How Job Seekers Can Conquer Resume Writing

When it comes to activating resume skills to apply for a job, you don’t have to be the best writer. In fact, resume writing is one of the few word crafting disciplines where the ability to compile information into a brief, structured format serves far better than showing off a big vocabulary or obscure knowledge. It helps to think of a resume as an identifying sign rather than a traditional document. Here are a few useful tips for constructing a resume that’s sure to be safe from the slush pile.

Less is More

Any resume, however formatted, should be as brief as possible. The “one page” resume is often cited as an ideal. While this may be less true in today’s world, where many jobs want to see immediate proof of specific certifications or experience, it’s not far off. Try to keep a two or three page maximum as a target.

If you’re offering additional details like references, publications, or a lengthy list of technical certificates, you should leave these off the resume. If needed, submit them as separate documents, or note that these items are available on request with a sentence or two in the resume’s body.

Sections, Lists, and Bullets

Testing out different formats is crucial for producing a short, but informative resume. Many have found that dividing their resume into sub-sections with numbered lists or bullet points gives a boost to overall structure. It also helps keep many resume writers on track with the most important information, and may be more visually appealing to some employers.

Avoid Cliches

Remember, being clever or parroting what you think H.R. representatives or hiring managers want to hear does not fall under resume skills. Cliched phrases are dull, and take up valuable space that could be used to list concrete skills or experience.

It’s not just overused phrases that are toxic clichés. Older resume models run the risk of falling into this trap too. Unless you have an insider who knows your prospective employer is strongly traditional, it’s safe to leave the infamous “Objective” off your resume. Everyone knows you’re looking for a job. Instead, replace it with a list of solid accomplishments. Also, never mention hobbies, unless they directly relate to the job.

Create Many Resumes

Why have one resume when you can have a whole fleet? This doesn’t mean you should frantically start writing for every conceivable company. Instead, have one master resume listing your best information, and then tweak it each time you’re ready to apply for a job. Add details about experience, accomplishments, and education that you think will be valued most by the hiring authority. A little research about the company and its opening can steer you on the right track for mentioning the most pertinent details.

Resume writing skills take practice to master, but they are vital for winning an interview. Chances are good that you have the experience necessary to get a foothold with a new employer, but no one will talk to you if you can’t present yourself the right way. Seize control of your re-invented resume to smoke the competition and claim the career you desire.