Resume Tips for a Successful Job Hunt

The first step in any successful job hunt is preparing your resume. Resume tips all have a foundation in the same basic advice: summarize your experience, education and aptitudes in a way that will effectively communicate your potential as a job candidate to a busy hiring manager.

Here are some resume tips that give insight into what you should focus on and what elements — such as resume keywords — you should include:

Keeping it simple

Hiring managers look for resumes that are straightforward and easy to read. So don't use resume formats that are heavy on fancy fonts and graphics. While keeping up with resume trends can be helpful, too many flourishes may work against your job hunt by distracting from your skills and experience. 

Resume formats

Job seekers typically use reverse chronological resumes, which list the most recent jobs first, followed by previous positions. However, if you are a recent graduate or lack extensive work experience, you may want to explore other resume formats. One of the most common is the functional resume. With this format, you begin your resume with a summary of your skills and education and then list your work history.

Some applicants use a combination of the two resume formats, presenting an overview of their most important qualifications and accomplishments along with a shortened work history.

Resume keywords

Many employers use resume-filtering software that scans for resume keywords and evaluates how closely resumes match the preferred skills and experience. To minimize the chances of your resume getting filtered out, incorporate terminology and resume keywords from the job posting — if, of course, the terms honestly describe your abilities.

Other resume tips to speed your job hunt

Resume length can vary depending on your experience and what information you need to convey to a hiring manager. In some situations, more than a single page is required. Completeness is important — just remember to keep it brief and make every word count.

One of our most important resume tips is this: give hiring managers a sense of why you would be a stellar employee by highlighting specific examples of past successes. Don't undervalue achievements outside of your main career path. For instance, the fact that you improved a procedure while volunteering as a treasurer for a local community organization shows initiative and creativity, which are valued qualities in any job candidate. 

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