If you’ve ever created a resume before, or have visited any type of networking site, you might have come across an article or 20 regarding resume best practices, tips, or tricks. The reason this content is so prevalent is because resumes are oh so bad. We’re not kidding. Some are really, really reeeeeeeallly bad. And hiring managers and staffing companies get to weed through these things day in and day out and what happens is someone out there creating content says, “We should help these lost people find their way to a successful resume.” So at this point we might assume you have read all the “check your spelling and grammar” tips you can handle and are just looking for the things you haven’t thought of yet, or that weren’t relevant three years ago. Without further ado… here are the top three resume secrets that may be somewhat new information and therefore valuable to you for 2017.
1. Be easy on the eye –
One of the biggest mistakes people make when constructing their resume is not being able to see the forest for the trees. When you become too involved in the details, it becomes difficult to step back and see that you have inadvertently created a cluttered, disorganized mess of your highly thought out skills and intentional keywords. Many articles drive the details until the cows come home, but the truth is, the hiring manager will never get to those fine-toothed details if the first impression fails. Next time you are updating your resume, remember to take a step back and focus on reducing clutter, emphasizing important points, and generally making it visually appealing.
2. Bring out the numbers –
If you are the type that has trouble narrowing a long sentence down to a single bullet point, we have a tip for you: Bring out the numbers. Take a long, weak sentence like, “Managed a team while successfully completing each part of a website redesign project under budget,” and pull out the numbers… team of eight, six parts, $11,000 budget. Now, plug the numbers in to the sentence, and watch how some unnecessary words give way to those much more powerful. The sentence becomes stronger, while reading more clearly… “Led a team of eight to complete a six-week website redesign with an $11,000 budget.”
3. Choose your words wisely –
According to Monster’s 10 Words and Terms That Ruin a Resume, you should steer clear of phrases like “salary negotiable,” “references available by request,” “responsible for,” “experience working in,” “problem-solving skills,” “detail oriented,” “hardworking,” “team player,” “proactive,” and “objective.” They have some good reasons for ditching those unnecessary, mostly redundant phrases. Take a quick glance at your resume and you are sure to find at least one “responsible for,” and maybe a couple of the other words on the DON’T list. Don’t worry, because The Muse has provided us with 185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome. A few of them include “delivered,” “centralized,” “mentored,” and “identified.”
If you are looking to share that cleaned up, numbers-based, strongly worded resume and get yourself a job this year, send it our way!