How To Write A Winning Resume That Will Actually Get You An Interview
Every day, the pool of candidates applying for any given job becomes more and more competitive. Taking the time to work on your resume can make all the difference when it comes to whether or not you’ll get an interview.
Here are 6 tips on how to write a winning resume that will actually get you an interview.
- Write a focused resume. One of the worst mistakes that many people make when submitting a resume is assuming one-size fits all. In other words, you can’t write one generic resume, use it to apply to a wide range of options, and then expect to get many calls back. Instead, you should have a clear objective prior to writing your resume and structure it around that specific target. Using buzzwords that cater to a particular industry is one way of writing a focused resume. For instance, if the job ad says the employer is looking to fill the position with someone who is a team player, you should use a word to describe yourself to the same effect and provide an example that exemplifies you are a team player.
- Formatting matters. Even if the content of your resume is outstanding, and you are the most qualified applicant for the position, none of that will matter if your resume looks choppy and unprofessional. As a general rule of thumb, your font size should never be smaller than 10 pt. Moreover, your lines should never be less than single-spaced or more than double-spaced. If this is your first time crafting a resume, it may be helpful to use a template as a starting point.
- Make it reader-friendly. Avoid huge words and lengthy sentences. According to Forbes, a hiring manager can spend as little as six seconds scanning your resume, so it’s important to keep it to one page if you have less than 10 years experience and two pages if you have over ten years. Remember, you are trying to get the interview, not the job. If you write everything about yourself in your resume, you won’t have much to mention during the interview.
- Be selective when choosing which core competencies you will highlight. You want your resume to stand out among the other applicants, so it’s important to showcase what makes you a unique and qualified candidate. Mentioning accomplishments that are examples of your drive can be more effective than just mentioning you are driven. Phrases like “self-motivated” and “hard-working” have become overused, and any applicant can use words like that to describe themselves. Your specific achievements are what can help set you apart from the rest and allow you to steer clear of the clichés.
- Know what matters. Your time volunteering at an animal shelter in high school may not be the most relevant addition to your resume when applying for a position at an accounting firm. Once you identify the experiences and accomplishments that are pertinent to your resume, you should also figure out what information to prioritize. This will help you decide what to list first, second, third, and last, and it can also help you decide what information to bold or italicize. By knowing what to prioritize, you will help indicate to the hiring manager where he or she should draw their attention.
- Use action words. Not only will this strategy showcase your abilities as a leader, it can also be a testament to your accomplishments and work ethic. Some action words that may be a good idea to incorporate in your resume include “initiated,” “designed,” “collaborated,” or “supervised.” Using words like these to showcase your notable accomplishments can help increase your chances of getting an interview, which is ultimately the goal of a winning resume.
Crafting a strong resume may seem like a relatively straightforward endeavor, but it is not an easy feat. There are a lot of factors to consider and a lot of variables to manipulate. It is easy to overlook the importance of some of the small details, such as the font you use, but even the little things can have a big impact on the decision of a hiring manager.
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),
The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.
At Barbachano International, we understand the importance of recruiting and the return on investment that top talent can deliver for you. With 27 years in the industry, we know firsthand how imperative it is for an organization to have the right people to achieve its business objectives. We help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying top performers for your team that result in long-term success.