Your resume doesn’t have to be over the top to be competitive. In contrast, an overly creative resume can often work against you. A competitive resume is relevant, well-formatted, and communicates the most important information effectively. This is the ultimate guide to preparing a competitive resume to help you stand out.
Keep It Short
Your resume should fit onto a single page. If it’s longer, you are likely giving too much information. When you submit a multi-page resume, you risk the additional pages getting separated from the first page. This would leave the hiring manager with missing information. However, it is unlikely that the hiring manager would read a multi-page resume. They typically have a long list of candidates to sort through. So they don’t have time to read lengthy resumes.
Use a Reader-Friendly Format
Now that you know your resume will be on one page, your next step is to choose a format. There are two factors to consider: readability and visual appeal. Someone reading your resume for the first time should be able to scan the page and find the most important information quickly. When reading through your resume, the format should flow so that the information makes sense. For example, you could arrange your resume to follow a chronological order. This makes reading and comprehending the information easier.
In addition, take a step back and look at how the information is arranged on the page. People often shrink the font and cram everything onto a single page. This is just as bad as having a multi-page resume. The resume looks like a disorganized wall of text. Instead, use headers where the font is larger than the body text. Keep the font at 10-12 point. Use white space to create space around the different sections.
Customize to the Job
While you can have one master resume, you should customize each resume submission for each job application. There are two reasons for this. First, your resume should speak directly to the job you are applying for. Highlight your skills that are relevant to the position. Leave off anything that isn’t.
The second reason is that many companies use applicant screening systems. These services use an algorithm that scans your resume for relevancy. So, include keywords that are in the job description in your resume. Since every position description differs, you must tailor your resume for each submission. Otherwise, you risk your resume getting cut during the screening process.
Spend Time Proofing
Always spend a considerable amount of time proofing your resume. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors show that you lack attention to detail. Write your resume and then set it down. Come back in a day or two to proof it. Run it through proofing software like Grammarly. Read your resume out loud to identify awkwardly written sentences.
Make Your Resume Stand Out
Take the time to customize your resume for each application submission. By keeping it short and relevant, you communicate the most important information precisely and professionally. This will help you stand out as someone the hiring manager should contact for an interview.
Work with our knowledgeable team and write a competitive resume that will stand out.