Perfecting your resume takes time and patience. While it might seem like a lot of work to write or update a resume, a good resume is often necessary to secure a face-to-face interview or get past an applicant tracking system.
Fortunately, there are few key steps that you can take to ensure your resume meets today's resume writing standards.
We’ve partnered with the team at Resume-Library, a leading U.S. job board, to put together a guide that outlines six things every resume must have to achieve job search success. In addition to providing career advice, job search tips and a job board, Resume Library allows candidates the opportunity to upload their resume and use advanced search tool to browse jobs from over 50 different industries.
And remember, before uploading any resume to a job board or company web site, be sure to use the software at Jobscan to review your resume and make sure it matches the job for which you are applying. Jobscan is a tool that gives job seekers an instant analysis of how well their resume is tailored for a particular job and how it can be even better optimized for an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Here are 6 resume must-haves for job hunting success:
1. Showcase a personal branding statement/summary - not an objective
Your personal statement (summary) should make up the first section of your resume. Essentially, it needs to be a quick but effective introduction to who you are, how your experience fits the jobs you are applying to, and the value you can bring.
A summary should include a sentence or two outlining your career experience and goals, adding why these make you well suited to the specific job. This will quickly give the employer an overview of your background and experience, and a good personal branding statement entices recruiters to read more.
2. Highlight keywords
Carefully review each job posting and note the keywords or skills referenced/required in the description. Use keywords throughout the resume, focusing on keywords requested in the job description or job posting. For example, if the job posting asks you to be organized and creative with good attention to detail, then be sure to use these words in your resume. However, don't just list keywords, list a keyword and back that up with a proof of accomplishment, or success/achievement that showcases results you have achieved related to the specific keyword.
3. Showcase examples of success
When you’re outlining any previous experience or qualifications, you need to illustrate these with real life examples. This will help recruiters understand how you can make a real contribution to the company.
4. Quantify achievements
When giving examples, it’s important to quantify these with facts and figures. Of course this is easier in some industries than others (sales, for example is numbers driven, whereas an administrative assistant role may not be), but you can be creative with your stats. For example, you could talk about the size of the team you managed, the amount of profit you billed or by what percentage you increased traffic to the company website.
Whatever it is, giving figures is a great way to help prove your worth and bring your skills to life.
5. Proofread, proofread, proofread
If there are any spelling or grammatical errors on your resume, you could automatically be disqualified from consideration. Grammar or spelling mistakes on a resume may indicate poor attention to detail, and may even suggest you’re not that invested in the position as you didn’t even take the time to re-read your application. Make sure you proofread your resume several times before submitting.
It might even be helpful to ask a friend or family member to take a look over it as well. After all, a fresh pair of eyes never hurts! But don’t ask family members for resume writing tips – only ask them to read or review for grammar or spelling mistakes. Asking friends or families to critique your resume is a poor practice, as you suddenly get so much feedback you can start to doubt whether or not your resume is as good as it can be. To solve this, again, use the tools/resources available at Jobscan, or hire a professional resume writer.
6. Choose the right layout
A resume should be easy to read. It should breathe and include section headers, bullets, and short, concise sentences. Recruiters are busy people and don’t spend long assessing each application or resume. By breaking your resume down into smaller paragraphs and using bullet points where possible, you’ll make it easier for them to quickly digest the information. Most recruiters scan resumes first, read second - if they are interested. So make it easy to read and easy for a recruiter to scan when reading.
Perfecting your resume from the start is the best way to get your job search on the right track. Be sure to include these important details in every resume you submit. This will give you a better chance of landing yourself an interview and securing a new job.
About Resume Library
Resume-Library is America's leading independent job site dedicated to helping candidates find their dream career and supporting recruiters in sourcing the right talent for their vacancies. Resume-Library provides career advice and also allows job seekers to upload their resume and use advance search tools to browse and apply for jobs from over 50 different industries.
By Holly Caplan, career coach, author and speaker
Growing up I was taught by my parents to get a job and keep a job. Period. It was ingrained in me that once I graduated college, I needed to land at a good company and stay there. The big reward would be retirement at 40 years with a fancy company pen and pension. This was my mindset for years. It’s what was expected of me, and it is what I aspired to do.
Ultimately though, the longest I held out at one company was 14 years, thank you very much. I was on a roller coaster with highs of success and excitement to lows of frustration and disappointment. Yet, with dogged determination and loyalty I stuck it out. I was supposed to right? Wrong. By staying, I denied myself the opportunity for even more growth and opportunities. Staying was comfortable (even in the hardest times), but it wasn’t always productive.
Even though all of this is in my rearview mirror now, wish I would have known years before how to assess if I should stay or go. I needed some type of guideline to know when it was time to depart. It would have given me confidence in making the big decision and the courage to pull the rip chord to create change for myself.
Here are three statistics will give you an indication of how employees view their current companies and jobs:
So if you are feeling like you need a job change, you are not alone. Here are three signs that maybe it is time to take the leap, and three signs that you should tough it out a bit longer:
3 signs you should quit your job
1. Deficit in Development:
If you notice that your company isn’t doing anything to develop, train, or promote you, it is a sign that it may be time to go. This is two fold. First, it shows they have little interest in your future and how you contribute to the organization. Second, your professional growth can be hindered if the company does not actively develop or promote. This deficit can create frustration on the employee’s behalf and it shows that the company is not invested in their people.
2. Getting Out of Bed:
We all go through periods where our jobs are miserable, or we are just flat bored. Getting out of bed can feel like a chore itself. If you are not mentally engaged in what you are doing for a living, don’t wait too long to make a change. Staying in a role you find completely uninspiring will do a number on your self worth will and will be detected by your manager. When you feel this stagnancy or boredom linger, it is a sign that it is time to go. Give yourself the chance to find something new that will interest and inspire you!
3. High turnover:
Employees stay in their jobs if they actually like their work environment. If they have a good boss, work-life balance and consistency, they will stay for a while. But, if these components are not present, most people will jump ship. If you see your respected colleagues leaving right and left, know the issues are most likely systemic. This is a signal that it is time to find a new ship that is sailing in the right direction.
3 signs you shouldn’t quit your job
1. If you are under 12 months of employment:
This is the sweet spot, 12 months. Say you get involved in a job that you don’t feel is a right fit or you wish you didn’t take, do your best to make it last one year. Leaving at 6-9 months can look questionable to your next employer. Staying 12-18 months, even if you want to go, will show stability and that you were dedicated to this period of your career journey.
2. Leadership change is coming:
When you see that the people above you are moving on or moving out, hold tight. This could mean a positive change for you. Their movement makes room for perhaps your advancement, a role change or maybe even just a better work culture. This type of transition can yield professional growth, so watch what happens and then figure out what this can mean for you!
3. Look for a job while you have one:
It has been said again and again, it is best to look for a new job while you have a job. Even if you know you want to quit, stick with your current position (barring horrible circumstances) while you are on the new job search. Clearly by doing this, you are maintaining your current income, while at the same time you appear more marketable and desirable to your potential employer.
In today’s environment, there is a lot more freedom of choice based on social acceptance of job hops, which can work in your favor. If you find you are in disengaged or perhaps indifferent, don’t waste anymore time. Assess your current professional situation and don’t be afraid to ask yourself if you should stay or if you should go.
Holly Caplan is a workplace issues expert, career coach. For more information, please visit, www.hollycaplan.com and connect with her on Twitter, @hollymcaplan.
By Holly Caplan
New college grads will have an advantage this year in the job market. Employers plan to hire 4 percent more new graduates for their U.S. operations from the Class of 2018 than they did from the Class of 2017. So, congratulations to the Class of 2018, not only are you finishing school, but there will be more space for you in the job market. Knowing this gives you an advantage because they want you!
Getting the first job is a big accomplishment as it gives financial sustenance and the opportunity to make your mark in the working world. A lot of time and effort is put into getting the job, and the interview advice can be rampant. Advice runs the gamut of how to format your resume, to what suit to wear. This is all very helpful, but what happens when you actually get the job? What’s next? There is no road map for this. The first job is typically full of unchartered territory and can throw curve balls full of unexpected situations. These situations aren’t something your college courses can prepare you for, but real life will.
Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your first job:
1. Pick Your Clique. When starting a first job, realize that you are walking into an already established work culture. While you may be in training and learning about the tasks of your job, you will also be learning about the new personalities around you and inner office dynamics. This can be a bit of a shock, especially as the office gossip unfolds and the culture reveals itself. I mean, you didn’t encounter this stuff during the interview, so why are you just seeing it now? Worry not, every workplace has it’s own dynamic. As you get to know your new 8-5 home, you will find co-workers who are positive and can be asset to you, and you will find those who are negative and bring you down. Don’t get involved with the latter. Don’t get sucked into those who love misery or talk about what the new sales director had on that day. Surround yourself with those who lead by example and bring positivity and support to your new world. And in time, pay it forward by doing the same for other incoming employees.
2. Engage Yourself Quickly. Even though you may have already gotten the job, you can quickly create name for yourself by proactively setting up meetings with different people in the organization. Schedule some time with 5 different employees and ask them about their history, why they joined the company and some of their goals. This shows that you are trying to integrate yourself and that you have a genuine interest in them and how they contribute to the bigger picture. Plus, these new relationships can be your foundation, and these people could be the same ones to help you in a new project or even just be a resource while you grow in your new role.
3. Don’t be afraid to call out bad behavior. This may feel a little intimidating at first, especially being a new employee, but in our #metoo world, we have to be open to calling out bad behavior. If you encounter something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to report it. An example I’m compelled to share the story of a 23 year old woman who took on a role as marketing manager for a large food corporation. She was asked to take some top customers to a hockey game to get to know them better and let them know they were appreciated. Upon arriving in the arena, they let her know their plan was to get wasted and that they expected her to be the beer runner. Unsure if this was appropriate, she ran their beer. Twice. One of the male customers became rather handsy with her after the alcohol hit his system. She didn’t have to think about this twice. She just got up and left. She called her boss on the way home to let him know what happened and the discomfort she felt. He commended her for leaving the situation and reporting it. I do too.
4. What if you don’t get the job? Like everyone says, finding a job is a job. We put a lot of energy, time and emotion into finding the right work place for us. We immerse and invest ourselves into something that hasn’t happened in blind faith that we could be chosen. We are hopeful, excited and become emotionally involved. So you may ask, after all of this, “What if I don’t get it? How do I handle it?” If you don’t get it, don’t beat yourself up. In the interview process, you most likely learned a lot and made of a lot of new connections – which in itself is valuable. You never know what can happen in the future, and your paths could cross again.
5. Work the totem pole. We all strive for success and we especially want it immediately! Myself included. However, know that it will take a good 10-12 months in your new job to find your groove and feel confident in what you are doing. You will have big wins and major mistakes along the way, but know it is part of the process called, “paying your dues”. We all go through it. Be grateful because no matter how fun or stressful paying your dues can be, you are building new skillsets for yourself that will take you from job to job. In time, working your way up the totem pole will happen and promotions and new roles will appear. Be eager, be patient and enjoy the climb.
Your first job, no matter how long you are there, will always be memorable. In the coming months you will be creating the foundation of your career and setting yourself on the path for success.
Holly Caplan is a workplace issues expert, career coach. For more information, please visit, www.hollycaplan.com and connect with her on Twitter, @hollymcaplan.
Remote work has increased 115% since 2005 and it is predicted that 38% of full-time staff will be working remotely in the next decade. Do you work remotely, or are you looking to find a job where you can work remotely?
Then read these articles to get tips, information, and resources to find a remote job:
Remote.co is the definitive remote work resource. Designed specifically for professionals and companies interested in or already embracing remote work, Remote.co is the leading space for innovative conversations around remote work.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for CollegeRecruiter,