Your resume serves as your first impression, and if it’s not stellar and designed to grab the attention of hiring managers, then you may miss out on some great work opportunities. Using pro resume writing services can be a great way to ensure that your resume is top-notch, but if you decide to write your own, consider the following advice.
1. DO – Use The Right Keywords
Before a writer at a professional resume writing service begins a resume, they carefully study all of the information provided by the client and that includes looking at the type of jobs for which the client will be applying.
If you write your own resume, it’s important that you read over each job posting carefully and use some of the keywords that are listed in the description. Hiring managers and applicant-tracking software both search through resumes to find these target keywords. They might be software programs with which you are familiar or certifications you have earned or specific skills that you possess.
In most cases, you will want to adjust your resume slightly for each company, as the job descriptions might vary a bit. Never send out a one-size-fits-all resume. It’s always best to tailor each resume to a specific job.
2. DON’T – Include Clichés & Obvious Skills
Everyone knows how to use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office, so don’t include this as a skill. But there are other cliched skills that don’t really describe your ability. For instance, as a pro resume writing service, we find that people often list items such as “hard-working” or “team player” as skills.
While it is true that these are valuable skills, they are vague and don’t really express your true abilities. We certainly would hope that you are hard-working, a team player, creative, driven and goal-oriented, but anyone can say that. What your resume should do is prove that you possess these skills with concrete examples.
For instance, rather than writing that you are driven and creative, describe a project that you spearheaded. You might state that you “developed an office management system that increased productivity by 30%.” This shows that you are creative and analytical, and that your skills benefitted a company and this is what hiring managers want to see.
3. DO – Include Significant Volunteer Work
These days, it’s not uncommon for job applicants to list a few hobbies on their resume, and typically this information is placed at the bottom of a resume and includes just three or four hobbies or interests. Including this information can provide a hiring manager with a glimpse of your personality, which can help them gauge whether or not you will be a good fit for their team.
When you can include hobbies that showcase some skills that benefit a workplace, this is all the better. For instance, if you are a marathon runner, this shows that you can be dedicated and goal-oriented.
If you have significant volunteer work, this can be a great addition to your resume. You can quickly list a volunteer experience in your “Hobbies & Interests” section, but if you have worked for an organization for many years and perhaps hold a leadership post this might even be something you would post in work experiences.
Keep in mind, if your hobbies or the groups for which you volunteer are a bit controversial, it might be better to omit this information as it can influence a hiring manager negatively. That might not seem fair, but it’s reality. So, if you helped out with an organization that might evoke strong feelings from a hiring manager, it’s best to leave it off the resume and stick with your marketable work skills.
4. DON’T – Make Careless Errors
Using pro resume writing services is one of the best ways to ensure that your resume doesn’t contain any spelling or grammatical errors. At Resume Writing Group, our writers edit their work carefully, but they also pass each resume on to a second editor to make sure that nothing has been overlooked.
A single spelling error can eliminate your chances of being hired. Hiring managers tell us that they throw out resumes all of the time if they find a careless error. The fact that a resume contains a spelling error speaks volumes about your attention to detail and, frankly, can look a little lazy.
Keep in mind that not all careless errors are spelling or grammar-related. Sometimes people provide incorrect contact information. If your contact phone number or email address are incorrect, how can a hiring manger contact you? A resume writer probably won’t know if a phone number is off by a digit, so it is crucial that you look over this information before you send out your resume.
5. DO – Quantify Every Skill
Listing work experience is not enough; a hiring manager needs to quickly see what you accomplished during those experiences. For instance, if you were a manager, list how many people you managed and perhaps a few of your more important tasks. If you were a salesperson, you might list how you exceed sales goals or developed successful sales materials. You can’t simple state that you get results, you need to make it very clear to the hiring manager that you possess solid skills that get results by showcasing actual examples of what you can do.
6. DON’T – Omit The Extraneous
Resumes rarely should run more than a single page in length, and there are several items that we recommend you omit from this document from the get-go. You don’t really need to waste a few lines writing a career objective. Your goals and objectives can be explained more thoughtfully in a cover letter, so don’t waste this precious space on your resume.
You also can omit the line, “references available upon request.” Yes, we would hope so, but this is obvious, and it takes up a line of your resume that you could use to describe your many skills.
Additionally, unless you are fresh out of college, your high school education is no longer relevant, so don’t add that. It might not even be relevant for recent graduates unless you earned some significant honors. If you were valedictorian or a National Merit Scholar or served in some type of prominent leadership role, this can be beneficial information, but only for your first entry-level resume. After you have a few years of professional experience, don’t include high school information.
Part-time work during high school and college also is only relevant for entry-level applicants. We also recommend that you omit the year of college graduation unless you are a very recent college graduate. A professional resume looks very different from an entry-level resume because now you have actual experience in your industry, which is what hiring managers truly want to see.
7. DO – Follow Up After An Interview
After every interview, it’s very smart to send a written thank-you note or at least an email expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to interview. In this note, you can express thanks and your willingness to clarify or expand on any of your answers.
If a hiring manger does call you, but only to let you know that you won’t be moving on in the interview process, ask them for some advice about how to improve in the future. Ask what you could do to improve or what held you back as a candidate. In some cases, it simply might be that there were more qualified applicants but take whatever advice you get to heart. It can help you refine your interview skills or look for employment opportunities better suited to your skills and personality.
Of course, if you use pro resume writing services, you won’t have to worry about all of these do’s and don’ts. At Resume Writing Group, we can create a job-winning, dynamic resume that attracts the attention of hiring managers. Whether you are applying for an entry-level position or a high-level management post or something in between, we can create the perfect resume for you.