The job market this year is as competitive and as volatile as ever. Despite the labor market now being candidate-driven, the truth of the matter is that if you are looking for the ideal job—with the ideal salary, benefits package, and work arrangement to boot—you need to market yourself extremely well. ¹
No one can be convinced that a fancy meal is delectable and worth its price tag if it’s presented to its customers in a messy manner, with everything placed haphazardly on a plate. The same thing applies to your job search. You cannot convince prospective employers to hire you for your credentials and work experience if the document that you are using to sell yourself to them fails to highlight your professional profile and full potential.
This is how crucial your resume is to your job search.
The Importance of an Excellent Resume
Your resume serves as the official summary of your qualifications, professional background, skills, and achievements over the course of your academic and professional life. It consists of sections that detail your work history, skills, awards, academic credentials, as well as other achievements which you may want to showcase in alignment with your career goals. It is usually accompanied with a customized cover letter to signify your application for a particular role.
The resume is the Bible of employers and hiring managers when they assess your suitability for a particular role. Here are some more reasons why a resume should be front and center in your quest for your next role.
1. It Showcases Your Relevant Skills and Work Experience
A well-structured resume should showcase your most relevant skills and experience to prospective employers. This enables them to evaluate and eventually pick the best candidate.
2. It Showcases What You Have to Offer to Potential Employers
Your resume should not just highlight skills and experience. It should show potential employers what you can bring to the table. This enables hiring managers to assess the value that you can bring to the company in measurable terms.
3. It Gives You Access to the Front Door of Employers and Hiring Managers
Your resume serves as your first attempt to land the job you want. It determines if you will go on to the next step in the application process or if you should be passed over and put back in the active file in favor of more qualified job candidates.
4. It Matches You to the Relevant Position
An excellent resume matches your skills to the role that you are applying for. In doing this, hiring managers will be able to assess what makes you a good candidate for the position. For electronic submissions, many companies auto-sort using the keywords relevant to the particular vacancy.
5. It Can Land You Your Initial or Even Final Interview for the Job
The ideal resume is going to take you forward to the next step in the application process—the interview. This will probably be the first of a number of interviews. However, for well-documented resumes that clearly showcase a deep suitability for a particular vacancy, you may have the opportunity to skip a few interviews, advancing your application, and maybe even putting your name on the short list.
5 Tips on Updating Your Resume
Now that you know how crucial a good resume is to you as a job candidate, it is time to master 5 practical tips on how to come up with a winning resume.
1. Tailor Your Resume for Every Application You Send Out
Employers and hiring managers now have a novel way of identifying a well-written resume over a poorly-written one. And, you guessed it right. The latter one fails to attract attention from a prospective employer.
Generic resumes appear lazy and unprofessional. This makes recruiters question how serious you really are in applying for a particular role. Because of this, it’s highly advised that you tailor every resume you submit to the specific position and company. This may be quite time-consuming but clearly worth your while.
Considerable research is required here. It is pertinent that you get to know more about the company that you are applying to. What is their main line of business and what are they known for? How relevant is your role with respect to the company goals?
Use action verbs wisely in your resume and use the knowledge that you obtain from your research to highlight the skills that you have for this particular role.
2. Make Your Resume Engaging
Grab the attention of hiring managers instantly by starting your resume with a professional summary that contains your current or latest position and the number of years that you have been working. You should highlight how relevant you are to the role by focusing on your key achievements in quantifiable terms.
For example, if it is a sales position that you are applying for, describe much revenue you were able to generate for your company.
An engaging and well-written resume will hook hiring managers and employers and convince them to read your document in its entirety. This increases your chance of getting to the next round in the application process.
3. Always Keep Your Resume Relevant
Keep in mind that employers and hiring managers are only interested in knowing your most recent and relevant experience, qualifications, and skill set. You should always review all your past roles and only detail those that are relevant to the vacancy that you are applying for.
Always remember that the recruiter will not waste time going over so many irrelevant details. If you do not want to get rejected outright, make sure that your resume sections detail only what’s relevant to the position that you’re applying for.
4. Always Be Specific
Choose a resume format that allows you to provide more specific details about what makes you the ideal candidate for the job.
In your resume update, do not provide generic explanations. Choose to go into details instead. Quantifying your achievements is a great step towards truly illuminating to a potential employer how suitable you are for the role.
For instance, if you know several computer languages, state how many exactly you are able to code with. It is also ideal to enumerate the tech stack that you can competently utilize in relation to the role that you are applying for—and this tip still applies even if you are applying for a non-technical role. Most progressive companies are now going digital fast, with employees even in non-technical roles being required to use the latest apps. This trend among companies means that a good understanding of how the latest software is used is essential to even be considered for a job.
5. Use a Resume Template that is Organized
If the content of your resume is vital, the form that you use is also essential. A poorly formatted resume has a low chance of getting noticed. In this manner, use headings and subheadings to organize your information and make your resume eye-friendly for hiring managers and employers.
Use bullet points to eliminate text blocks. Moreover, utilize a font that is legible using any kind of software.
Furthermore, as you structure your resume, put more emphasis on skills and experience instead of your education. It’s a good idea to place the former on your resume first for greater emphasis.
Ultimately, a resume is just a tool for you to get that interview. In the end, it’s all up to you how to impress the interviewer. But with these tips, you’ll have that edge you need.
We’re not saying that following these tips will get you hired, but they’ll definitely help you get noticed by a prospective employer in no time. All the best in your job search!
NEED MORE HELP BAGGING THE IDEAL JOB?
- Cox, Ruth. “It’s a Candidate Driven Market” LinkedIn, 17 December 2021 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/its-candidate-driven-market-ruth-cox