How to Make a Great Impression With Your Resume
Unless you have a friend who works at the company you’re applying at, your resume is often the first chance you have to “wow” a potential employer. Is yours making the impression you’d like it to? If you’re not sure, or if you haven’t received a call back based on the resume you have been submitting, check out these ways to make a great impression on your resume:
- Tailor it. Show the employer you know how you will fit into the company — compare your experience and skills against the job description and eliminating anything that does not fit. You should do this for every job application because none will be exactly the same.
- Optimize it. Check out which keywords the employer uses frequently in the job description and see how you can use them in your resume. Most employers now use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to collect applicant information and score them against the job opening, and you’ll rank higher if your resume seems like it reflects the job ad better than others. Using both long form and acronyms for different skills or position titles can also help. Just make sure you’re not adding in anything untrue!
- Show your value. Although you don’t want to outright brag, you don’t need to be humble in your resume. Share your best accomplishments in the bullet points on your resume and clearly state why the employer would benefit from hiring you in your professional summary at the top of your resume. Use your cover letter to explain further why you’d be a great fit for the job.
- Use clear, simple formatting. Don’t try to pack too much information into one page. If necessary, your resume can be two pages — just make sure the second page doesn’t only have a few lines on it. No matter how long your document is, using bold, italics, and white space when possible to differentiate text can make your resume easier to read.
- Provide additional information as a link. Direct the employer to your LinkedIn profile or professional portfolio by including a link at the top of your resume. This way, you won’t feel the need to include every bit of experience, but are still giving the employer a chance to check out your qualifications more on their own time.