First impressions are important. Your resume is often the first impression that you will make on a prospective employer, so a good resume will be your best chance of getting a job interview. Employers usually have many applicants to sift through, so your resume needs to convince prospective employers that you’re worth their time. Here are six simple tips to create a standout resume.
1. Get to the point.
Good resumes are direct. Describe and quantify your current position and responsibilities using facts, numbers, and actual achievements. Do not over-explain. Good hiring managers will understand the details of a complex task, so a headline will be enough.
2. Avoid acronyms and jargon.
Every company naturally develops its own set of acronyms and jargon, language that often means nothing to outsiders. Spell out acronyms and avoid company-specific jargon.
3. Focus on your current position.
Generally speaking, past roles qualified you to get where you are now. It is your current role that will qualify you for your next position, so focus your attention on that. For each past position, a single line describing your role, responsibility, and most significant achievements will be enough to indicate the depth and direction of your career.
4. Focus on relevant qualifications.
You don’t have to list every single job or qualification you’ve ever held. For example, qualifications that enabled you to get to the next qualification have little impact and can be ignored.
5. Don’t include casual interests.
In Japan, the standard resume usually requires you to include your interests. The logic is that your interests help shape interviewers’ and employers’ impressions of you. Interviewers will usually only talk about personal interests to break the ice or if they share a similar interest. Only include interests that you can talk about in-depth, so that you don't risk being caught out by someone who has a real passion for the subject.
6. Keep it short.
Your last role, and your achievements to date will give a good idea of your capability to take on the next challenge. Statistically speaking, past achievements are the best indication of how well you’ll perform in your next position, so a recruiting manager can usually make a decision just by seeing a one-page resume listing your achievements. Few people require more detail than that, but if they do, they will bring it up in the interview as a topic for discussion.
Finally, a well-written cover letter summarizing your achievements and explaining why you're interested in the position can help create the right impression.
Specialized Group can help you with writing resumes and cover letters appropriate for the roles you’re looking for. Talk to one of our consultants for expert guidance on writing resumes and cover letters.