lose your objectives.
Unless you’re making a giant career switch, the truth is you do not need an objective statement at the top of your resume. The recruiter already knows you’re looking for a job. You can have a summary statement of two sentences that concisely describe your experience. For example:
“Warehouse foreman with 8+ years of experience in managing people, production, and processes.”
“Experienced construction worker skilled with all hand and power tools and an immaculate safety record.”
4. List jobs in reverse chronological order.
Organizing your resume can be tricky. Stick to a format that lists your current job first and goes in reverse chronological order. This gives employers a way to quickly see which skills are sharpest and which might need some updating.
5. Yes, on the one page.
If you’ve been in the labor force for a decade or more, this advice is a little controversial. But truly, employers are less interested in your older experiences unless they are somehow relevant to the job you’re applying for today. Usually, however, they aren’t, and a hiring manager will be unlikely to pay attention to your job from 15-years ago that has no bearing on the role they’re hiring for. So, keep it to a page if at all possible.
6. Keep the design clean and simple.
It might be tempting to add color and graphics to your resume to stand out from the crowd, but really though you don’t need to. Use a basic font like Ariel or Helvetica and use a font size 10 or 12. Make use of the white space on the page and organize your content with bullets to make it easier to read. Your goal is to convey information that is readable, interesting, and relevant to the job.
7. Make your contact info stand out.
Use the header or footer space to clearly spell out how the employer should contact you by phone and email. Add your LinkedIn professional profile, too.
8. Get help from a professional.
At Lingo Staffing, we see a lot of professional resumes that miss the mark in all of these areas. But we can help you improve your resume and your interview skills to help you land a better job. Talk with our team to find out more.