It’s difficult to overstate the impact that a resume can have on landing a new job. In addition to conveying the facts about your work experience, qualifications, and professional skillset, it will also (typically) be the very first point of contact that you have with potential employers. As such, candidates must cover all of their bases in ensuring that they make a positive first impression with their resumes.
On one hand, a coherently organized, easy-to-follow, and polished resume can immediately let an employer know that that you are, in all likelihood, equally organized and thorough. On the other hand, a resume that is incomplete, haphazard, or clumsy will make any employer immediately associate those same traits with you. You already know that you’re a high-caliber employee. Is your resume helping you to convey that message, or is it just sending employers mixed signals?
Tips for Organizing Your Resume
Here’s the bottom line: the surest way to help your chances during the application process is to kick the process off with a high-quality resume. With that in mind, this post will explore four tips for how to organize a resume that will stand out from the crowd.
1. Don’t be too long-winded.
It’s important for resumes to be skimmable. The explanations that you provide in your resume of your past work experiences should be comprehensive enough to give readers a clear idea of what your responsibilities were and what skills you gained from your experience, but they should also be brief.
2. Give it a clean and uncluttered layout.
The content in your resume should be digestible within one minute or less. Employers who are trying to fill high-demand jobs invariably receive and must view a vast number of resumes. It’s crucial, therefore, to submit a CV that will instantly catch a hiring manager’s eye.
- Your document should be organized logically into sections and should not immediately overwhelm the reader by being too content-heavy (see above)
- Use a simple, professional font such as Times New Roman in type size 10, 11, or 12.
- Make your headings and subheadings clean and recognizable.
- When appropriate, use a bulleted list to communicate information quickly.
3. Mention notable achievements.
Employers are always interested to know about any industry-specific awards you’ve received or accomplishments you’ve had over the course of your career. The more specific that you’re able to be when mentioning your professional achievements, the better.
4. Proofread, edit, proofread again, edit again.
Just like your career, your resume should always be viewed as a work in progress. Unless you plan on suddenly ceasing to acquire new skills, pursue new goals, and gain new experiences (and we’re guessing you don’t), you should make it a practice to continue returning to and updating your resume.
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