When it comes to your resume, your job descriptions and work experience are the real meat and potatoes. Other elements are important — education, volunteer work, etc. — but they’re just the icing on the cake. So how can you make sure your resume descriptions are as desirable to a hiring manager as they can possibly be? Here are four tips:
Take a look at the job description for the position you’re hiring for. What keywords jump out at you? For instance, if you’re applying for a job as an Executive Assistant, you might find keywords like “computer skills” or “invoicing.” Make sure those same words and phrases appear in your resume’s job descriptions. Today, employers often use electronic filtering systems that look for keyword matches — if your resume contains those words, you’re more likely to rise to the top of the pile.
Relate Your Experience to Company Values
Do your research online to find out as much as you can about the company’s values. Then, tailor your resume to align as closely as possible with those values. If the company is big on teamwork, for example, make sure that your job descriptions highlight how you worked with a team to achieve a certain revenue goal or secure a certain client. Showcasing how you already fit in with the company’s core values makes you that much more attractive as a job candidate.
Use Bullet Points
Remember that hiring managers likely have to go through hundreds of resumes when narrowing down their choices for a position. That’s why making your resume easy to scan at a glance is a great idea. Use bullet points to describe your work experience in quick, concise language so that a hiring manager can instantly get an idea of your qualifications and job history. It’s best to stray away from lengthy paragraphs — it’s unlikely a hiring manager will take the time to read them, and it takes up too much space on your resume anyway.
Get Key Information Near the Top
When you look at a document, where do you start? Almost always at the top, of course. So make sure that those important keyword-filled job descriptions are found near the top of your resume, at least within the top half. If the most pertinent information lies at the bottom of your resume, there’s a good chance whoever is reading it won’t ever get there.