Two sheets of paper! That is what most people’s resume is these days. In fact, many don’t even bother printing theirs out, and instead, send a digital copy. However, those two pages are what stands between you and an interview for the job of your dreams, so you’d better make them count. In fact, to succeed in your career, your resume needs to be optimized to the max. Read on to find out how.
Start with your skills
The harsh truth of the matter is that no one really cares about your name, DOB, or phone number unless you have the skills that they are looking for. What that means is you need to start with a rundown of your skills and talents.
Yes, your contact details need to be clearly displayed, but it’s only after the person reviewing your resume has decided that they want to shortlist you that these will even become relevant to them. After all, they won’t need to know your address if they are going to put your resume straight in the trash can.
Be mindful that a resume is a summary
Next, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make when writing a resume is trying to cram way too much information on those two little pages. Yes, two pages maximum is always the case. Never any more!
What you need to remember here is that your resume should be a summary, and as such, should read like your greatest hits. No one needs to know that you passed your cycling proficiency test first time when you were seven.
However, they will want to be informed that you attended a well-respected institution like Rutgers for several years and came out with a specialized degree. One that is hopefully specialized enough to the field to which you are applying to help you stand out from the other applicants.
In fact, relevance is the key idea here, and anything that you add to your CV should always either show your career progression or be directly related to the specification of the job to which you are applying. Also, if you can add actual hard evidence in the form of statistics to this, even better. After all, successfully reducing business costs sounds good, but successfully reducing business cost by 75% over a year will get you noticed much faster.
Sometimes it can help to think of your resume as a pre-interview, interview just on paper. What I mean here is that your resume aims to impress the person in whose hand it lays. To that end, mistakes are a bad idea, and that means you will need to check spelling, grammar, and the layout thoroughly before you mail it off.
In fact, if you are struggling to spot any problems, do get a trusted friend to look it over for you. The reason being that a pair of fresh eyes can often work much more effectively when it comes to coaxing out silly errors that will make you look daft.
Minimize color, pictures, and patterns
Online you will find a whole range of CV and resume templates. Some of these will be colorful and jazzy and have a place for a photograph. However, it is always best to err on the side of caution here and steer clear of any set up like this.
After all, applying for a job is a serious business, even in a firm that is more relaxed about their working environment. What that means is a resume with the minimum of color, perhaps on the section divides is the best choice.
Additionally, adding a photo is something of a controversial process as it can detract from the information you have so loving prepared in the body of the CV. To that end, a resume in black and white with the minimum of pictures is always the best choice.
In summary, your resume should never, ever be longer than two pages. It also needs to catch the eye of the person reading it. Something that listing your skills at the beginning should help you to achieve.
Remember too that a resume is a summary of your career history rather than a word for word account of everything you have ever done. To that end, be brief and only add things that are relevant to the post you are applying to.
Finally, make sure that you are as accurate as possible and steer clear of any bright and busy templates. After all, you will want the person reading your resume to take your seriously, and a jazzy design is not conducive to that.