Your resume is your calling card with recruiters. It is where you showcase:
- What you know?
- What have you accomplished?
- What are you able to do?
Resumes have a vital job: to sell you to your future employer.
So it is vitally important that your resume is up to the job of showing that you are up to the job. Which is why it is essential you spend time editing and proofreading your resume before you submit your applications. Your resume is your sales pitch, not your autobiography. Here are three basics you should keep in mind when creating this important document:
- Leads with your strengths and value proposition
- Efficiently organized and formatted
- Concise and straightforward
First Step: Edit Your Resume
Here are a few ways to focus your editing of your resume, so that you can ensure it is crisp and impressive.
Lead with your strengths. Put your best foot first. Remember that most recruiting managers will be skimming any number of resumes, so ensure that your most impressive accomplishments or talents are at the top. You might want to start with a summary about you that includes: the value you bring, as well as the experience and accomplishments that back that up. Typically, you have only ten seconds to impress a recruiter with your resume.
Avoid repetition. If you have held similar roles or performed similar duties at different stages in your career, try to differentiate among these by focusing on what you achieved at each point. If you can quantify the value you brought to your team, you will be able to better impress hiring managers.
Keep it relevant. Do not waste space on your resume by including your hobbies or interests. Stick to what makes you the right candidate for this role. And that means skimming off outdated or irrelevant knowledge and experience. As a rule, do not include details on a role or qualification that came to an end more than 10 years ago.
Adapt it. Being relevant also means being relevant to this particular job or role. Have a standard resume and customize it for each application, so that it maps to the skills and responsibilities stipulated by the job description. Highlight what is highly relevant – minimize the rest.
Once you are done, it is vital to check what you have written. Nothing says irresponsible or untrustworthy to a potential employer more clearly than a sloppy resume, filled with typos and/or mistakes.
Second Step: Proofread Your Resume
Proofreading your resume is different from editing.
Proofing is about checking your document with great care to ensure it is accurate – for grammar, for spelling, for consistency.
When you are proofing your CV think about the following:
Proofing is not the same as spell checking. Do not be tempted to cut corners. While spell-check can be a useful tool, you need to dedicate the time and attention to detail to ensure your curriculum is immaculate.
Print it out. It is amazing how much easier it is to spot mistakes when you have a printed version of a document in your hand. Sit down and work through your printout – and have a red pen at hand to circle any mistakes.
Have a checklist. Think about those grammar minefields that can catch you out and make a list of them: passive voice, use of tense, bullets with periods, or semi-colons, serial commas, hyphens, capitals, etc. Whatever you find tricky, have it front of mind, so you can ensure you catch the errors.
Ask for a review. At the end of the day, there is nothing quite like a second set of eyes when you are checking your resume. We oftentimes become “blind” to our own writing. Have a trusted friend or family member look over your resume and be prepared to take their feedback.
Finalizing Your Resume
Editing and proofing can make all the difference between getting called for an interview or not. If you are serious about yourself and your career, these are both necessary steps – as important as gaining the experience, knowledge, and skills.