In a recent post, I shared strategies on how you can stay motivated during a job search. Equally important, when you’re looking for a job, is making sure your information differentiates you from the crowd. Here are three tips you can use to spruce up your resume:
1. Showcase your story.
Add a section at the top of your resume that highlights who you are and what you’re known for in a concise and compelling manner. These 3-4 easy-to-read sentences should quickly tell the reader whether or not you would be a good fit for the position. If you’re uncertain about what differentiates you, ask colleagues, references, or former bosses. What do they tell you? Are you known for being reliable, creative, or for thriving under pressure? Do the attributes they feature align with your preferences and what you’re striving to be in another job? To concisely frame your ideas try out the message triangle exercise and tool.
2. Use action verbs.
Wow your readers with fresh words that capture attention and energize. Replace overused words like manage, direct, and lead with words that resonate and align with the job description. If you’re applying for a content expert role, choose verbs such as authored, wrote, or published, and add specific metrics and examples that highlight your proven abilities in these areas. Often resume applications are scanned by artificial intelligence (AI) apps and bots, so be sure to check that your word choices correspond to the job description keywords.
3. Switch up the format.
Grab the reader’s attention with plenty of white space, use 11-point size font, and bullets. Make your PDF easy-to-scan keeping your content to two-pages. Be consistent with grammar and punctuation. Make sure to spell check and have someone else proof your resume before finalizing it. If you don’t have someone who can proof it for you, then take an extra day or two to review and read each word and punctuation out loud. It’s easy to miss inconsistencies when you’re too close to the content.
Not sure where to start? Contact me.