5 Tips for Putting Together the Best Resume
You've got a job interview. You're ready to dazzle the hiring manager with your skills and experience, but before you walk in the door, it's time to make sure that your resume is ready. Your resume is an opportunity to sell yourself to an employer and show them why they should hire you.
Take a look at these 5 tips for putting together the best resume possible:
Have someone else look at it before you submit.
There's no way for you to know what mistakes are in your resume, because you've already seen it so many times that the errors become invisible. When we're writing something on our own, often we'll catch our errors in the first draft and fix them in the second. But when we're looking at something new (like a resume), we tend not to spot our own mistakes until later on—if at all!
The best way to get good feedback is by asking someone whose opinion matters (and whom you trust). It could be a friend or colleague who has stopped working but also has experience reviewing resumes. Or maybe they work in HR/recruiting and can spot any red flags right away. They might even have some advice about how best to tailor your resume based on their experience looking over hundreds of applications every year!
Get the format right
The format of your resume is the first thing a recruiter will see. It's important that it looks clean and well organized, so they can quickly skim through it and glean the information they need.
A good rule of thumb for formatting your resume is to keep it simple: use only one font (Times New Roman is fine), make sure all text is large enough to be easily read, and keep margins at least one inch from all sides. Your letterhead should have your name and contact information in bold letters at the top, followed by an indentation for each section of your resume below. You might also want to include a brief summary or objective statement at the beginning of your resume; this could be just a sentence or two describing what type of position you're interested in pursuing, which could help guide recruiters who don't know much about you already (and are therefore not looking at just work experience).
Make sure the information is correct
It's important to make sure that the information on your resume is correct. If you're not sure, ask a friend or family member to proofread it before submitting it. Make sure that names, titles and dates are spelled correctly. Double-check for typos and grammatical errors. Be careful about using abbreviations and acronyms that might be unfamiliar to the reader (if they don't understand your meaning immediately).
Be specific in your work experience descriptions
When you’re describing a position you held or a task that you performed, be specific and use action words. Also, try to use the word “I” as much as possible—it makes it more personal and shows that you have ownership of your accomplishments. Don’t overdo it though; there is such thing as too much “I-ing.” It should also be noted that when writing about teamwork, avoid using the phrase “we did this task together,” as it implies that someone else did all the work for them (not good).
Be clear about your style and intentions
Being clear on your career goals and intentions is important. As a result, it’s imperative to be honest with yourself in terms of what you actually want to do and how much time you are willing to commit to something. If you have no interest in being a lawyer but would like to work as a paralegal, then that should be reflected on your resume. It’s also important not only to reflect what type of positions or jobs interests you but also the skills and experiences that will help get those positions.
A good resume can help get you a job. It should be clear and concise, highlighting your skills and achievements in a way that will stand out from the crowd. But if you're unsure about what to include on it, or how to format it, here are five tips for putting together the best resume possible:
Be honest - Make sure all information on your resume is accurate and truthful. If something isn't true, employers may find out and this could hurt your chances of getting hired.
Remove unnecessary details - Avoid including irrelevant information such as personal phone numbers or references who aren't relevant to the position for which you're applying. Doing so may make potential employers feel uncomfortable reading through your document (or even worse) cause them not even bother looking at it in the first place!
Once you’ve put together the best resume possible, make sure to send it off to as many places as possible. The more applications you submit, the more likely it is that your skills will match up with someone else’s needs. Also, don’t forget that there are plenty of different types of jobs out there—don't limit yourself by thinking only about one type of position!
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