If you regularly read our blog, you may be saying, "You have provided so much valuable advice, but I am really just looking for the few things I need to do to earn an interview. I don't need a perfect resume, right? What is the bare minimum I need to do?"
Well, Revision Resume suggests that your best chances of earning an interview are by providing the best resume possible, including a cover letter that highlights your unique qualifications and addresses any red flags, and implementing networking skills to let friends and other professionals know you are seeking a position. We are here to help with all three things, since we offer resume creation and resume critique services, cover letter creation services and LinkedIn guidance. However, if you are a "do-it-yourselfer," here is what we recommend you focus on!
Align Your Resume with the Job Posting
Do your best to tweak your resume to the specific job you are applying for. This will help it stand out to the hiring manager (and get through an applicant tracking system should one be used to differentiate the hundreds of resumes submitted). You will want to incorporate keywords from the job description with the body of your resume. It is also wise to provide specific details within the resume that show you have the skills required to be successful in the new role. Incorporate both soft and hard skills.
Avoid Being Too Lengthy
Hiring managers tell us they tire of seeing resumes that are 4+ pages long. They don't want your entire history and they don't enjoy reading long paragraphs when a sentence or two would suffice. Hiring managers are trying to narrow the selection down from 100-200+ resumes to a handful of interviewees. You want to grab their attention quickly, and provide a resume that is short and to the point. Your resume should be formatted in a way that makes it easy to skim through, yet readily highlights the important skills and experiences you have. If your resume is longer than 2 pages, take another look at it to see if you can delete some of the content to condense the length. Keep the items you deleted in mind to bring up at your interview.
An easy thing to remove from your resume is old positions. Remember, your resume doesn't have to be your full work history. It can focus on just the last 10-15 years, and the older jobs can be left off completely.
Another idea is to build out your LinkedIn profile thoroughly and then add the URL to your profile at the top of your resume. You can keep the content on your resume to 2 pages, and be confident that the hiring manager will find the additional details on your LinkedIn profile.
Follow Current Resume Guidelines
Nothing says you didn't put in effort like using a completely outdated resume format. Spend a few minutes looking up current resume guidelines. Make sure your resume has the appropriate sections, including title, executive summary, work history, and education. If your resume still has an objective statement, remove it. If you list "references available upon request" anywhere on your resume, delete it. Do you have fancy tables or graphics? Consider re-vamping your resume to make it more computer friendly and streamlined.
Make it Flawless
Yes, we have said this so many times we are out of breath, but it is still important to repeat it again in this blog. Hiring managers consistently tell us they find obvious errors on resumes and cover letters disheartening. They believe the job seeker must not be very detail-oriented, and most positions require someone that can pay attention to that level of detail. So, errors are an easy way for hiring managers to eliminate candidates and narrow that pile of 200+ resumes down. Don't make it easy on them! Instead, provide a flawless resume that is free of any and all mistakes. If you aren't confident, consider having Revision Resume provide you a resume critique.
Alright "do-it-yourselfer" - go off and start working on creating a resume that is aligned with the job posting, following current result guidelines, error-free and not too lengthy! Should you run into issues, keep in mind that Revision Resume is here to help you! Email us at email@example.com and let us know what challenges you are facing so we can let you know how we can support you in your job search.