Do you feel like you have to submit twenty resumes just to get one interview? Well, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are a few simple resume tweaks you can make to get a leg up on your competition.
If you’d like to speed up the job search process and shorten the path to your next professional gig, try taking these six simple steps:
1. Tighten Up Three Verbs
Find and highlight every verb in your entire document. Most of these will be found at the beginning of phrases describing your accomplishments and responsibilities in past and current positions, like “managed inventory,” “drafted project proposals,” or “led team to three consecutive annual victories in national competition.” Find three weak, non-descriptive verbs like “had,” “did,” “was,” and “am.” Switch them with verbs that are dynamic and specific, like “organized,” “launched,” “initiated,” “created,” “designed,” or “oversaw.”
2. Get Rid of Two Vague Self-Descriptors
Highlight every statement in your resume that describes who you are. Are you a certified CPR instructor? Are you an experienced marketing director? Are you a veterinary technician, a restaurateur, an entrepreneur, an educator, a designer, an artist, or a project manager? Whatever you are, make sure your self-descriptors are meaningful and substantive. Find two places where you refer to yourself vaguely as a “self-starter,” “hard-worker,” or “go-getter” and replace these empty phrases with something more valuable.
3. Remove Two Irrelevant Claims
Re-read the posting for the job you want and think carefully about the skills and past accomplishments these specific employers are looking for. Then move back through your resume and find two claims (no matter how impressive they may be) that offer no obvious connection to what these employers need. Replace these claims or take them out.
4. Get Rid of Two Annoying Buzzwords
Resumes are a great place to showcase your familiarity with industry language and jargon that proves you’re a bona-fide insider. But there’s a difference between industry-specific terms and generic business-sounding nonsense. And your employers can recognize this difference at a single glance. No matter what your field may be, take a hard look at terms like “synergy,” “paradigm,” “cloud-based,” “business solutions,” and “bias for action.”
5. Find the Typo
No matter how many times you’ve reviewed your resume for spelling, language, and grammar problems, you haven’t found them all. Even if you’re document is only one page long and you’ve had five other people review it for you, there’s still a typo in there…and possibly two. Find them. Think of it as a game.
6. Get Formatting Help
Finally, get serious about professional formatting and layout issues. For this final step, your best ally will be a resume builder that can take your resume presentation to the next level. Visit LiveCareer for guidelines, tips, and tools that will make your document stand out and attract employers.