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5 Tips to Improve Your Resume

February 9, 2017

After endless hours of searching, you’ve finally found the perfect job opening—complete with strong corporate culture, desirable compensation, and an above average location.

 

But there’s one issue...

 

You’ve got hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants competing with you for the same opening. How do you stand out? Getting a chance to interview will grant you the ability to show off your personality, but first your resume has to get your foot in the door. Here are five tips for an impactful resume:

 

1. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for - Courtney, from ADP

 

The best piece of advice I can give is to tailor your resume to the specific job to which you are applying.  A general resume is fine to have in a networking situation, but whenever possible make your resume reflect the role you are after.  Really dig into the job description, and highlight the key qualities that you are able to on your resume.  Use similar words (‘b2b sales’, ‘quota’, ‘implementation', ‘business partner’). 1

 

2. Do your research for your cover letter - Stephanie, from Asurion

 

When addressing a cover letter, address it to the person hiring for the position. If this person's name is not obvious, try searching a little deeper (via the internet or calling the company) to find their name. In the case you still have not located the hiring manager's name, you should address the letter in general terms (i.e. "Dear Hiring Manager" or "To Whom it May Concern"). 2

 

3. Try to keep your resume to one page. - Mike, from Avery Dennison Corporation

 

Your resume should include relevant details to the role in which you are applying.  What I mean is that if you have information that is relevant that you can't fit on the first page, go ahead and add a second page.  What you don't want to do is add additional pages of fluff (i.e. non-relevant information).  That could actually have an inverse impact on your ability to get the job, and cause the resume reviewer to think your experience is more closely aligned to a different skill set than what they are looking for in the position. 3

 

4. Save yourself some space and avoid listing references - Steve, from Caterpillar Inc.

 

It is typical to place a statement on your resume that says "References Available Upon Request" versus listing the references on the resume.  This will save space on the resume for things that are more meaningful to the reader such as your leadership or volunteer experience.  Taking this approach however, means that you will need to have a separate form with your references listed that you can provide to a potential employer when necessary.  I would also recommend giving your references a 'heads up' that you are listing them and they may be getting a call. 4

 

5. Avoid getting too personal on your resume  - Aliyah, from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise

 

Definitely nothing overly personal or sensitive like your age/date of birth, religious beliefs, how long you are married, how many children you have and what they do, your social security number and so on. Don’t include a headshot either for a corporate position. This is an unnecessary distraction and irrelevant for us to know. Do not write anything negative like feelings or views of your current/last job/person. Hiring managers would wonder what you say or behave if you were to work in their team. Do not provide an inappropriate email address. I have seen email addresses where the person took out the vowels to be clever about being inappropriate which will never impress a potential employer. 5

 

Your resume is your first impression and your ticket to the interview round. Taking the time to make sure it is accurate and clean is very important. Following these five steps will greatly increase your chances of getting an interview, and landing a great new job. Happy hunting!

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