Lay the Foundation
When it comes to resume design and format, it should be eye catching without being overbearing. The layout is simple and to the point, lending itself to conciseness.
Try not to overuse color, italics, and bold. If you do, be consistent with your format choices throughout the resume layout. A well put together resume will look good on both a screen and a sheet of paper. Be sure to always print a test resume before sending it out to potential employers.
Remember you only get one chance for a good first impression.
Nowadays, employers are utilizing just as many tools and platforms as job seekers are. So to weed out irrelevant candidates, many companies use applicant tracking systems.
How it works: The tracking system scans uploaded resumes for applicable keywords to ensure relevancy. If a resume is lacking the necessary keywords then the application will more than likely not go any further in the hiring process.
If you want to stand out from the rest, take a moment to add some keywords to your resume or cover letter that mirror those of which appeared in the job ad.
Be selective on which past experiences you decide to list on your resume. Instead of listing every entry level position and internship you ever had, choose the most relevant roles to the position you are applying for.
This approach is more likely to capture a recruiter’s attention than the former.
Add Your Skills
Don’t forget to mention your attributes; what subjectively makes you qualified for the job. List sought after skills in the field that are applicable and easily measurable. Whether it be software and tech based, or physical and manual labor; once again, tailor the bulleted skills to the job you are applying for.
What to Avoid
Objective statements, if you have them on your resume, it’s time to change it up. Objective statements are a bit of the past, essentially, they are bland statements that are nondescript of who you are. These days it is better to either use a summary statement that acts as an elevator pitch or leave it out altogether.
Unless asked for, if at all possible, avoid having a second page to your resume. This leads back to relevancy, you will undoubtedly make more of an impact if everything is on one sheet.
If you aren’t hearing back from potential employers, it is possible you forgot to include your contact. Ensure your contact information is listed somewhere on your resume, preferably at the top. Your basic contact information should always include your current city, professional email, and phone number. Sometimes adding social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn are a plus. However, each application is a case by case basis so use your best judgement when adding supplemental contact information.