3 Resume Writing Tips for the Modern Job Seeker
Resumes and cover letters have a long history of causing job hopefuls serious grief. Not only are (many of us) uncomfortable with boasting about our own talents and accomplishments, doing so in writing can be even more of a challenge. Of course, there are endless rules and tricks for resume writing available out there. While many of these classic tips and guidelines remain relevant, there are some things that modern job seekers should be aware of when creating their job-winning resume.
With unemployment a looming issue for our modern economy, more and more highly qualified applicants are flooding the job market. This makes landing that job you have your hopes set on even more difficult. It is essential that you present a high quality and appropriate resume for all of your professional pursuits in today’s competitive market. Here are three resume “Do’s” every job seeker should be well-versed in today.
Do Focus on Layout
For years, people have stressed the importance of resume layout and structure. Though the digital age continues to alter the way in which we see printed material, the rules for printed resumes have in many ways remained the same. The general guidelines that margins shouldn’t be larger than one inch, fonts should generally be 10 to 12 points in either Arial or Times New Roman, and the entire document typically shouldn’t be over two pages long remain the same. However, there are almost always exceptions to these rules.
As digital media continues to influence print styles and design, many individuals choose to create more unique resume templates. The most important rule when it comes to designing and structuring your resume is that you match the document to the position. If you are applying for Web-related positions (Web design, programming, etc.), creating an online resume may be an intelligent choice. This can immediately display some of your creativity and skill to a potential employer. However, you should always provide a printed resume in addition to this. In the same way, design-oriented job seekers may choose to create a highly stylized resume. This can be beneficial for these types of jobs because they demonstrate your creative stylistic eye.
Do Think Results and Skills
Oftentimes, when we begin to describe a job or position on a resume, we default to describing tasks and duties. While outlining general job duties can be useful for potential employers, focusing on results and skills gained from a job is typically more worthwhile. Think about the duties you performed at your job and then translate that into what you accomplished with those duties and what skills you gained from them. These are the types of things that employers are more interested in. While duties tell a lot about a position and specific job, results and skills demonstrate something about the actual person involved.
As you sit down to write out your job experience be sure that you explain your role and involvement in that position and not just the function of the job itself. Employers are looking to gain more insight into your work experience and skillset (they likely already know the duties most jobs entail).
Do Target Your Content
Strong job candidates take the time to individually craft and tailor a cover letter for each specific job that they apply for. This same consideration and time should be put into tailoring a resume for a specific position. Create a resume that best highlights the skills and experience you have that are relevant to that position. Find aspects of your previous job experience, educational background, and general skillset that speak directly to the type of work you are seeking.
Tailoring a resume can be a challenging process. As a job candidate, it can be difficult to determine exactly what skills and experiences might be more relevant to a particular position. There is always the fear that you will leave out an important point on your resume or that you will highlight the wrong things. However, tailoring your resume is typically the best way to really stand out for a specific position. Employers read tons of resumes and likely see numerous ones that are good and solid resumes in general. However, an employer isn’t looking for just a strong job candidate; they are looking for a strong job candidate for that specific position. Really tailoring something for the position you want may mean highlighting things from summer internships or relevant educational experience over discussing your more current or “serious” fulltime positions.