Job recruiters are assessing hundreds of resumes at the same time, and in some cases, thousands. So you shouldn’t expect them to spend much time on your resume. In fact, it has been noticed that they only spend about 25 seconds on each resume. This means that you must make a great and instant impression on your recruiter with your resume. To make a great impression, you must provide the right content, and to make an instant positive impression, you must have an attractive layout.
- Keep it simple. Having an attractive layout is not necessarily making over-the-top designs. Even if you’re a graphic designer and applying for a job in the design field, you must still make your resume simple. Save your fancy formatting for your portfolio. The reason why a simple format is crucial is that it is easier for the ATS (Application Tracking System) to screen your resume and easier for recruiters to read it.
- Use a basic font. The best fonts to use are simple fonts like Time New Roman, San Serif, Arial, or Calibri. Be sure to use a readable font, ideally a font having a size between 10 to 12 points. Use bold and italics to highlight employers and job titles.
- Send tailored resume. Don’t send the same resume for all applications! Different jobs require different contents no matter how related they are. So, you must tailor your resume to each job listing. No matter how patiently your recruiter views your default resume, it will feel off, because you’ve not have reflected the job-specific skills highlighted in the job posting.
- Focus on your accomplishments. Focus your resume on what you achieved in each job, not the office you occupied. Your employer wants to know what you accomplished and how they might benefit from your experience, not just what you did.
- Include your most relevant skills. Sometimes when you’re applying for a job, the position is not a perfect fit but an interesting option. In this case, include as many as possible relevant skills and as less as possible irrelevant skills. Include keywords, that is, those skills and attributes that have been listed on your employer’s posting.
- Save it as PDF. Saving your resume after editing as PDF is crucial to preventing such errors as funky formatting or recruiters seeing a garbled mess. Microsoft Words of different years particularly have a way of disorganizing contents. If you created your content on a Microsoft Word of a particular year, and your recruiter used a Microsoft Word of a different year for the review, they’ll likely see a garbled mess.
- Add a cover letter. Always add a cover letter along with your resume. Your cover letter communicates to your employer that you have a certain level of education. It is also where you get to communicate with your employer on a personal level. Your employer wants to be communicated to, particularly to listen to you tell them why you’re a good fit.
All in all, in addition to your resume containing the right information, it must be appealing to the eye. If you apply the suggestions above carefully, you’ll stand a better chance of landing your next job application.