What if there were a few straightforward strategies that may help your resume get to the top of a hiring manager’s pile? There are few things more irritating and demoralizing than a job hunt that seems to go on forever. Your CV is your sales pitch; it informs individuals wanting to hire what you can accomplish, what you love, and where you want to progress in your career, regardless of how much or how little relevant training and experience you have.
Your resume must emphasize your strongest qualities while avoiding any errors or red flags that can hinder your employment hunt.
Continue reading for nine unstated resume guidelines you must abide by before submitting your next application if you want to take your resume to the next level.
1. Limit it to two pages or less.
It might be tempting to mention every job you’ve ever had or course you’ve ever taken when you truly want to showcase your education and experience to an employer, but that’s seldom a smart idea. Most resumes should be no more than one page, especially if you have fewer than ten years of professional experience, according to Indeed.com. The majority of hiring managers just take a few seconds to scan a CV and determine whether you’re a suitable fit for the open position, so you need to make sure that everything they see is pertinent. Keep your resume as brief as you can by removing obsolete material and avoiding needless filler words.
2. Adjust Your Resume to the Position
Using the same CV for every application—despite the fact that it could be simpler if you’re looking for a variety of jobs—can backfire. The qualifications that hiring managers are searching for will vary depending on the position they are filling, so be sure you have what they are looking for. The education and experience required for an accounting position is considerably different from those required for a hospitality career, therefore it’s necessary to pinpoint the key talents and elaborate on them for each particular job to make sure you stand out. This entails eliminating any employment history that is unrelated to the position you’re looking for, especially if it dates back more than five years. Keep it current and pertinent!
3. Avoid Letting Poor Spelling and Grammar Stop You
Although it may seem apparent, using proper spelling and punctuation can have a significant impact on whether a hiring manager considers your application seriously. Ask a buddy to edit your work or use Grammarly to check for errors. Avoidable mistakes show a potential employer that you hurried through the application process, are not detail-oriented, or just didn’t care enough to proofread your work before delivering it. None of these are the impressions you want to leave them with!
4. More numbers, more numbers!
Quantifying precisely what you accomplished in each capacity is one of the finest methods to make sure that your experience sticks out. That necessitates using figures! When describing a duty, use language like “Served up to 200 customers every shift” rather than just “Customer Service.” Write “Managed the firm’s presence across four social media channels, growing the online following to over 20,000 individuals” as opposed to “Posted on the corporate Twitter.”
5. Label Hard Skills Rather Than Soft Skills
Your resume’s skills section should be succinct and pertinent, so only highlight hard talents. While soft skills are character traits that characterize employees as persons, hard skills are quantifiable talents that are directly applicable to the job being applied for. Soft characteristics like perseverance, honesty, and hard effort may have sounded admirable in high school, but since they aren’t quantifiable or measurable, they shouldn’t be listed on a professional CV. Instead, highlight tangible talents that would stand out to a hiring manager, such as your familiarity with Microsoft Office, Skype, and Zoom.
6. List Your Duties With Action Verbs
Action verbs are crucial when describing your tasks and obligations in past positions. This transforms your resume’s wording from passive to active voice, emphasizing the value you can bring to a firm. To highlight your successes and experience, start your bullet points with action verbs like “negotiated,” “managed,” “organized,” and “created.”
7. Examine the current workforce
The present workers are a great place to start if you want to get a sense of what a firm is searching for! LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for finding people who are currently employed by the firm you are applying to, and it enables you to check what qualifications and abilities they mention for both their current and prior roles. This might help you showcase your own skills by letting you know which training and information the company and hiring managers think is crucial.
8. Cut the References
References on resumes are no longer required, and neither is the conventional line “References available upon request.” A list of references takes up valuable space on your CV and is not required at the application stage unless expressly asked.
9. Describe Gaps in a Cover Letter
Many individuals are reluctant to explain CV gaps, but they shouldn’t be! Americans report feeling embarrassed (24%), nervous (23%), and humiliated (15%) when revealing they are now jobless, according to a 2020 LinkedIn study. However, especially after COVID-19, it is extremely typical for applicants to have at least brief gaps in their career history. No matter why you have gaps on your CV, the best course of action is to be upfront about them. Instead of being reticent, emphasize in your cover letter how you took time to develop and concentrate on yourself. Use the gaps in your CV to your advantage by enrolling in an online course or developing a professional network. Don’t be scared to tell a hiring manager why you have time off; it might end up helping you.