Oh, resumes. The little, 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper that you’re expected to cram all of your life’s achievements onto. Although resumes can be the bane of a jobseeker’s existence, they are the first chance you get to prove yourself worthy of a job to a recruiter. Need to spruce up your resume? Here are six quick and effective ways to do it!
1. Choose a clean, professional font
Resumes are just not the place for Comic Sans or a curly, cursive font. The average recruiter spends just six seconds looking at a resume, but you can guarantee it’ll be even less than that if you use a clunky, difficult-to-read font. Resume experts recommend using a clean sans serif font consistently throughout the resume.
2. Be clear
Recruiters look at thousands of resumes a day. They want to find the information they need as quickly as possible on your resume. Don’t want your resume to be thrown out unnecessarily? Then visibly state your name and current position at the top, include dates by each of your previous roles and be sure to clearly identify each of the different sections.
3. Nix the objective statement
Nine times out of ten, objective statements are vague and superfluous. If your objective statement resembles something along the lines of “seeking a challenging position…”—just take it out. Obviously, you are seeking a job, or else you wouldn’t have submitted your resume. So get rid of the objective statement, and use the extra space to make sure your experience matches up with the job description.
4. Take out school experience
While we’re eliminating unnecessary components, go ahead and remove your high school job and college club memberships from your resume. There’s simply not enough space on your resume for things that aren’t absolutely relevant to the position you’re applying for.
5. Less can be more
When writing about your relevant experience, don’t go into copious detail about each of your duties. Instead, use bullet points to concisely summarize your accomplishments, and try to include as many pertinent skills as possible. Removing unnecessary articles like “a”, “an” and “the” can help cut down your word count, as well.
6. Quantify your success
Along those lines, replace the qualitative descriptions of your work achievements with quantitative explanations. Adding in numbers, dollars and percentages will help prove your success. For example: “Planned and coordinated a fundraising event that resulted in $500,000 of revenue” or “Increased website traffic by 40%” or “Managed 10 client accounts”.