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How To Improve Your Resume

Whether you’re trying to execute a career change or move into a more senior position, there are various different factors that will contribute to getting that dream job offer. For example, you have to ensure you know how to impress in a job interview (beyond nailing a strong handshake). 

However, to even get to that stage, you need to make it past the initial application process. This means you’ve got to have a killer resume. With that in mind, here are some simple ways in which you can improve your resume. 

Use a template

Believe it or not, formatting is just as important as content when it comes to impressing a hiring manager. This is because a poorly formatted resume suggests a lack of interest or professionalism, and could also make the content of your resume hard to read. As a result, you should always use a template for your resume. In many cases, these templates can also help you to ensure you cover all of the necessary points employers are looking out for, such as academic and professional experiences, transferable skills, and more. 

Check for spelling mistakes

checking spelling

Believe it or not, a recent study found that 64% of resumes contain at least one spelling mistake. While this may seem like a minor error, it again does not speak highly of your professionalism, especially if you have also listed “excellent attention to detail” under your special skills. As a result, you should ensure that you proofread your resume carefully to ensure it is error-free. 

Use action verbs

A recent study has found that using action verbs in your resume is another great way to make your resume stand out. This is because action verbs (i.e Words such as leveraged, exceeded, researched, and evaluated) can be used to showcase your key duties and responsibilities in your previous role, helping you to accurately demonstrate all you have achieved. Furthemore, they can also help ensure you get past the software scanners that many hiring managers use to quickly search through applications. 

Focus on transferable skills

While your professional and academic experiences will help you get a job offer, so too are your transferable skills. This is particularly important if you are changing careers and will need to prove that you are suitable for a role you may not have much experience in beforehand. On a similar thread, you should also be on the lookout for ways in which you can learn new skills online, as this is a great way to boost your career prospects.

Tailor your resume to the application

resume checking

While you may have spent a great deal of time curating the perfect resume, it’s important that you remember this resume is not set in stone. In fact, it should change a little each time you send out an application, based on the job description you see before you. For example, if you are applying for an administrative role, you should list any administrative work you’ve carried out in each previous role. You should also identify any key words featured in a job interview and incorporate them into your CV/resume. You should also ensure that you do not lie in your CV  – as these lies will always reveal themselves at a later date. 

Ask for feedback

Another simple way in which you can see to improve your CV is by asking for feedback, perhaps from a friend who already works in your chosen industry or from a recruiter. This way, you’ll be able to see what mistakes you may be making when putting together your CV, such as using cliche or focusing on duties rather than achievements.

Alternatively, you could compare your current CV to other resumes online where applicants have secured a role similar to the one that you are applying for. This way, you’ll know that you are tailoring your resume for success (though you should not outright copy these examples). 

Keep it brief

When putting together a CV, it’s only natural to want to include as much information as possible. After all, this will give you the best chance of success, right? Surprisingly, this may not be the case, as what you may describe as ‘thorough’ are hiring managers may find overbearing. Remember, you should only include information that is relevant to the application at hand.

For example, if you are applying for a senior, managerial position, your part-time work as a newspaper delivery person when you were sixteen may not be all that necessary. Ideally, you should limit your CV to two pages long, with a size 12 font. This ensures the document is easy to read. 

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