If you have submitted a variety of different resumes and rarely receive feedback from prospective employers, something listed in your resume could be negatively affecting your chances of landing an interview. Review your resume in light of these resume format tips.
Ensure That Your Resume Is Scannable
Out of all the resume format tips that job seekers ignore, many individuals overlook the importance of creating a scannable resume. Because hiring managers can only devote a few seconds of their time to reviewing each resume, you should ensure that your resume is scannable by removing long paragraphs. While your summary statement may be a little longer, even this section should be kept between four and six lines. Many sections, like your job history and educational history, will more than likely have bullet points explaining duties, accomplishments and so on; make sure these are short and direct. Also, bold any items that are important, such as your name, address, phone number and previous job titles.
Only List Jobs That Relate to the Position
While it’s tempting to create one resume and send it out to multiple employers, this strategy is not encouraged. Each resume that you submit should be tailored to the specific company and the particular position to which you’re applying.
Since resume format tips can’t address every particular situation, there will always be exceptions. Some exceptions include if you have less than 10 years of experience or if leaving out a position would create gaps in your work history. If you find yourself in one of these two situations, you should list your non-relevant jobs, include your accomplishments and detail how you contributed to the company.
Avoid Personal Information
Resumes are professional documents, and as such, they should not include certain types of personal information, including your family situation, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability status. Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees due to their ethnicity, the color of their skin, sex, pregnancy status and disability, and you should not volunteer this information. If you need special accommodations for a disability or another matter, wait until the job interview to discuss the specifics with the employer.
Avoid Negative Statements
When you write a resume, you are selling yourself, your skills and your experience to a hiring manager. This means that you need to highlight your accomplishments and successes. If you hated your last job, were written up for something or were terminated from a position, consider what this information would say about you as an individual. Instead, think about your previous jobs and what you accomplished while in those positions. Prospective employers want to know how your previous jobs and experience will help them if they hire you.
Highlight Your Skills Instead of Your Work History
Having certain skills, like computer and phone experience, can be very useful, but you want to make sure these are listed with your work experience rather than placed out of context in a separate skills section. This allows the employer to see what you learned in your previous jobs and determine how long you’ve had those skills.
Using these resume format tips can help you improve the quality of your resume, impress hiring managers, and increase your chances of landing an interview. If you need more help or want to adjust the look and feel of your resume to make it more readable, you can visit LiveCareer. This site offers resume and cover letter examples, a free resume builder and additional resume format tips.