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Resume Help: 9 Tips to Boost Your Job Search

Posted On04/15/2020

ContributorBrandon Eiges

If you’re going through a job transition or applying for a new role, you want your resume to shine and highlight your experience as current and relevant.

Every year we receive thousands of resumes from people applying for jobs, from entry-level to senior roles. But no matter what position you’re aiming for, having a great resume is key to a successful job search. (Note: Check out our FREE resume review services at the bottom of this blog.)

So, what makes a great resume?

Here are nine simple tips that help you stand out from the crowd!

Tip #1 – Target your resume to each job

In our fast-paced world, it’s tempting to prepare a “one-size fits all” resume.

But employers need to know that your skills will compliment the position and company culture. Tailor your resume toward the specific role you’re applying for, and you increase your chances of landing an interview.

For example, list specific responsibilities from your work history that match the job’s specific requirements. If you don’t have the exact match, bucket your skills so they match the broad skill sets required for the role, such as:

    • Computer applications
    • Management experience
    • Customer service
    • Organization
    • Sales
    • Time management
    • Proficiency in other languages


Tip #2 – Include a persuasive resume objective

Think of your resume objective as your elevator pitch. Create three sentences that outline your professional goals and highlight your most relevant skills.  This objective sits at the top of your resume and is the first thing recruiters and employers see and informs them about your career goals.

Here are some examples of what you can include:

      • Your professional goals – Why do you want this job?
      • Your experience level – Are you are new to the workforce?
      • Your most relevant skills – What can you bring to this role?


Tip #3 – Put your most recent experience first

Always structure your experience summary with the most recent work positioned at the top, followed by subsequent experience in descending order. One rule of thumb is to only show your last 10 years of experience, but if you have relevant, unique experience beyond 10 years, you should likely include it. Just be mindful not to include experience that is no longer relevant or is so far back in time that it appears stale or out of date.

Tip #4 – Highlight your relevant strengths

Within each of your roles, highlight your strengths and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you’re pursuing. This makes it easy for a prospective employer to quickly discern proven experience you’ll bring to the role.

Tip #5 – Use the right resume keywords

Words are key, but keywords are crucial. Why?

Because keywords catch the eye of recruiters, hiring managers, and ATS software, known as applicant tracking systems. Whether your resume is scanned by a human or a computer, the right keywords give your resume its best chance for further consideration.

Pay close attention to ensuring that keyword tenses and variations in job titles align. For example, if a recruiter is looking for a manager, your resume should say “Manager of a team” not “Managed a team.” Similarly, if the job is calling for a “Content Writer,” but your previous title was “Content Creator,” change “Creator” to “Writer” on your resume.

Tip #6 – Use powerful resume verbs

Powerful action verbs breathe life into a resume!
For example:

        • If you led a project, use orchestrated; produced; organized.
        • If you made or started something, use created; developed; implemented.
        • If you improved something, use customized; refined; restructured.


Tip #7 – Quantify your accomplishments

To demonstrate that you are results-driven, it is always good practice to quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. Think in terms of money and time to showcase achievements that are quantifiable and measurable.

Use the CAR formula: Challenge, Action, Result
Ask yourself: “What was the challenge I faced, what action did I take, and what measurable result did I achieve?”

Include context when possible so the achievement has meaning. For example:

              • Organized quarterly volunteer events with upwards of 50 volunteers per event
              • Achieved sales in excess of $500,000 within two months


Tip #8 – Eliminate irrelevant details

Don’t clutter your resume with extraneous details. Keep it relevant and eliminate any of the following:

              • Irrelevant work experiences
              • Personal details such as marital status, religious preference, hobbies, age, etc.
              • Full mailing address
              • More than one phone number
              • Too much text or too many bullet points


Tip # 9 – Keep the format and font simple

There are plenty of resume templates to choose from online, and the best are simple and easy to read. Try to consolidate your information to one page, but a two-page resume may be necessary if you have years of relevant experience Keep the format and font style simple and consistent. Stick with a classic, universal font sized at least 10.5.

By following these 9 tips, you can package your experience into a shining, powerful, and well-constructed resume.

Need help with your resume?

We can help! Our team is here to provide you with a FREE resume review, offer interview tips, and discuss our available positions. We’d love to talk with you! Contact your local Nelson office today.