As we stated in our blog "Who are You Writing Your Resume For?," it is critical to keep the recipient of the resume in mind while you are writing it. That way, the document you create will be well-received by the reader. Let's examine 4 tips you should keep in mind when you create your resume, so the result is enticing to its reader.
1). Optimize Your Resume for the Job You Are Seeking, Not Previous or Current Roles
As we stated in our original blog, remember that the resume you create is not actually for you. You won't be hanging it up in your home as a decoration. Instead, you will provide it to a hiring manager or recruiter who will read it and evaluate you as a candidate for a job opening they are looking to fill. If the position is one you would like, you want the resume to show that you are the right applicant for the role.
How do you accomplish this? By optimizing your resume for the job you are seeking instead of optimizing it for your current or previous roles. The focus of your resume should demonstrate that you have the skills and qualifications needed for the new position. The key is to get out of the mindset that your resume is an autobiography showing your history, and instead consider it as a marketing document that includes a highlight reel of why a hiring manager should pick you for an interview.
2). Don't Rate Your Own Skills!
We have heard from recruiters that they don't like to see people rate their own skills on their resumes. Let's think through why. Let's say you put Java on your resume as a skill and give yourself a 4 out of 5. What does that communicate to a hiring manager or recruiter? Are you pretty good at it, but there is someone else that would be better? What is your point of reference? Are you comparing yourself to your peers, or people that would be considered experts? How would your boss rate you? Would she or he also give you a 4 or would it be a 3...or 5? By including skills ratings on your resume, you actually raise more questions than answers.
What should you do instead? List the skills you have without ratings. Or, even better, incorporate the skills you have within bullets in your work experience section. What did you use Java for? How did it benefit the project you were working on, or the company overall? That information will give the recruiter or hiring manager a better picture than an arbitrary rating provides.
3). Avoid Using Resume Templates
In previous blogs we have suggested that templates are more of a headache than they are worth. Often, a job seeker starts out thinking the template will be helpful, but encounters a situation where what they have to include in their resume won't fit in the template. Many people spend hours trying to adjust the template to fit their unique needs, which is very frustrating. Revision Resume never uses a template when creating a resume for a client.
Another reason to avoid using templates is that you want to stand out! If you are using a template, it is likely other candidates are using the same template, and your resume will not be easily differentiated from other resumes. By creating your own resume from scratch, you will be able to select the font and style that suits you, resulting in a document that is truly unique.
4). Think Through What Address You List on Your Resume
A hiring manager or recruiter does not need your street address at this point in the hiring process. They are not going to mail you a letter, so you should only list the city and state you live in on your resume. Leaving off your street address is especially important if you are submitting your resume to a job board, because you will be providing personal information without knowing who will see it.
If you are relocating, list the city and state you are moving to, not the one you are currently residing at. This will help clear up confusion about why you are applying for a job in Austin, Texas if you currently live in Rochester, NY. It may help prevent a red flag that causes the hiring manager to pass over your resume when selecting candidates for interviews.
Following the above four tips will help you make sure that the resume you craft is written with the reader in mind. Need assistance creating or editing your resume? Revision Resume is here to help! Email us at email@example.com or click here to learn more about how we can assist you on your journey to a new role!