We all know the job market is tough.

Additionally, with more and more people graduating with a Master’s Degree, the market for new graduates is becoming increasingly competitive.

Hence it is more and more important to make sure the recruiters see the differentiating elements of your profile, this can be accomplished by a well-crafted resume, but sadly this is where most people bungle up.

Rather than making sure that each element of the resume is optimized, to make things quick, people copy elements from a similar but conventional resume for reference and copy paste most of the stuff.

Then they apply to all the major job sites and wait.

It’s no surprise that you won’t be getting a lot of responses.

A lot of young professionals need to understand that there is no such thing as an all-purpose resume. The resume needs to be well crafted and personalized as per the job you are applying for.

Your resume is usually the first impression that your potential employer will have of you and therefore, your resume should be at its best when they come across it.

And since a typical recruiter spends only a few seconds skimming through each resume, it becomes imperative to have your resume grab his attention in those crucial few seconds.

So how can one do that?

Check out the infographic below to understand in a snap shot the things you can do to make your profile more impactful.

Additionally to help you create a resume that’ll catch the eye of the recruiter, we have compiled a list of useful tips that’ll help you enhance your resume in 2017.

Read it below!

1) Keep It Simple

A typical recruiter has to go through countless resumes each day and hardly spends a few second on each one (research shows that the average is 6). That’s why, it’s extremely important that your resume should follow a simple format.

You want the resume to be clean, to the point and easily scannable, in short, you want to make the job of the reader easy.

Having a simple format which is easily skimmable will go a long way towards increasing one’s chances of getting shortlisted. That also means, making sure your resume fits in one page.

(Note: It’s perfectly acceptable for people with 10+ experience to have a 2-page resume.)

2) What Should Be the Font Type and Size?

Arial is pretty much the go-to option when you want to write your resume. It looks clean and legible even when the font size is reduced.

A word of caution here, don’t try to mix and match fonts.

When it comes to font size, the header should be sized between 20 and 22. The sub-headings should be between 12 and 14, while the main body can be between 10 and 12.

3) Relevant Contact Details

Mention relevant contact details at the top of your resume. The Phone number should be added along with the country code and also add an appropriate email address.

Refrain from including email address like CoolDudeJack@gmail.com in your resume.

Instead make a professional email address that can be an alteration of your name. Something like JackHamilton21@gmail.com would work fine.

Adding a link to your LinkedIn profile in resume is great, as long as your LinkedIn profile is up to date and helps the recruiter to learn more about you.

4) Mention Only Relevant Work Experience

You don’t necessarily need to list every job you’ve had on your resume.

Adding only recent and relevant work experience, and describing each one with 3-5 bullet points, ensures that the recruiter doesn’t waste time going through irrelevant details.

Also, write down your experience in reverse chronological order with the most recent at the top.

Recently graduated students can simply include relevant internships in your resume. If you don’t have anything to add, there’s no need to worry. Just mention the skills they are looking out for, the ones you possess, in the skills section.

5) Always Quantify Your Bullet Points

Check out these 2 statements:

Statement 1: Helped new trainees with learning company procedures/

Statement 2: Conducted training program for new trainees, which decreased average ramp up time by 12%. The Program has run in three offices for past two years. 

Even though both statements essentially mean the same thing, statement 2 does a better job helping the recruiter understand how you have added value to the previous company.

Plus, it’s easier to skim through the points that contain facts and figures as opposed to just plain text.

6) Why Action Words Are Important

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) process resumes submitted by applicants. When you submit your resume through an ATS, it stores your resume and an entry in the database. The recruiters then search for keywords for the particular job opening. If your resume contains the keywords the employer wants, then the ATS will rank you higher in the search results. The keyword searches by recruiters also include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening.

Action words are keywords that the recruiter is looking for while browsing through resumes. Make sure your resume contains those words.

Implementing words like ‘Created, Developed, Evaluated, Audited, etc..’ in your resume paints a better picture to the recruiter plus will help you rank higher on the ATS rankings.

For example:

Without Action word: Help company sell more products and gain revenue

With Action word: Increased profit margins by creating effective sales plans and implementing strategies to solidify client retention.

7) Include Educational Achievements

If you have any achievements from your university days, be sure to include them under the education section.

Highlight achievements such as academic honors, club positions, etc. which might be relevant to your future employer. If you got a scholarship or maybe done an online certification, be sure to mention that as well.

And remember to list your educational qualifications after your work experience. Employers are more interested in the work that you have done than where you went to college.

8) Add Only Relevant Skills

A lot of people think that adding a huge list of skills in their job resume will help them stand out. The result, in fact, is the opposite.

The recruiter is looking for only a specific set of skills to get the job done. And it’s usually mentioned in the job description. So, adding anything other than the expected skills, would be a waste of space.

9) Interests, Volunteering, Awards

Again, it’s a bad idea to include all possible hobbies in the interest’s section.

You should tailor your interests section according to the job description. So, if your job profile requires you to have good analytical skills, mentioning that you play chess would be a better option than knitting or painting.

Also, if you have volunteered for a cause before, feel free to include that as well. As for any awards (Workplace or otherwise) received, mention them by adding a bullet point in their respective section.

10) No Grammatical Errors

Grammatical errors are a big no-no!

A recruiter won’t waste his precious few seconds on your resume if he finds any errors which could be easily avoided. Avoid any silly mistakes that might cost you your dream job.

Some kinds of resume grammar mistakes are word choices, spelling errors, and punctuation errors. To make sure it doesn’t happen, have your resume proofread from another person.

11) Active Voice Vs Passive Voice

Using Passive voice in a sentence takes the focus away from you. It’s counter-productive since the resume should always be about you and your achievements.

For e.g.

Passive voice: Selected as interim supervisor for 12–15 employees. (i.e., Somebody else did the selecting)

Active Voice: Managed 12–15 employees as summer interim supervisor. (i.e., The candidate did the managing)

Even though both sentences mean the same thing, the active voice statement makes the candidate look good.

Hence, always use Active voice.

12) Save It As a PDF

Send your file in PDF format unless asked otherwise. It considerably reduces any formatting errors that might occur on the recruiter’s side.

Also, name your file intelligently. ‘Jack Hamilton Resume’ is easily distinguishable from other countless ‘Resume’ that the recruiter might receive and might just give you a slight edge over others.

Conclusion

While most of these tips can be followed by anyone, some tips might change for people who are more experienced.

But the underlying fact remains that having a good resume is sure to create that good first impression that turns the odds in your favor.

Following these above-mentioned 12 tips to create the perfect resume will substantially increase your chances and get you closer to your dream job.

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