In part one, we looked at how to get started creating your resume, and in part two, we talked about how to organize your resume. Now in this part, we’ll discuss some useful tips on how to improve your resume.
TIP #1: GET THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE TO READ IT.
Hand your resume to three different people and gain some feedback from different kinds of perspectives:
- Someone who knows you well professionally. This way they can identify anything you may have left out.
- A professional who does not know you well but is willing to look at your resume critically. Ask for harsh feedback and get them to tell you what is unclear or details that are unnecessary.
- Someone who works as hiring personnel. This person has a lot of experience looking at many resumes, so they can tell you what kinds of things they like, and what they ignore.
Watch their reactions when they look at your resume. Ask them what stands out and what is less compelling.
TIP #2: APPEARANCE MATTERS.
Because recruiters look at lots and lots of resumes, little things actually do matter. The impact you make visually can be lessened dramatically from minor problems that can be quickly fixed. Pay special attention to the following:
- Consistency. This is important so that the recruiter doesn’t think you are careless and sloppy. Be consistent in your formatting and word order. When you describe things in a certain way, do the same for all descriptions. Keep verb tense consistent. Don’t list the same thing more than once — this makes the reader think you are trying to fluff up your resume. Finally, keep margins, tabs, font sizes, bullets consistent.
- Type of paper. Make your text sharp by printing on a high quality laser printer. Use high quality, slightly heavier weight paper. A white or slightly off-white shade is good to use.
- Typos. Read and reread your resume several times, and ask your friends to check for typos. These can help ensure that little things don’t detract the recruiter.