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How to write a KILLER Resume that lands an Interview!

By Posted on 27 1.9K

Resume writing is easier said than done. When you a write a resume, you must take into consideration that you only have 15 seconds to catch the hiring manager’s attention. As a newbie in resume writing, can you create a professional resume that will land you the interview and eventually get the job?

Your resume is like a product brochure of yourself. Selling yourself to the employers is your main goal.

Whether you like it or not, you must accept the fact that you are represented by your resume. No matter how hard you try, no matter how you look or dress, Employers will still be looking at your resume first. Remember, first impressions last. Competition is tight that’s why you have approximately 15 seconds to make your resume noticeable and stand out from the rest of the pack. So before you throw out your great speech, build a good resume and make it look good.

Basic rule of writing your own resume: Be Brief. The more you write, the longer your professional resume gets, especially if you have long years of career experience. “Brief” can no longer be achieved. To resolve this, start by making a plain long version of your resume. Write everything that you can think of which can help you not forget anything that describes your career. Start by listing categories such as Personal Information down to the Work Experiences, Relevant Skills, Honors and Awards and Trainings. Don’t worry about formatting, we’ll come to that later on. Add another category if you prefer, as long as it adds value to your professional resume. Then fill out every category to complete your list.

The next step in writing your resume is to trim down your long version resume. Trimming down your long list is a bit difficult. You want to include everything that you have listed, but that’s impossible! Let go of the irrelevant facts about you. Include only the most important details. Anything that is out-dated should go. Delete those work experiences that has nothing to do with the desired position you’re applying for. So get rid of your five month service on the neighborhood fast food chain if you’re applying for the supervisory position of huge IT Company. After you have trimmed down your resume, you can now format it to make it look good. There’s no standard format for a professional resume for as long as it’s neat, organized and concise.

Here are our 10 basic things you should do in writing your own resume:

Be Concise and Neat.

It is easier to read your resume if it is organized. In writing a resume, it is important to be concise with every sentence you have written. HR folks are not fond of spending twenty minutes in reading your professional resume. The hiring managers has a limited time reading everything you’ve written.

How to write a Killer Resume that lands an Interview! - Be concise and neat

Piece of advice, just cut the crap off and get to the point immediately. If you want to include something in your resume, write it down but make sure that you polish your sentences. It is easier to read a professional resume that is concise and neat.

Customize.

Resume will not be complete if you don’t cross to the customization of your personal brochure. Most people prefer to submit the same resume template for all the job application they went to. Do not settle with only one format for your resume. The same template will not work for all companies. Maintain at least two different executive resume formats. Each one will highlight different types of work, skills, and experiences that you have gathered from the past.

Download Resume Template

Customize your resume depending on the needs of the position you’re applying for. Writing your resume is hard if you have no idea on how to do it, but for starters, you can just download a free resume template from us.

Just make sure to avoid phrases that are heavily used and profanely abused. This will elevate your resume among the others. Avoid these phrases such as:

  • Responsible for
  • Experienced in
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Team Player
  • Good Leadership Skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Successful
  • Meticulous to details

Most professional resume uses this approach to satisfy their customer’s needs and it is proven to be more effective. To level yourself higher, at least come up with an interesting and attention-grabbing phrase like what a professional resume writers do, something that can position you at the middle of the stage. Employers love applicants that jump out of the box. Be more creative. Instead of saying “Successful” or “Good leadership skills”, why not incorporate the phrase to your previous work such as “Successfully spearheaded a team to transition the production department from regular to contractual employees.”

Specify the value of your accomplishments.

The best way to handle your accomplishments from your current position is to highlight them in your professional resume by specifying the financial impact, whether cost reduction or raising revenue to the company.

How to write a Killer Resume that lands an Interview! - Specify the value of your accomplishments.

Resume with quantifiable accomplishment has a higher value than those without. An accomplishment written like “Decreased the annual production cost by 40%” is more appealing than “develop a production cost savings”. Bear in mind that Employers want to know what you can do for them, how you have contributed in your previous position or company and how you are going to be an asset for them. Employers love catching big fishes, that’s the reality.

Keywords, Keywords and More Keywords.

In resume writing, instead of using cliché words, we suggest that you use keywords that can grab the attention of the HR folks. Consider highlighting job related keywords in resume so it’s easy for them when they scan your resume.

How to write a Killer Resume that lands an Interview! - Keywords, Keywords and More Keywords.

Don’t just put any keyword, match them to the job requirement to be more attractive. If they’re looking for a candidate that have an extensive experience on a specific computer software and by any chance you’re proficient with it, then you have the right to put it in your resume.

The “MMMM DD, YYYY” Format

As much as you want to hide the fact that you’ve been job-hopping from quite some time now, you can’t. They will notice it while looking at your professional resume. Companies hate job-hoppers because they’re bad for business. If you’re guilty with this crime, you have to do some significant modifications in your resume. Rather than highlighting the dates, divert their attention by putting the years of your employment terms.

Stick to one.

A resume is advisable to keep it very short, brief and straightforward. Many claim that a resume can be as short as a one page resume but how long should your resume be? Think of this, what if you have enough experience and credentials to really showcase your career, knock yourself out and add another page. But if not and you just want to write irrelevant stuffs, believe me, stick to a one-paged resume. Rule of thumb: Restrict it to two pages maximum.

Print out and Proofread.

Experts say that it is easier to proofread a document when it is printed. True. Start your proofreading by running a wrong spelling and grammar check. Take your time, you don’t have to rush. You have one shot to make a first impression and you don’t want to mess it. When proofreading your resume, mark all your changes before you go back to your computer. Another proofreading technique is to start from the bottom of the page upward.

How to write a Killer Resume that lands an Interview! - Print out and Proofread.

If you’re still in doubt, get someone to review your work. You may get used to reading your resume that’s why you almost memorize every single word written there. Unfortunately, common errors occur when you reach that state.

Trust me, you want to catch the common mistakes entry level candidates makes!

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20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

The job search process has changed a lot in the last few years, but one thing remains the same: your resume can make or break your chances of being hired. Potential employers sometimes screen hundreds of resumes each day. That means any glaring mistake may immediately doom your resume and your employment chances to the circular file.

Your resume is a great opportunity to reveal the true story about your professional life and your accomplishments. So don’t let a sloppy mistake obscure the image of the real you. Create a resume that shines by avoiding these common mistakes.

Spelling and grammatical errors

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

All it takes is one typo to make you look unprofessional. There is no excuse for such mistakes when word-processing programs easily allow you to check and correct them. It’s good practice to ask a trusted friend to proofread your resume as well, to pick up on any errors that your spell check may have missed.

Lack of specifics

Avoid vague, meaningless job descriptions that could apply to anyone. Be very specific about things you’ve accomplished in each of your positions. State that you increased sales by 20% or that you made specific improvements to customer service in your company. If you are simply providing a generic list of job descriptions, it says nothing about the real you or why an employer should hire you.

The one-size-fits all, mass mailing approach

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

Every company and position is different, and a good professional resume will reflect these differences. By mass producing the same generic resume for everyone, you are signaling that this position is not especially important to you. If you want a prospective employer to take the time to interview you, show them the same respect by taking time to tailor previous experiences and accomplishments to that specific job.

Excessive length

Please, have some sympathy for these employers who must wade through hundreds of resumes on a routine basis. Respect their time by showcasing only relevant highlights of your career on your professional resume. You don’t need to list every position you’ve held in the last 10-20 years. Just include those that are relevant and try to keep your resume to one page, or at most two.

A meaningless objective

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

There is disagreement about whether an objective is even necessary in a resume. Some feel that it’s irrelevant; if you’re applying for the job, it’s obvious that you want it. If you do include an objective, make it very specific and employer-focused. Try to phrase your objective so that it reflects the company and the position for which you’re applying. A vague objective is worse than none at all.

Distracting designs and fonts

Let your achievements speak for themselves; don’t distract from them with fancy fonts and elaborate backgrounds. These days, most resumes are viewed on a screen so it’s to your advantage to make them as readable as possible. Curly, elegant fonts can be very hard to read; use a simple font such as Arial.

No keywords

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

In today’s job market, you can’t afford to make this mistake. Most companies use preliminary screening software to spot keywords that are relevant to the position. If yours doesn’t make the cut, a human may never lay eyes on it at all. So try to pick out the keywords in the job description and use them in your professional resume. The keywords are usually industry-related and may be repeated several times. By using keywords, you’re showing that you understand the importance of the specific skills or qualifications that the company is seeking.

No emphasis on accomplishments

Avoid a laundry list of job descriptions and duties. Instead, make it clear exactly what you accomplished in those roles. Don’t just state that you were in charge of the human resources department; specifically mention your accomplishments related to things like new hires and retention of staff.

Personal information

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

An employer does not need to know about your age, religion, or marital status, so just leave these things out. In fact, it’s illegal for them to ask you about them and including them will just distract from your resume highlights.

It may be tempting if you feel that your experience or education are not impressive, but trust me: giving false or exaggerated information on your resume will do more harm than good. Prospective employers are skilled at discerning inaccuracies in job titles and skills. Falsifying this information can distract from your real achievements. Give the real you a fair chance to make a good impression.

Too much jargon

There’s a good chance that the first hoop your professional resume needs to jump through is an HR person who does the initial screening. So please avoid industry-specific buzzwords especially the ones that needs to be googled first before understanding it. These do not really impress anyone and most of the time they don’t add anything important. Remember that individual organizations often have their own unique terms for certain things which are unknown outside that company.

Inaccurate Contact Information

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

Imagine that you’ve created the perfect resume, sent it to your dream company who decided to contact you for an interview… but you never hear from them simply because you made a typo in your phone number or email address. Surprisingly, this happens quite often! Be sure to double and triple check your contact information because if you can’t get the call, you can’t get the job.

Gaps in Employment

Any mysterious gaps in your work history could send the wrong message about you, leading potential employers to come to their own very unflattering conclusions about your work ethic. So address any gaps in your employment honestly and in a positive light. Highlight any experiences during this gap which may have added to your skills. If you took time off for travel or freelancing, emphasize the skills and experience that you gained during this time. If you took time off to care for children or a family member, try to spin this in a positive light as well. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to hide your employment gap by falsifying dates. This kind of dishonesty will be easy to spot.

In general, references should be left out of resumes. Often company policy is to strive to avoid defamation lawsuits by only confirming that you work there, without giving any information about your performance. Of course, you will need to have some contacts that are willing to put in a good word for you if they are asked to do so. Reviewers will ask for references when and if they want them, so don’t waste valuable space on your resume by listing them. Simply mention that your references are available upon request and check with contacts ahead of them to assure that they are willing to provide a reference if asked.

Too much emphasis on unrelated work experience.

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

It’s possible that some previous jobs, though seemingly irrelevant, may have enhanced some relevant skills. Maybe working as a receptionist helped you develop your interpersonal skills, or maybe babysitting helped you become more flexible and creative. But remember that every line on your professional resume is valuable, and you will need to find a way to clearly relate it to the job you’re applying for. Don’t waste any space on work experiences that are irrelevant.

It may sound harsh, but prospective employers really don’t care about your love of scrapbooking or your obsession with Fantasy Football. In general, hobbies simply take up valuable time and space. There are times, however, when listing hobbies can be helpful. If you’re applying to work as an editor, a writing hobby is completely appropriate. If this particular company values creativity and innovation, your pursuits in graphic design or video editing can be assets. Sometimes your hobbies contribute to a relevant skill set; if that’s the case, go ahead and include them. Otherwise, leave them out.

If this portion is still vague for you, I think you need to consider the things the Recruiter wants to see in your resume for the first 15 seconds.

A lack of action verbs.

It all comes back to readability: sentences that use action verbs are more concise and persuasive. Instead of saying that you were responsible for new technology, say that you “implemented,” “accelerated” or “piloted” the use of new technology in your workplace.

Too much text.

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

No reviewer wants to wade through densely-packed blocks of text. Use a 1” margin and a readable font. Break up long paragraphs with bullet points. Not enough “white space” can make your resume difficult and cumbersome to read. Remember that your resume needs to include relevant highlights only and these should be easy for a reviewer to quickly scan.

Personal pronouns.

Think of your resume like a telegraph that briefly informs potential employers of your skills and qualifications. They already know that the professional resume is about you, so don’t clutter it with personal pronouns such as “they, “he” or “you.” Instead of saying: “I developed a new software program,” just say: “Developed a new software program.”

The wrong verb tense.

20 Common Resume Mistakes That Will Prevent You To Get Your Dream Job

Use the past tense when describing past job experiences, and the present tense for your current position. Just one caveat: when describing a past responsibility that was part of your current job and not ongoing, use the past tense for that too. For example, “organized charity event” or “supervised advisory committee.”

By avoiding these common errors, you can ensure that nothing in your resume will distract from the real you and all the great reasons that you’re perfect for the job.

Using a hideous Resume Template

Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes daily. Most of the time, they only have a 10 to 15 seconds to glance at each resume and decide whether they want to consider you as a candidate. This very small window of opportunity is very critical to your success. So to be able to succeed, you need to capture their attention. We’ve been through with the content of your resume and I’m sure you have considered all the things you put in your resume. Now’s the time to present all the information in a well organized manner.

Sure you can just download a resume template from the internet. But be cautious, you’re playing with a double edged sword! What may be beautiful to your eyes is too much to other people. What looks boring to you is appealing to others. So what should you do?

I have this simple rule about this.

Less is more.

Why do you need to submit a colorful resume if you’re applying for a position in Finance? Using many loud and bright colors may be related to creative/design industry. Sure you can use colors but for the love of God, pick one that suits the industry.

To address this, present your resume in a minimalist approach. This way, you’re not just playing it safe, you’re also making sure that you’re not overdoing it. A much more convenient and efficient solution is to use a resume template such as those that I have in my resume gallery. Feel free to download it, don’t worry you don’t have to pay anything. Here are few of my  attractive resume templates:

1. Hayley Williams Resume Template

 

Hayley Williams - Premium Resume Template

This minimal and cleanly structured two paged resume template is perfect for every professional seeking for new job. It showcases your career experience which will help you get noticed easily by the recruiters. The format is focused on clarity and displays a subtle color for your resume header that holds your personal information. You can download this resume template, edit it in Microsoft Word, save to PDF and email it to the company you’re eyeing!

2. Anakin Skywalker Resume Template

Anakin Skywalker - Premium Resume Template

As I’ve been saying, resume formatting really matters!

You need to make sure that you present yourself in the best light possible and having a well structured and organized resume like the one I have here (Anakin Skywalker Resume Template) really plays the part for you. This simple and minimal resume template presents your work experience while displaying your own brief and straight forward career summary. The resume template is very easy to edit in Microsoft Word. Just type in your details and its ready to go!

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How to Write an Awesome Resume With No Job Experience

It’s a problem that has stumped generations of entry-level workers. How to get a job without experience? And how to get experience without a job?

This is a dilemma that you may be facing right now as you create your professional resume. Naturally you want to impress your potential employers. But how can you show them your value as an employee if you have no work experience?

Like many new graduates, I spent a lot of time after graduation trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I finally ended up sending my resume out to schools and tutoring centers in hopes of getting a job as a tutor or language teacher. Although I had never worked in such a position before, I managed to showcase my talents in my professional resume so effectively that I received not just one job offer, but several. And I bet you can do the same!

Here are some tips to help.

A Targeted Summary

The summary is a brief 2-3 sentence paragraph which clearly states who you are and why you would be a great fit for the position. Think about the job description and try to get in the mindset of what the employer wants. Then consider your strengths and skills and how these make you a perfect fit for the position.

Remember to revise your summary each time you seek a new position to reflect the needs of your potential employers.

Here are some step-by-step guidelines to help you write your summary.

  1. Who Are You? State who you are. For example: “I am a recent graduate with a BA in Education.” Or: “I am a college senior at _________ majoring in Government.”
  2. What Are Your Skills? Think of a few skills that specifically relate to the objectives of the position. Conflict management, problem-solving, and research skills are some great examples of skills to mention.
  3. What Can You Do In This Position? Will you be able to manage your time efficiently to meet deadlines? Will you innovate new solutions to problems? Think specifically about what you might do to benefit this company.

Once you have crafted a punchy 2-3 sentence summary, it’s time to move to the “Education” section.

Education

Of course, it’s important to list any honors that you have received in your educational career. Don’t leave out any awards or special recognition. But you will also need to focus on specific skills that you have gained as a result of your studies. Have you gained proficiency in any languages?

Have you gained skills in the area of technology or digital media? Be sure to include any practical skills you acquired in your coursework to show exactly what you will bring to the new position.

Here are some other things that you should include:

  • Your GPA, if higher than a 3.0
  • Relevant coursework. For example, writing classes if you are applying for a job as a journalist, or Government classes if you’re applying for a position in a political organization.
  • Academic experience and honors (Dean’s List, High Honor Roll, any awards).
  • Extracurricular activities (like clubs or sports), can be included here, or in a separate section if it’s a lengthy list.

The Experience Section

And now the million dollar question: what to put in the “Experience” section if you have no experience?

Here are some ways that you can solve this problem and make your limited experiences shine.

  1. Play up volunteer work. Don’t dismiss the experiences that you gained organizing a canned foods drive or volunteering at a nursing home. Think about the ways in which volunteer or unpaid work can show time management, responsibility, and leadership skills. I included my experiences teaching Sunday School in this section. Even though it was unpaid, it demonstrated leadership, creativity, and dependability.
  2. Group experiences together based on skills. Start with the skills that you listed in your summary and use these as subheads for this section. Then list experiences that pertain to each skill.
  3. Extracurricular activities. Instead of just listing your experiences in clubs or sports teams, be sure to state exactly how you contributed. Perhaps you were team captain in basketball and led the team to a winning season. Or maybe you showed diligence and organizational skill in your regular submissions of articles to the school newspaper.

Work History

Although the previous section can include volunteer and unpaid positions, this part should only include jobs for which you got paid. List any positions that you have held along with dates.

While it’s important to be honest in your work history, you should feel free to enhance some job titles so that they more truly reflect your accomplishments. For example, you can use the term “child care worker” instead of “babysitter,” or “customer service representative ” instead of “cashier.” There is no need to describe them at length, as you have already articulated relevant contributions to these positions in the previous section.

Skills

This section is especially important if you have a minimal Work History. List skills you have developed that make you uniquely qualified for the job. To be effective, go back to the job description and consider which skills relate most specifically to what the employer wants.

If you’re really stuck, try looking over job postings and ads for the kind of position that you seek, and jot down any specific skills they mention. Then write those that apply to you in your “Skills” section. The things you mention should also reflect what you wrote in your summary. Showcase skills such as video editing, public speaking, or coaching sports to demonstrate your creativity, communication skills, and leadership.

Here is an example of what a skills section might look like.

Additional Skills

  • Conversational Spanish
  • Experience with Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Ability to type at 100 words per minute
  • In-depth knowledge of social media platforms

Hobbies and Interests

Maybe you haven’t been working, but you’ve still been busy! List some hobbies to show that you’re well-rounded and can follow through on commitments. Playing an instrument or a sport or acting in the school play all show that you have the capacity for dedication and focus.

When writing your “Hobbies and Interests” section, try to make it fit well with the type of position you are seeking. Individual and team sports show that you like to stay healthy, take on challenges, and/or can get along with a team. Technical hobbies show that you are tech savvy, but may not have great social skills. Hobbies that involve socializing with others show that you have good communication and interpersonal skills.

Look Like a Professional

Even if you haven’t been in the workforce much, the appearance of your resume should signal that you are a dedicated professional. Pay attention to details such as spelling, font, and grammar. Proofread it several times for errors and ask friends to help in case you miss something. Ensure that nothing in your professional resume appears sloppy. Avoid decorative borders or unique fonts unless you are applying for a position in an artistic or creative field. Nothing in your resume should distract from presenting your best, most professional self.

Even if you have no job experience, you can still look like a superstar in your professional resume. Take it as an opportunity to reveal the skills and strengths that make you uniquely qualified. There is a job out there that’s just perfect for you… but you have to show them your real self to achieve it.

and lastly, Use a Professional Resume Template

We’re already done talking about how you can grab the attention of a hiring manager on our previous post, hence, this is the time you apply those things in your resume. But how are you going to do that if your resume looks almost the same boring resume they already have? What you need to do now is to try to find a resume template that stands out from the crowd. A resume template that make the hiring managers say “Hey, this is something new…” . There are hundreds of them out there. All you have to do is download a resume template and modify the details. By doing this, you’re increasing your chances to get noticed and eventually get hired.

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15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds

By Posted on 0 235

Applying for a job is totally unfair. You have just a few seconds to capture the attention of a hiring manager before your perfect professional resume, the result of hours and hours of writing, editing, crying and breathing into a brown paper bag, is unceremoniously tossed into the trash bin.

But the good thing is that it levels the playing field. Everyone has the same 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper that they need to somehow make into a 3-D image of why they are the best candidate.

There are, however, a few things that recruiters are looking at first. That means in those first few seconds, they’re going to be drawn into one or more of the below items on your resume.

Make 100% percent sure that these items stand out, error-free and well written.

Maddy Foley of Bustle.com writes it better than I could. She writes that a resume should grab a recruiter by the collar and shriek, very politely and very adult-like, “HEY, I WOULD BE GOOD FOR THIS JOB, I THINK.”

To sum it up in a few slightly terrifying words… first impressions matter. Just make sure your first impression is better than everybody else… play the game! The game is not as complicated as we might think. Experts say that a typical recruiter’s thought process is as simple as looking for a good match between candidate and role. If that is found, then you make it to the next round.

The information below will be primarily geared towards newly graduate students and millennials. We tend to have less meaty professional resumes, which means that we are already at a disadvantage side compared to folks who have a bit more professional experience.

But everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Many of the things a recruiter is looking at in the first ten seconds are commonsense. But take a look at this list and make sure that your resume will hit all the points a recruiter may be looking for upon first impression.

These are 15 things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds.

Your most recent role

This one is at the top of the page. It is likely to be the best indicator of where you are in your professional career, the skills you possess, and what you will bring to the table in terms of accomplishments.

Here is where a recruiter will form questions or opinions based on how long you have stayed at the position and whether or not you progressed.

15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds - Your most recent role

Recruiters will see the skills that you’ve been working on most recently, which could be used as an indicator of your success in the job you seek.

The logistics of your life

Where do you live? Don’t list the exact details, but make sure you have the general area (state or city). Are you someone who will need relocation expenses covered? Will you likely need visa sponsorship?

None of these are things that employers are able to make decisions based on but people do look at these things to get clues about your candidate profile.

Logically organized and easy-to-follow

Especially for those of you who are going to put “organized and reliable” in some form or other on your professional resume… make sure the way your resume is written is indeed logical and that flow is from most recent to oldest experiences.

15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds - Logically organized and easy-to-follow

A resume that begins with your experience scooping ice cream when you were 16 not only makes no sense, but it also shows that you haven’t carefully thought through what information is most valuable to a potential employer.

There are no gaps

If you took a year off to travel, volunteer, or play professional tennis until your knee gave out… make sure you include it on your professional resume. Whether or not the experience was in a corporate setting is irrelevant.

Hiring managers will notice gaps and these will raise questions. It’s best to answer them up front, especially if the activity you were doing during the gap is marketable in and of itself.

Someone who took time off to do something useful and worthwhile (say, raising a child) won’t be thrown into the “discard” pile. Instead that’ll be just another tick on the list of formative experiences.

Social Media links

It’s 2017, soon to be 2018. Chances are you will be submitting your resume in a PDF format online. Any links you include should be clickable.

If you include a link to your LinkedIn (and you should), make sure that your profile is up to date and the picture you include is professional and appropriate.

Based on the copious research I’ve done and hiring managers I’ve spoken with about this, it is almost certain that if you include a link to any type of social media on your resume, it will be clicked.

15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds - Social Media links

I have an Instagram and Facebook, but would prefer that employers do not have access to either. Who knows what kind of crazy stuff is posted on Facebook from my sophomore year in college. Rather than point potential employers to that, I provide the link to my LinkedIn profile and my portfolio of writing contained on my personal website, both of which are appropriate and professional examples of who I am as a person.

On a side note, make your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter private before you begin the job-hunting (especially if you suspect there may be compromising photos or tweets or any sort of heavy political messaging that could prejudice an employer).

Company name

This probably sounds pretty archaic, but if you work at a place with a reputation… you know what I mean by that… then make sure to keep that bolded and visible on your professional resume.

It may or may not make a difference, but with just a handful of seconds to grab someone’s attention, you best make use of all the weapons in your arsenal.

Progressive Experience

In all of my research, one of the things that hiring managers are keeping an eye on is your progression. From Project Coordinator, to Project Manager, to Team Lead, to Department Manager, you get the picture.

Show that you are worth hiring because you are dedicated, loyal, hardworking and ambitious.

Keywords

Nowadays, the first person at a company you’ve applied to who will read your resume is not even a person.

Large companies use software to sift through the tons of applications they receive and pull the ones that could be relevant to the position being searched for using keywords.

Make sure you tailor your resume for each position by keeping the job description nearby and adjust your language accordingly. If the job description mentions “attention to detail” as a requirement, use that phrase.

Formatting, font type, spacing, margins

These things didn’t seem particularly relevant when you were writing college essays and they probably don’t seem particularly relevant now… but they are.

You can get creative with your fonts. As long as they are (or look similar to) Cambria, Calibri, Georgia, or Times New Roman. A word of warning – if your professional resume is run through a parsing software, lesser known fonts may not be recognized, which could result in a bunch of gibberish on the side of the recruiter.

15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds - Formatting, font type, spacing, margins

Stay on the safe side and toe the line between too creative.

Aesthetically pleasing

Let’s face it. Someone who is applying for a professional position where they will primarily spend their time sending emails and attending business meetings may not be the most creative soul. That’s fine.

But you must still have a resume that is, on first glance, something that a hiring manager is willing to invest the extra time to pause and skim.

The easiest way to make sure that your resume is visually sound is by having an artistic friend take a quick glance. This has a lot to do with negative and positive space, both concepts from Art History that went entirely over my head.

Get someone’s help if you need to!

You have to make sure that your professional resume is visually pleasing but you don’t have to be the one to do it.

On a side note, lucky for you that I’m giving awesome resume templates. You may visit my Free Resume Templates Downloads page to choose from my collections and use it during your job application.

One page

At first glance, if a recruiter sees a resume that runs on for more than one page, they’re going to quickly check to see if ALL of the words on those pages are full of content and relevant. That takes all of a few seconds.

Chances are you do not need more than a single page of normal sized text (in the 10 to 12 range) using normal margins. If you do need more space than that, seriously consider why and cut out anything (down to the word) that is not 100% necessary.

The fewer words you have on the page, the more impact each single word will have.

Make sure your word choices are perfect and each bullet point is just as long as absolutely necessary. No longer.

Be creative, but within reason

Almost all of us enjoy and exercise our creativity in some way. Whether it’s a particularly elegant mathematical formula or a stellar design for the house you are designing.

But instead of including graphics, photos, crazy text or tables. Keep the formatting simple.

15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds - Be creative, but within reason

Note that if a computer parses your resume before it gets to the desk of a recruiter, tables can cause issues and the text may become unreadable; Be careful when including hidden tables for formatting.

Don’t include an objectives section

The objective section has been obsolete for quite sometime now. If someone has your professional resume on their desk, they know what your objective is. There is no need to waste words explaining that to them.

Instead, if you feel it will be helpful, skip explaining that you are on the hunt for a job as a legal secretary and instead include a brief summary of your professional experience as it relates to the position you are looking for.

If you have relevant experience, which many of us millennials may not have, feel free to tie that in here. Otherwise, there is no problem and no disadvantage to skipping this.

Personality

This is a hard thing to show to recruiters in just a few words, but make sure to infuse your resume with your own personality.

This might look like including a few emotion-based phrases like “excited”, “thrilled”, or “enthusiastic”.

15 Things Recruiters want to see on your Resume in the first 10 seconds - Personality

Don’t get carried away. The bulk (99%) of the resume should be cold hard facts and numbers.

Professionalism

You are looking for a professional position. That means that you need to fit the bill at first glance.

Professional Resumes with formatting issues, grammar or spelling mistakes, profanity or negative language are much more likely to be tossed aside than those adhering to a basic level of professional language and look.

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How To Write The Ultimate Resume That Kills All Competition

Generally speaking, the Philippine job market is a very competitive these days. Why do I say so?

First, I have friends who have extensive work experience and have masters’ degrees who applied – and continue to apply – for jobs online who still couldn’t find work. Heck, they didn’t even get the any calls! Why? It simply implies that there’s a lot of talent out there of the same – if not better – quality for much less pesos.

If you know the law of demand and supply, you know what I’m talking about – an over abundance of available labor indicates that a surplus exists.

If you don’t take my word for it, take the Social Weather Station’s (SWS). In their survey that was conducted from 5 to 8 December 2015, they found that about 21.4% or roughly 9.1 million Filipinos are unemployed. Yes, more than 9 million Filipinos don’t have jobs and that means if you’re looking for a job, so are 9 million others.

With that much competition, how can you possibly grab your desired job? The primary way is through your professional resume. So let’s talk about how to write the ultimate resume that will practically slay the competition!

Focused

A professional resume by any other format is not the same resume. This means your resume must be focused on your particular target audience. What do I mean by this?

If the job you’re applying for is one in a very formal or corporate organization, it goes without saying that your professional resume has to be very formal or professional looking. You can choose from chronological and functional resumes.

Chronological resumes are what most people are familiar with – you included probably. This kind of professional resume lists work experiences and previous jobs in chronological order, beginning with the latest. Often times too, these jobs or work experiences’ achievements, skills used and responsibilities are mentioned.

How To Write The Ultimate Resume That Kills All Competition - Focused

Chronological resumes are best for traditional industry employers like manufacturing and banking, when you want to show how your career has been progressing or when your employment history in a particular field is a steady one. Don’t use this type of resume when you don’t have enough experience in the industry the job you’re applying for belongs to or when your career or employment history has significant gaps.

Functional resumes on the other hand, are completely different from chronological ones in that it is focused more on highlighting the jobs or previous work experiences you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Doing so puts the spotlight on your professional skills, characteristics, attributes and experiences that are relevant for the position you’re applying for. For example, one section may highlight your skills in organizational behavior while another section may emphasize your communications skills.

Functional resumes are best used for applying in jobs where your prior jobs or work experiences aren’t related to the field, if you’re applying for jobs where skills trump previous positions held or when your employment history shows significant gaps in between. Don’t use this type of formal resume if the skills you possess relative to the position applied for aren’t exceptionally strong or when you lack the professional characteristics the job or position calls for.

If the job you’re eyeing is one that’s in a very informal or creative organization, you have to fit your perfect professional resume to the nature of the organization as well – creative and unique!

An example of this is my friend, who is a freelance events organizer. The resume he sent for a gig was totally out of the box. It looked more like a blog that featured beautiful graphics and links to his previous events managed. Because he was applying for a job in an events management company, an industry where creativity is a premium, his out-of-the-box resume caught the attention of the owners of the firm and hired him.

Examples of creative resumes include video resumes and newsletter or blog-type resumes. Again, use these with caution – make sure you’re applying in a company that’s highly creative in nature.

Well-written

By well written, I don’t mean a 6-page resume. It simply means that your professional resume must be able to communicate to your potential employer – in the most honest way possible – that you’re the man or the woman for the job. How do you write your resume well enough to get the message across?

First, you need to make sure that your resume is as lean as Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds or Hugh Jackman, i.e., it should have no excess baggage. Include only the information that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you have more than 50 previous jobs or employment history, don’t include the times you worked part-time as a Bozo the Clown or Ronald McDonald when you were in university as a working student or your experience as an online entrepreneur selling deodorants if you’re applying for the position of branch manager at your friendly neighborhood bank.

When it comes to professional resumes, the more the merrier doesn’t necessarily apply. In fact, having too much fluff or “jobs” in your resume can backfire on you because unless you’re frequently pirated for your extraordinary professional skills and accomplishments, too many entries on the work experiences section can communicate to the prospective employer that you don’t have the fortitude to stay long enough in one company or worse, that you’re a jack of all trades and a master – or mistress – of none!

How To Write The Ultimate Resume That Kills All Competition - Well-written

Second, make sure that your professional resume’s content is grammatically correct! Nothing else can sabotage your chances of slaying the competition for your dream job than a resume that are write in wrongs gramar! See? That’s my point exactly! Enough said.

Third, be specific. As much as possible, avoid using phrases like “was responsible for” or “managed the so-and-so aspect of the business” because it won’t communicate to your prospective employer why exactly you’re the man or woman for the job and not the others. Instead, specify what it is exactly that you did in the most concise way possible. For example, use “increased the branch’s collection efficiency, cutting down collection period from 50 days to only 30 days” instead of saying “was responsible for managing collection of receivables”.

Lastly, your content should be as simple and concise as possible. Instead of writing “As a branch manager, I was responsible for bringing in more customers to the bank on a monthly basis, which resulted in continuously increasing deposit levels.”, you can write “Increased customer traffic in the bank, that lead to higher deposit levels.” It’s short, sweet and clear.

Sells The Brand – YOU!

Lastly, your professional resume must be able to sell you to your prospective employers. To enable your resume to do that, it has to be very appealing visually and should be well organized.

Why visually appealing? Think of it this way – employers run through very many resumes on a daily basis and given the limited time that they have to make judgments, your resume needs to catch their attention at the onset. If at first glance your resume looks very unappealing, it’s gonna take the very first trip to the employer’s trash basket.

What makes for a visually appealing resume that stands out? Font size is one. If you use small fonts, it can make your professional resume hard to read and look so cramped. Consequently, it can be taken as a reflection of your abilities and skills. As such, your potential employer may quickly judge you as “not worthy”. Use a large enough font, but not too big, so that the information is readable enough even at first glance and avoids giving your resume that very cramped look. If it looks easy on the eyes, you significantly increase your resume’s chances of a second and more interested look from your prospective employer.

How To Write The Ultimate Resume That Kills All Competition - Sells The Brand – YOU!

Font color is also important. For most resumes, black is the only acceptable color. But for resumes that are highly creative in nature, just make sure that the font’s color is such that it doesn’t blend in with the background so that it’s readable.

When I say well organized, it must put the content that has the highest chance of selling you effectively to your prospective employer at the start or very near the top of your resume. Why? With all the resumes that employers go through on a daily basis, they need to be able to make quick judgments as to which resume goes to the short list and to the trash. Assuming that it’s visually appealing enough to warrant a second and more thorough look, if your prospective employer finds that he or she needs to read through so much less relevant info in your resume, he or she may no longer be interested to read long enough to reach the part where your skills and characteristics are showcased.

A well-organized resume is one that puts the work experiences and previous jobs held second only to the applicant’s basic information. While most traditional or cookie-cutter resumes put the educational background first which is appropriate for fresh graduates only, resumes that are worth killing for immediately shout to prospective employers why they should choose the applicant that sent them. In other words, such resumes are those that immediately communicate to the prospective employer that the applicant’s skills, characteristics and experiences are best fit for the job.

Your Prospective Employer’s Looking Glass

Your prospective employer or their hiring manager will most probably not know you personally, which means your resume is the only glass or lens through which they can see who you are. With so many things they need to do and with so little time, it’s important that your resume makes a very good first impression – an impression that kills all competition – so that it can get a second and more thorough look from your potential employer. More importantly, your resume must be able to go all the way through and communicate clearly why you’re the man or the woman for the job.

How To Write The Ultimate Resume That Kills All Competition - Your Prospective Employer's Looking Glass

So the next time you send your resume, make sure that it’s focused, well written, and is able to sell the brand that is you. If it’s that, you have a very high chance of slaying the competition that stands in between you and your dream job!

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How to be the Right Person for the Job Even if You Lack Experience

Are you currently in a job or industry that’s not directly in line with your dream job? Are you still harboring dreams of being able to land that dream job despite not having the direct, relevant work experience? Do you feel that it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to change careers or industry at this point in time in your career?

Don’t despair. It’s possible to change careers and do it successfully. If others have done it, there’s no reason why you can’t. It probably won’t be a walk in the park but if you keep in mind these 5 useful tips, you’ll significantly increase your chances of convincing your prospective employers or their hiring managers to hire you despite the seeming lack of experience.

Write An Error-Free Resume.

Nothing else gets your foot in the door better than writing an error-free resume. While you may be thinking “Duh? Isn’t that supposed to be common sense?”, truth is common sense isn’t so common these days. In fact, this is one of the things many people take for granted.

I’ve seen so many resumes from people who graduated from reputable universities and finished very challenging courses who prepared their professional resumes bullet-ridden with spelling and grammatical errors. What’s the deal with such seemingly minor infractions? Well, they’re indicators of their ability to get the small things down to pat and if a person can’t be trusted in the small stuff, what more with the bigger ones, eh?

How to be the Right Person for the Job Even if You Lack Experience

That being said one of the best ways to ensure an error-free resume is to wear hats, one at a time: writer’s hat and an editor’s hat.

When writing your resume, don’t edit. Just focus on writing what you need to write on it.

When you’re done writing, walk away from your resume for a couple of minutes before returning to it wearing your editor’s hat. It’s practically impossible to be prolific as a writer and editor when you’re trying to be both at the same time.

When you step away from what you’ve written and approach it afterwards with an editor’s perspective, you’ll be surprised at how differently you’ll see your work, which is optimal for editing.

When you’re done editing and revising your work, you must then print your resume so you can proofread it even better. There’s no real science behind this but generally, it seems that our eyes have the tendency to be more lax with onscreen documents compared to printed ones.

For some strange reason, typographical, spelling and grammatical errors seem to stand out even more on paper than onscreen. It may sound to cumbersome but believe me, it’s worth it because an error-ridden professional resume won’t just keep you from getting a job where you don’t have the necessary experience – it can keep you from getting any job, period.

Lastly, have your resume read by someone else. This ensures that you have thoroughly exhausted all possible objective means as possible when it comes to sifting out errors in your resume.

Highlight Your Relevant Strengths And What Sets You Apart From Others.

While transferring to a job that is seemingly unrelated to the one you have now or have had in the past, truth is you do have skill sets acquired in those jobs that can be transferred to the new job you’re aiming for. Consider the following examples:

My friend used to work in the corporate world, particularly in the financial services industry, for almost 18 years. He made the big jump from being a financial expert to a freelance writer more than 2 years ago by getting a regular paying gig from a publishing company.

He was able to convince the publishing company that he had what it takes to be included in its stable of writers – the ability to write well – because most of his financial services industry jobs involved preparing reports for high executives.

That’s an example of a transferable skill that convinced the publishing company to take a chance on him.

How to be the Right Person for the Job Even if You Lack Experience

Further, his experience in the financial services industry made him a financial expert and made him the publishing company’s go-to-writer when it comes to finance and business-related writing projects.

Again, that’s another example of experience that’s not directly related to writing but is a value-added qualification for the job.

For this purpose, it’s best to use a functional resume, which highlights your qualifications per the job applied for rather than the chronology of your work experience, which doesn’t do anything to highlight your strengths but may actually highlight the reasons why you’re not the person for the job per lack of experience.

Avoid Aiming The Spotlight On Your Lack Of Relevant Experience Or Skills.

As mentioned earlier, using a functional professional resume is a great way of doing this. This is because functional resumes, instead of arranging your work experience from most recent to the first job you’ve ever had, arranges your experiences not according to history but according to relevance to the job you’re applying for and highlights the skills needed in such jobs rather than tenure.

Remember that the whole point of preparing your resume this way isn’t to convince your prospective employers to take a risk on you but to convince them that you’re a good fit for the job you’re applying for.

How to be the Right Person for the Job Even if You Lack Experience

In your cover letter, don’t write sentences such as “Though I haven’t had experience in managing accounts in my previous jobs…” or “While I may not have enough marketing experience…” Nothing else highlights your lack of skills or experience relevant to the job you’re applying for more than statements like these.

Just focus on the skills you have and how you can directly contribute to the company in the capacity of the job you’re applying for.

Be Creative.

Carefully consider and study the requirements of the job you’re applying for, the culture of the company, and the general nature of the industry to which it belongs. There may be a chance that being creative in your professional resume is the key to you landing that job where you don’t have the necessary work experience. And when I say be creative, I mean submit a creative resume such as a video resume, newsletter type resume, or an infographic resume.

How to be the Right Person for the Job Even if You Lack Experience

How can creative resumes help you land a job wherein you don’t have the necessary experience yet? Creative resumes are primarily out of the box and as such communicates to your prospective employers and their hiring managers that you may not have the necessary experience but you may have the required skill sets, foremost of which is the ability to think out of the box. Also, it shows them how badly you want the job that you’re willing to take the risk of being out of the box to show them that you have what it takes to succeed at it.

A good example of this is a friend of mine who is a freelance events organizer. He was aiming to get a job at an advertising agency as an account officer.

He sent a very creative resume in the form of a wedding invitation, the main catchphrase of which was “why we’re meant to be”. His resume stood out from the rest, was the first to be considered for an interview from among the many other applicants. Why? It showed how creative he was, which is the primary consideration in advertising agencies in general and for the job he’s applying for in particular.

Where Possible, Provide Samples Or Links To Samples Of Your Previous Works Relevant To The Job.

Lastly, there’s nothing like actual, live evidence of why you’re qualified despite the seeming lack of experience. And for this, you may need to provide samples of your actual work for your prospective employers to check out. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the ultimate proof of your capability to successfully carry out the duties and responsibilities of the job you’re applying for are samples of your actual works. You can do this by attaching them to your perfect professional resume or providing links by which they can access samples of your work online.

How to be the Right Person for the Job Even if You Lack Experience

Some professions have opportunities for you to present samples of your work – a portfolio of your projects, if you may. These include writing, computer programming, web page development, architecture, copy writing and among others.

For writing related jobs, you can provide printed, electronic or links to online versions of your published works.

For web page development jobs, you can provide links to the websites you have put up for clients. The possibilities are endless.

You’ve seeming lack of experience need not be a hindrance to getting your dream job – or a job that will help bring you closer to it. Remember that it’s all about the skill sets and attitude. A person who has 20 years working experience who does his job in absolute mediocrity won’t hold up against a person with only 1 year experience who has the necessary skill sets for the job and a great working attitude.

Employ these tips separately or together and you can increase your chances of successfully landing that job you desire even if you don’t have much experience in the field or the job. Highlight your relevant skill sets, draw attention away from your weaknesses, and show a great work attitude. That way, you can overcome the mountain that is called lack of experience.

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