If you have a rockstar background but struggle to get interviews at companies you apply to, you’re probably making common mistakes with your résumé.
This post originally was originally published by Pivt, an online resource to help with career changes.
I’ve screened thousands of résumés and been on multiple hiring panels, and I continue to see job applicants make the same mistakes. From poorly-written bullet points to bad formatting, a lackluster résumé can take away from a strong candidate. To help job seekers out there, I’ve decided to share my top résumé advice based on my experience.
No Fancy Fonts, Formatting, or Color
Unless you’re a designer, keep your résumé plain and simple. Any fancy fonts, color, or formatting will only distract from your words and make it seem as though your accomplishments can’t speak for themselves. Keep it simple, black and white, and easy to read.
Use Bullet Points
Hiring managers will spend less than a minute scanning each résumé and long paragraphs are difficult to read and don’t get your point across well. Use short, succinct bullet points to describe your work and the impact you made.
Quantify Your Impact
Hiring managers care more about the impact you made, rather than the specific, tactical actions you took to get there. To the extent you can, quantify your impact with metrics. See the example below:
“Conducted research on competitors in order to help executive leadership make decisions”
This bullet point is too vague, and doesn’t quantify the impact of your work. Additionally, “conducted research” is a weak starter and doesn’t showcase your skills & abilities well.
“Improved market share by 15% in 6 months by conducting competitive research, recommending operational changes to executive leadership, and implementing those changes”
“Improved market share by 15%” is something that all companies like to hear, so showing you made this type of impact will impress recruiters and hiring managers. By starting with the impact first, you catch the reader’s attention. Then, you can follow on by describing how you created that impact.
Remove Your Summary and/or Objective
Very few hiring managers and recruiters will actually read this, and for those who do, it likely won’t make a positive impression. You’re better off without it.
Keep your Résumé to One Page
You don’t need more than one page to describe your relevant accomplishments. If you’re struggling to keep it down to one page, you should remove less relevant or old experience, be more succinct with your bullet points, and reduce page margins from 1” to .75”.
In addition to these 5 guidelines, it’s always great to get a 2nd opinion or review of your résumé. Whether it’s from a peer in your network who you respect, or from a professional résumé editor. Getting more eyes on your résumé will help improve its quality. After tweaking your résumé to abide by these tips and getting your résumé reviewed by others, you will improve your chances at landing more interviews in your job application process.
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