Have you been on the job hunt for a while now? And, perhaps, despite submitting application after application, you’ve still not had any luck.
We know the process can begin to feel disheartening, but don’t give up just yet. By making a few simple tweaks to your resume, you can seriously increase your chances of landing your dream role.
Here are 10 tips you can use to instantly boost your resume and boost your chances of success:
1. Cut It Down
Your resume should never be longer than two pages, but if you can cut it down to just one page, that’s even better!
Recruiters don’t have much time to read through each individual application, so you should aim to get your key selling points across as concisely as possible. Just cut out any unnecessary information or fluff and aim for a short, sweet, and punchy document.
2. Ditch the Clichés
Recruiters read hundreds of resumes and are faced with the same cliché phrases time and time again.
The likes of “Always gives 110%” and “Determined go-getter with an amazing work ethic” might sound impressive, but they prove absolutely nothing to recruiters.
So, ditch these overused buzzwords and focus your resume on hard facts, achievements, and skills instead.
3. Add Facts and Figures
Showcasing your achievements on your resume is a great way to prove your value, and the best way to do this is by adding facts and figures. Quantifying your achievements shows how you can add real impact to an employer.
For example, rather than merely stating that you’ve got digital marketing skills, you could say, “My SEO strategy increased traffic to the company website by 34% in six months.”
4. Remove the Jargon
While you might be clued up on all the industry-specific terminology, acronyms, and jargon, you should avoid using these too frequently in your resume.
Remember, the recruiter or HR personnel reading your resume might not understand what these mean and, therefore, won’t understand how they add value.
5. Utilize Bullet Points
Bullet points can be helpful for breaking up big chunks of text and aiding the readability of your resume.
Use them to list your key skills and responsibilities in your employment history section, as well as anywhere else you feel it’s appropriate.
This will make it far easier for the recruiter to navigate through the document and digest the information.
6. Simplify your Design
You might think that choosing a quirky or bold design will help you stand out, but overdoing it can be quite distracting and take the focus away from the all-important written content.
Therefore, it’s best to simplify your design, so it’s easier for the recruiter to scan through and find all the information they need.
7. Perfect Your Top Quarter
The top quarter of your resume is the first thing a recruiter reads and should contain a punch professional summary and core skills list.
Be sure to spend time perfecting these sections – if recruiters don’t like what they read, they might move straight onto the next application.
Aim to make it short, snappy, and attention-grabbing. These two sections should put forward your key selling points, capabilities, and achievements and entice the reader to read further.
8. Focus on your Hard Skills
While soft skills (teamwork, communication, flexibility, etc.) certainly have their place in the workplace, it’s more important to showcase your hard skills on your resume.
Hard skills (coding, speaking a language, medical knowledge, project management, etc.) show the employer you’ve got the technical skills required to succeed in the role.
For this reason, try to prioritize space for your hard skills and, where possible, back them up with qualifications, certifications, and examples to show recruiters why you’d be a good fit for the position.
9. Tailor Every Resume
Every resume you submit should be tailored to the specific position and company you’re applying to. To do this, research the company before you begin writing and use the job description to help inform your resume content.
Your aim should be to match the job requirements as closely as possible. Every sentence in your resume should prove your suitability, while anything that’s totally irrelevant to the role should be deleted.
10. Ask for Feedback
Lastly, if you’re feeling disheartened and can’t understand why your resume wasn’t successful, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback.
Most recruiters will be happy to oblige, and this can help you to improve for next time. So, get in touch with the recruiter for the last role you applied for and politely ask for some constructive feedback.
Then, adapt your resume to suit. Continue to do this for each role you apply for, and you’ll consistently improve your chances as time goes on!
Guest Author Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes career advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian, and Fast Company.