Creating the perfect resume can help you stand out in a crowd. We all know how saturated the job market is. And the competition is only going to get harder and harder. With more people going through higher education, it can be difficult to give yourself a voice. Add in people living longer, fewer jobs due to automation and it becomes apparent that without the right resume, your chances of landing your dream job are slim.
Therefore, getting your resume right is extremely important. It’s the first interaction a potential employer has with you. And as a former business owner, let me tell you this. A badly formatted, overly long or grammatically incorrect resume puts you at the bottom of the pile. It severely reduces your chance of even getting an interview.
So without anymore preamble, let’s get into how your perfect resume should look.
How To Create The Perfect Resume For You
- First and foremost, remember this lesson. Your perfect resume is not about you. And it will look different for each role you apply for. Get used to tailoring it for each role you want. It’s a pain but a necessary one. But why do I say it’s not about you? Simple really. Your job within your resume is to show what you can bring to the role. How can you add value to the company? What skills or characteristics make you a better fit for this role than anyone else?
- Following on from the above, make sure you have fully researched the company and role you are apply for. If you can pinpoint how and why you would be the best candidate for that particular role, you come across as knowledgeable and proactive. It will also greatly improve your chances should you get to the interview stage.
- Simply listing off your skills is no longer good enough. Let’s say for instance that the job requires you to have a good working knowledge of Powerpoint. Listing it just sits you in with every other person applying. We have all seen the “I’m good with word, excel blah blah blah” on a resume. But, if you design and create your resume within that program, you are demonstrating your skills.
- Is the role a creative one? Then apply that to your resume. It does not have to look bland and boring. It’s about finding the balance between professionalism and personality. Obviously don’t cover your resume in butterflies or kisses. But a hint of you is still possible within it. Check out some of the resumes on Behance or Pinterest to get a feel for how you can be different from the crowd whilst retaining your professionalism.
- Make sure you build a portfolio of your work. This applies to every field of work. Not just artists or those in a creative field. You can keep this back for the interview or send it along with your resume.
- Fonts. Pick a nice clean professional one. Arial, Garamond, Helvetica or the old classic Times New Roman. And for the love of god stay away from abominations like Comic Sans! You might think it comes across as “playful” or “fun” but it really does not. A recruiter will think you either lack maturity or make poor decisions. Either is not a good look.
- Space and the importance of it. In a resume you want it to be one piece of paper only. And you want it to draw the reader’s attention to your accomplishments. Employers first and foremost want to know what you bring to the role and your past roles. Makes sure this is front and centre. Hobbies, Address etc should be less visible at a glance.
- Make sure you remove the hyperlink from your email address before you send it. It looks awful on-screen and even worse when it’s printed out. You will come across as tech illiterate, even if you’re not. Also make sure your email address is a professional one. You might have had firstname.lastname@example.org forever but you’re a grown up now, time to get something a little more professional and mature.
- Last and not least. No matter what program you use to create your perfect resume, save it as a PDF. This is the standard now. It will look the same across all devices, people, printouts. The works. It’s the only way to guarantee it looks exactly as you intended it to look.
When all is said and done, no matter your experience or the role you’re going for, we are all the same. All humans have their strengths and weaknesses. What you are doing with your resume is showing that you understand that work is a serious part of your life. That you can be professional, make good decisions and work to the best of you abilities. Nobody needs to know you feel like Larry: