Job hunting is stressful, to say the least. Depending on which stage of your life you’re in, anxiety regarding job applications probably varies from mild to severe. After all, you want to make a good impression and you want to book that interview and job.
The key to landing a job interview is primarily in your qualifications, obviosuly. You need to be able to do the job you’re applying for. However, a large portion of your application is also in the way you present yourself through your resume. In order to make the best first impression there are several key components to your resume you ought to review before hitting that submit button…
Know What You’re Doing
Most of us get wrapped in trying to make a great impression that we often include a lot of irrelevant information about ourselves on a resume. You have to keep in mind that you are applying for a position and your resume should be built around that particular job, explaining how you can contribute to the company. Don’t go on about what you want out of life and what you enjoy, instead tell the potential employer why you’d be an asset to their company. Take a look at the job posting and which skills it requires, then see which ones you possess and add those to your resume. And really, just don’t be the guy in the example below…
Bullet Points Vs. Paragraphs
Most employers do not want to read 500 bullet points of your past job duties or experiences, in fact they’ll probably stop reading after about the third. When writing out your previous experience, use full sentences to describe your growth and development within that role. Use bullet points to explain any numerical successes or improvements you made during your time in your previous position. Be smart with your information and tell them the key points without blabbering on and on.
The Rule of 5
Your resume should include at least 5 keywords from the job posting, otherwise you may be wasting everyone’s time. Employers usually search out key words, since they actually require those skills in their potential employee…so if your resume doesn’t suggest you have those skills, then you aren’t the right candidate. Read the job posting carefully and include the skills they seek and you possess, explicitly on the resume, don’t simply imply it.
Keep It Appropriate
Make sure you list your most recent work experience, especially if it is relevant to the job you’re applying for. However, make sure it is legal and by the books. If you made extra money selling your old furniture on Craigslist or learned a lot about art during your trip to Europe, you may want to exclude that from your resume. Do not include too much personal information either, or an outdated personal email address. No, an employer is not going to contact you via your email address “email@example.com” to request a job interview. Also, most likely your photo should not be on your resume, unless you are applying for a job where your appearance matters and is requested. Pink glittery font, though cute, is not going to help you out, either.
Get To The Point
Nobody is going to sit there and read a 5 page resume. Ain’t nobody got the time for that, my child. You have to anticipate that potential employers are busy and have lives, so they’ll likely not appreciate you writing out your hobbies and addresses for half a page. Get right to the point and cover the key areas. Most good resumes should be able to convey key information through about one page.