Finding a new job is never easy but putting together a convincing resume is an even bigger challenge for many. This is especially the case when it comes to sorting out the right information, choosing a fitting font, adding some personal touches to the CV… the list could go on. And seeing how fierce the competition can be for even a single job opening it’s no surprise that jobseekers will try as many tricks as possible in order to be called in for an interview and, eventually, get the desired position.
Thankfully it’s possible to improve your chances of scoring an interview, by turning a plain resume into something attractive – a skill that can be learned by taking some of the following advice.
The Art of Making a Compelling Resume
One Resume for Each Job
We cannot emphasize the importance of not using the exact same resume and cover letter for all applications. Not only is it unprofessional but it also conveys a sense of laziness.
Besides, modifying the resume only takes a little bit of effort by adding the necessary amount of key words and including only the information that’s relevant to the job. It’ll make a huge difference.
However, it’s worth noting that an existing CV doesn’t necessarily have to be thrown away, since it could perfectly serve as a base resume. With online resume builders creating such a document takes only a matter of minutes, regardless of whether the data is entered manually or is imported from another source. And once that base resume is ready it can be copied as many times as you want and be simply modified to match the requirements stated in the job advertisement.
This Is Me and My Story
Tailoring the resume to all those different jobs is one thing, but unless it tells a story the CV will be nothing more than a soulless document of facts. This means that aside from providing the information that recruiters expect from candidates the resume also has to effectively tell employers who you are, what your main goals in the desired job position are, and why you should be considered for the role.
Simply put, the CV’s main focus shouldn’t be on minor things such as education – unless the applicant has little to no work experience yet – but instead it should point out your best and most relevant skills, experiences and achievements.
Introduction, body and conclusion, this is the typical structure of any story and something that can be applied to resumes as well. However, the story’s structure is more or less fixed, whereas the resume and its sections only have to follow a logical order.
Still, it’s best to make sure the resume is coherent by first adding the contact information – which should always come first – and then any relevant job experience, education, skills, and achievements. The resume could be concluded here, but there’s the option to add extra sections too, with either additional information that might be required for the job or links and QR codes that will direct readers to online portfolios and other relevant sites.
Example of a Resume With Properly Placed Sections
It’s obvious that the resume has to contain relevant information, but if it’s not formatted in the right way then the whole document may appear as nothing more than a hodgepodge of letters and numbers. Thankfully with a little bit of tinkering – such as using clearly distinguishable headings, bullet points where necessary, or changing the font’s style – the resume will become much easier to read.
Additionally, there is the option to choose the easier path by opting for a pre-made template where everything is already formatted. In fact, it’s highly recommended to pick a template either from the internet or by going with one of the many templates provided by resume builders.
A word of advice, though: whether the resume is built from scratch or from a template, don’t shy away from adding a little bit of color here and there, it will go a long way to helping make the CV stand out from the pack.
Checking and Double-Checking
No matter how good the resume looks and how impressive your experience might seem, if it’s full of grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies then the game is well and truly over. Thankfully this can be easily avoided by doing a little proofreading, which can be done by yourself, by asking for the help of a professional or by using online tools like Grammarly or the built-in solutions of resume builders.
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