Acing an interview is the most critical step in landing that new dream job, but the reality is, even the most qualified candidates won’t be invited to interview without first submitting a standout résumé.
For most of us, writing a résumé that summarizes years of experience and achievements onto a single page feels like an overwhelming task. But according to Harvard career experts, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Read on for some pro tips on how to write the perfect résumé.
Tailor your résumé
The No. 1 mistake Harvard career experts see among candidates is using the same résumé for every open position. This is especially true of job hunters who are applying to a high volume of jobs, sending out a dozen or more résumés each day. While you don’t have to completely rewrite your resume every time you send it, making a few small tweaks can go a long way. Ensure that your résumé reflects the skills and experience that your future employer values.
Include your contact information
Another ‘top five’ mistake that job hunters make is not including their contact information. Before you send out your résumé, ensure that your e-mail, phone number, and LinkedIn profile are included and are easily visible.
Use action verbs
Ultimately, your résumé is a marketing tool. Many job hunters make the mistake of using overly-flowery language in an effort to appear more accomplished, experienced, and professional. But according to experts, you’d be much better off replacing phrases like “results-oriented,” “team player,” and “hard worker” with action verbs. According to Harvard’s career experts, words like “organized, led, collaborated, built, monitored, and prepared” go much further in delivering specific information about the things you’ve done in previous jobs and the measurable results you’ve achieved.
Make it presentable and easy to follow
Finally, it’s important to remember that hiring managers will be receiving dozens if not hundreds of résumés for every open role. That being said, they simply won’t have the time or desire to read through a complete résumé that seems scattered and all over the place. Résumés that are a single page long, use consistent formatting, employ headings and consistent space, and emphasize things that really stand out are much more likely to be read. On the other hand, those written in a narrative style and employ over-the-top color schemes and formatting will probably end up cast aside.
For more résumé tips from Harvard career experts, including what not to include on your resume (hint: a selfie), you can read the complete article here.
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