7 Tips to Build a Strong Resume to Land Your Dream Job (Free Examples!)
Updated: 3 days ago
By FutureLab | 16 March 2023
In today’s world, job hunting has become an increasingly competitive process. There are hundreds of candidates vying for the same job, making it imperative to stand out from the crowd. One of the most crucial tools in this endeavor is the resume, as it serves as the first point of contact between a job seeker and a potential employer. In this article, we will explore the importance of having a strong resume and offer tips and tricks for creating one that will help you secure the job of your dreams.
Why Do You Need a Resume?
The first question that comes to mind when discussing resumes is, why do you need one? Why can’t you just speak to someone and share your experience and knowledge? The answer is simple. A resume is a summary of your knowledge, skills, and experiences, and it serves as the most important document you’ll submit in your job search. Your resume is your frontline fighter, so to speak, as it’s your first opportunity to present yourself to your potential employer.
Research has proven that hiring managers and recruiters spend an average of six to seven seconds looking at resumes. In such a short amount of time, you need to make sure that your resume stands out from the crowd. A weak resume will not only fail to capture the attention of the recruiter but may also remove you from the running altogether.
The Dos and Don'ts of Creating a Resume
Now that we’ve established the importance of having a strong resume, let’s dive into the dos and don’ts of creating one.
There are numerous structures available online, but the best one always starts with contact information, followed by professional experience, education, skills, and additional information like awards and accomplishments.
Avoid writing about your primary or secondary school and only include your highest level of education.
When it comes to formatting, always keep your resume as simple as possible. A standard format you can follow is Arial point ten for the body text, Arial point twelve for titles, and 1.5cm margins across all borders. The spacing between paragraphs should be 1.15. These numbers help to provide direct visibility to the recruiter, ensuring that your resume stands out from the rest.
When it comes to the don’ts, the first rule is to never include a picture of yourself. Recruiters and hiring managers may have biases, and a picture could influence their decision.
Similarly, don’t include your expected salary or CGPA.
Avoid spelling errors, irrelevant information, and unrelated work experience.
Refrain from including full references on your resume, as you can share them when requested during the interview.
7 Main Tips for Building an Outstanding Resume
Once you’ve identified the dos and don’ts of creating a resume, it’s time to start building an outstanding one. Here are our top tips for creating an exceptional resume:
1. Include a brief cover letter
A brief cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself and highlight why you are the best candidate for the job. It also helps to remove any ambiguity about potential opportunities that you’re open to. Be sure to specify which position you’re applying for, as this will narrow down your search and save time.
2. Double-check your contact information
Your contact information is essential, and you must ensure that it’s error-free. A single typo or wrong phone number could cost you an opportunity. Make sure to double-check and triple-check for errors, including grammatical ones.
3. List information in reverse chronological order
Your resume should list your most recent experiences and achievements at the top, followed by the oldest ones. This format is known as reverse chronological order and highlights your most relevant experience.
4. Highlight your achievements and relevant work experience
Your resume should only include relevant work experience and highlight your achievements. Be sure to quantify your achievements where possible, using numbers and statistics to show the impact you’ve had in your previous roles. For example, instead of just listing your responsibilities, describe how you improved a certain process or increased revenue for a company.
5. Tailor your resume to the job description
One of the most important tips for building an outstanding resume is to tailor it to the job description. Study the job posting carefully and identify the skills and experience the employer is looking for. Then, highlight your own skills and experiences that match those requirements. This will show the employer that you’re the right fit for the job.
6. Use keywords
Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter through resumes and identify candidates that match the job description. To ensure that your resume makes it through the ATS, use keywords that are relevant to the job description. These keywords may include job titles, technical skills, certifications, and other industry-specific terms.
7. Proofread your resume
Before submitting your resume, proofread it carefully for any spelling or grammatical errors. These mistakes can make you appear careless and unprofessional. Ask a friend or family member to read through your resume as well, as they may catch errors that you missed.
A strong resume is essential for landing your dream job. It serves as your first impression with potential employers and can make or break your chances of getting an interview. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a resume that stands out from the crowd and increases your chances of landing the job of your dreams. Remember to tailor your resume to the job description, highlight your achievements and relevant work experience, and proofread it carefully for errors. With a strong resume, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your career goals.
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