Job searching can be a laborious process, but when you land that dream job, all of your hard work will be worth it. Before you can land that dream job, your resume has to stand out enough that hiring managers call you in for that first interview. There are a few things you can do to make yourself and your resume stand out and increase your chances of landing yourself an interview.
I want to start this paragraph with ‘first, and most importantly’, but I actually think all of this is super important, so instead, here is some advice, in no particular order, that is all important.
Don’t submit the same version of your resume to every job you apply for. You have more skills and experience than can fit on a page or two, so each version of your resume should showcase the skills and experience most relevant to the job for which you are applying. If there are items in your experience that have nothing to do with the the job you are applying for, only include them if they are significant and try to find a way to highlight a component that parallels the job you are applying for.
Look at the job description you are applying for and try to find ways to show how similar your experience is to the job you are applying for. Make sure your resume mentions every line item on the job description (or at least a good chunk of them). If there are items you have no possible translatable experience for, those are the items you will want to prepare to speak about at the interview, in terms of things you are eager to learn about.
Don’t include too much. Only include what is relevant. Hiring managers look at sometimes hundreds of resumes per job posting, if you try to fill the page with too much, readers will lose interest before they get to the good stuff. Less is more. If the font is too small, your resume won’t look as readable. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs, and find the shortest way to say what you want to convey. Don’t duplicate information. If you had multiple jobs with similar duties, only include those duties once. Depending on the circumstance, I have chosen the job where I did that task most recently, or in other cases, where I did the task most often.
Have someone who doesn’t work in your office (or hear a lot about your office) read your resume and point out any parts that don’t make sense to someone outside your team. Try not to use terminology, abbreviations or acronyms that are industry specific if you are switching industries, and have your proofreader point out terms or phrases they aren’t familiar with. Also have your proofreader check for grammar, spelling (especially words that spell check won’t catch), and formatting. Keep your tense consistent, don’t jump back and forth between “assist with” (current tense) and “managed” (past tense) for example. Particularly if you are applying for an administrative position, your resume is your first chance to showcase your attention to detail, grammar and formatting skills.
The time you put into your resume will show through to the people reviewing it, so put in the effort and your work pay off.