Everyone knows you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and your resume represents your chance to make yourself stand out. It can be one of the most important documents on your journey to a successful career path.
To make sure you get it right the first time, Maksim Paliyev, Director of Placement, Career Services at NYSCAS, offers dos and don’ts that could mean the difference between catching an employer’s attention and securing a job or getting stuck at the bottom of the pile with no response from potential employers.
1. KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) Principle
Don’t overload your resume with fancy fonts or $20,000 vocabulary words. Resumes should be neatly typed and use basic fonts that are easy to read, such as Arial or Calibri. Employers do not have much time to spend reviewing applications so make it simple for them to see quickly whether you are a fit.
2. Proofread as Many Times as Possible
Imagine for a second that you are looking to fill an open position at your company. You read the resume you were just sent and notice three grammar mistakes in the first paragraph. The chances of contacting that person for the role? Slim to none.
Remember that it is critical that your resume has no errors, whether it’s formatting or grammar-related. Consider letting someone you trust review your resume with fresh eyes prior to pressing the “send” button. Of course, that is after you have already gone through it with a fine-tooth comb yourself. Being detail-oriented is a necessary skill for any professional role and therefore, ensuring that your resume is mistake-free is critical.
3. Include Updated and Complete Contact Information
As silly as it might sound, some people omit their addresses and provide only their phone numbers and email addresses at the top of their resume. This could hurt your chances of being contacted as employer’s often want to see where you live in proximity to the company’s headquarters.
Unless you have a valid reason for not disclosing your home address or phone number, note that such an omission could prevent you from moving forward in the hiring process.
4. Targeted Summary of Qualifications
Keep in mind that the “Summary of Qualifications” section on your resume should be targeted and revised for each job application. Be sure to review the job description thoroughly so you can emphasize key skills you already have that match the specific role to show you are a fit for the position.
Also, consider adding soft skills such as communication, listening, critical thinking, and willingness to learn to highlight the various qualities you will bring to the table if hired.
5. Quantify Your Work Experience
Did you copy and paste your previous job descriptions directly onto your resume? While this can show tasks you have handled in the past, it lacks real, measurable evidence of your worth to future employers. Consider adding something about how your analytical thinking improved overall performance of the business by a certain percentage and how social media campaigns and/or digital marketing tactics you were involved with increased sales. Utilizing data will spotlight important indicators of impact, making you a standout candidate in the eyes of any hiring manager.