How to improve your resume to land that job
Your resume is a crucial part of your job application. It’s the very first thing an employer will learn about you before you have spoken a single word to them.
This document provides the employer with a snapshot of who you are and includes your prior work experience, education, and accomplishments.
A strong resume should do the following:
Define what you do and what you bring to the employer
Help you stand out from the crowd
Grab the hiring manager’s attention
Sell your strengths and values
Showcase why you’re an ideal candidate for the role
Since your resume acts as the first impression to a prospective employer, you’ll want to make sure it shines! Here are FIVE helpful resume tips to help you land that interview and move you forward in your job search. Plus, read on to learn about the three types of resumes you can create.
3 types of resumes to know about (+ examples)
Did you know that not all resumes look the same? How you format your resume matters — between 2017 and 2021, how importantly recruiters valued resume format grew from 17% to 36%.
Here are the most common resume types you need to know about, plus examples of what they look like.
1. Reverse-chronological resume
Another name for this type of resume is the chronological resume. In reality, it’s reverse-chronological because you need to show your latest job experience at the top of the list. Your oldest jobs show up last.
After you list your job experience, you’ll also include a reverse-chronological list of your education. For instance, if you completed certifications after you graduated from high school, you’d list those certifications first, followed by your high school education details.
Finally, you’ll include some skills. You also have the option to place your skills above your education section.
With this type of resume, the focus is on your work experience. Even if you include your skills, you should make more room to write out the details about the type of work you did in your previous jobs. That’s why it’s best suited for those with a strong work history.
2. Functional resume
In a functional resume, you focus on your skills instead of reverse-chronological work experience. This type of resume is designed to showcase the value you can bring to a company.
If you do have work experience, you can still list it, but it should be brief and closer to the bottom. It also doesn’t focus on the length and date of the employment.
In addition to details about your skills, you can also include:
Your best (personal or professional) accomplishments
A short section about your education and certifications
If you’ve developed skills outside of traditional work experiences, a functional resume can be a great way to sell yourself as a valuable employee. It’s also commonly used by career changers and people with large gaps in their employment history.
3. Combination resume
The third type of resume combines chronological and functional resumes in one. In a combination resume, you’ll still place the biggest focus on your professional skills and notable achievements. But you’ll also include more detail about your work history than what you would include in a functional resume.
This balanced approach to resume writing is a great way to provide insight into your past work experiences without compromising the details of your professional skills. It’s a good choice for highlighting specific qualities that make you a good fit for a particular position.
5 tips to improve your resume
Here’s how you can make your resume more attractive and interesting to potential employers.
1. Know the do’s and don’ts of resume writing
There are many steps you can take to improve your resume — but there are also many mistakes you can make.
Customize your resume for every job application
Customizing your resume will help you stand apart from the competition and employers will certainly appreciate and notice the effort! Highlight the experience and skills you have that are related to the specific job you are applying for. Your resume doesn’t necessarily require a complete overhaul. Just a few quick customizations will go a long way. If some of your skills or experience don’t match with the job you are applying for, make sure to remove them.
Emphasize your accomplishments that are relevant to the job
Provide tangible examples of projects and successes you’ve had in the past. Did someone recognize you for something great that you did at work? Awesome, make sure to include it! If you can add numbers to show growth, that’s even better.
Ask a friend/family member to look over your resume. Typos and grammatical errors could cause a hiring manager to overlook your application. According to a survey by Jobvite, 36% of recruiters take five minutes or less to scan someone’s resume and cover letter. Be sure to use spell check, and you can even download Grammarly for free to help catch those mistakes!
Make it easy for them to contact you
Place your contact info right up at the top of your resume. Be sure your email sounds professional. If it begins with "cutiepie107" or random letters and numbers, create a new one with your last name and first initial, such as "JSmith." You should also list your phone number. Once your resume is out there, make sure to check your messages and respond promptly.
Lie or misrepresent your education or past experiences
An employer may be able to work with you even if your skills don’t align 100%, but you’ll have a hard time earning their trust back if they find out you lied. Employers will check your references and will easily discover if you were less than truthful on your resume.
Get too personal
Leave off your headshot, marital status, sexual orientation, specific home address, religious affiliation, and other irrelavant personal details. Just stick to what is important for getting hired.
List past pay/salary information
It’s good practice to wait until the interview to discuss your salary.
2. Learn to beat the applicant tracking system (ATS)
It can be frustrating when you feel like you’re sending your resume into a black hole. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure your application is seen.
Many companies use what’s called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help with resume screening. Your resume may be overlooked during this process if it lacks specific keywords or elements. Make sure to optimize your resume the best you can.
Here are a few ways to get past the #ATS:
Use relevant keywords
Keywords are words and short phrases that relate to the requirements for a particular job. They are the skills, expertise, credentials, and qualities that a hiring manager desires in a candidate. Take the exact language in the job description and incorporate it into your resume. Be careful not to add things just to “trick” the system and stay true to your own experience. Read more about resume keywords here.
An automated computer system cannot oversee spelling errors. Make sure you review your entire resume before submitting it and ask someone else to proofread it as well.
Keep the format simple
Skip the funky fonts, photos, and charts. Computers will have a tough time processing this, and it may cause your resume to get tossed. Use basic fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri. Break up your resume using simple section headings, such as “Work Experience” and “Education.”
Use acronyms and long-form keywords
When you introduce an acronym, always write out the complete long-form keyword before the acronym. This will help with maximum searchability. Here’s what this can look like: “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” and “Commercial Drivers License (CDL).”
3. Use the Jobcase resume generator
Did you know that Jobcase has a built-in resume generator? That’s right! You can download a beautiful, formatted resume right from your Jobcase profile.
Fill out your profile completely. This includes your location, email, summary, work experience, traits, education, skills, etc. Your profile should sell you as a candidate. Make sure all your relevant skills are listed and written out in enough detail.
Proofread your entire profile and get someone else to proofread it too.
Head to the “resume” tab just under your summary.
Click the “download” button below your resume preview.
Now you have a formatted PDF resume that you can use to apply for jobs!
4. Write a powerful resume objective or summary
The resume summary or objective is the first line recruiters will read when your resume lands in their hands. But what are they, and which one should you use?
A resume summary highlights your past experience and skills. It’s a way to showcase your value in a quick statement. On the other hand, a resume objective is a statement that describes the intent you have for your career path. Both can sum up your achievements and skills.
Use a summary statement if you have lots of work experience. However, if you’re entry-level, use an objective statement instead.
6. Make your resume skimmable
Since you already know many recruiters will quickly scan a resume before deciding whether to consider it further or not, it’s important to make it easy to skim.
Bold the headers for all your sections, so they’re easy to read and distinguish from one another. You should also format your contact info to stand out. That info should have enough space and be bold enough to catch the eye.
Use white space between your sections — and within your resume sections, too. Consider using bullet points and bolding important keywords throughout the document.
Get more job interviews with an improved resume
#ResumeWriting can sound a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to crafting a wonderful tool to help you land any job. Make sure to join Jobcase so you can create your profile and download a professional resume in minutes.
Questions? Concerns? Comment below; we’re here to help you!!
thank's for the info
BS !!! Many oldies will become homeless unless kids. Unless they organize with freedom tools and demand UBI
These low-paying jobs are crap and insulting. Brainwash simeone else.
I used to write resumes for several short contract jobs. This information is fantastic! Thank you. It also helps me so much due to the gap for the years I did not work. I appreciate your tips so much because I do not want my résumé getting lost in the black hole every company and recruiter has on their system.
Thank you for this important tool . Very much needed !!!!!
How can I get help!? I appreciate you wrote this.
How did you find my resume? If you are just looking at people resume to talk about it? Are you hiring?
Thank's for the imfo