A killer resume is the gateway to a great job, so you’ll want to ensure your resume is as exciting and unique as you want your work life to be.
Flat, rambling sentences can give an underwhelming portrayal of your abilities, and suggest that you are completely interchangeable with any other candidate. On the other hand, short, active, and punchy descriptions of your past experience – and potential future – paint a picture of a vibrant candidate that a company would be lucky to hire.
The difference is in the crucial framing of yourself and your abilities. Small modifications of language and a clear vision of the purpose can make your resume a magnetic promotional tool that will showcase your talent.
Here are ten tips for creating a killer resume that will get you hired
Use active language.
Make yourself easy to find
Don’t inflate or bloat
Make your resume legible
Create a narrative
Avoid using jargon
Get straight to the point
Present a polished product
Descriptions of your past experience should always be in the active voice and focus on the actions you took and the skills they required. Don’t get lost in stale or formal statements about generic activities – break down duties into quick descriptions of specific skills using vibrant verbs. A flabby statement about how “press materials were sent” can be revamped into “researching audience demographics and engaging key press contacts.” (These can also be helpful for your LinkedIn profile, which a Fiverr freelancer can help you tailor.)
Your past actions will be far more enticing if you show how they produced concrete results. Did you participate in a marketing initiative that led to a 50% increase in user subscriptions? This is an impressive fact you should include. Emphasize that you weren’t just another employee, but rather one who achieved significant results.
Integrating keywords into your resume is helpful for several reasons. Businesses now often use automated programs to scan resumes for keywords essential to a particular position, so you need to make sure you include plenty of them. And even if businesses don’t use scanning programs, odds are they are still looking for certain skills that can be summed up in keywords. (Many Fiverr entrepreneurs specialize in keyword inclusion)
It might seem obvious, but it’s imperative that links to your email, social media accounts, and professional blogs or websites are clear and active (unless, of course, you don’t want them to see your social media accounts, in which case you should make them private). This will give hiring managers a quick and comprehensive overview of your talents and online presence.
To succinctly highlight your greatest accomplishments and cover the most ground possible, it doesn’t help to go on and on about your previous work. Keep descriptions to around 3–4 sentences per job (and avoid the temptation to exaggerate). Bulleted lists make things a lot easier to digest quickly – especially if someone is only scanning your resume.
Again, this may seem simple, but you don’t want to make a potential HR director toss your resume because it’s in a tiny font or cluttered with impossibly narrow margins. Make your writing a standard, readable font (no smaller than 11 point) with one-inch margins.
A resume should tell the story of your career chronologically, beginning with your most recent position. The general arc and evolution of your career should be clear, showing how you have built prior experiences into where you are now, and where you want to go next. But don’t be afraid to leave out experience that isn’t relevant to the position you’re applying for. This will save space and will also put the focus on your experience that is most important.
While it’s a good idea to use appropriate keywords for your industry, be sure to explain or spell out any acronyms or unnecessarily abbreviated words that may perplex a reader. In general, the simpler the language you use, the better.
Resumes are not novels, so you should make your point quickly and succinctly. Remember that complete sentences are not required (that’s where bullet points come in handy). Break down each block of experience into relevant skills and actions, and make the point as outcome-focused as possible.
Employers look at your resume not only as a summary of your skills, but also as an overall indication of your dedication to clarity, and meticulousness. An error-free resume will indicate how much time and dedication you’ve put into it.
It helps to have a final set of eyes to fully tighten up your resume – and you can get one of the many experts on Fiverr to help you craft a winning document.
What do you think makes a killer resume? What things you should you avoid? Tell us in the comments below!