Your resume is out of control! It does what it wants, when it wants. You aren’t sure it’s representing an accurate picture of who you are, and sometimes you aren’t sure if it’s helping you or standing in your way of getting hired.
It’s time to bring your resume to heel. And that means it’s time to streamline the job search process so your most desirable employers can learn everything they need to know about you by giving your document a single skim. A few moves like the ones below can help you tighten, organize, and clarify your message.
Of course you want high pay. And you also want a job that offers room for growth in a specific direction. And of course, you can offer your potential employers a long list of skills sets and positive traits, from your sparkling smile to your stellar work ethic to your network management certification. But you don’t have to pack every one of these details into your resume summary. Choose the three selling points that are most essential to the position you want. Include these in your summary and let the rest go.
Research the company for at least 10 minutes before—not after—you create your resume from scratch or start tailoring your resume template. This will help you understand your employers a little better before you decide how to frame your credentials and set yourself up as a cultural match.
If you’re seeking a position in sales, and you spent a few years on the retail floor, don’t spend too much time and space talking about how tidy you kept the stockroom. Instead, concentrate on your interactions with customers. Talk about your passion for the products you sold. Talk about your warm, aggressive approach, your upsell strategy, or the way you enjoy meeting and chatting with new people. If you’re heading into sales, concentrate on the accomplishments and experiences that frame you as a sales pro.
Organizing your information according to accepted business standards won’t be quite enough. You’ll also need to tighten and streamline the visual appeal of your resume. Keep your font sizes and styles limited to three, and find a balance between text and blank space on the page. Don’t crowd and clutter your text—instead, find a way to condense and summarize so you can offer more information in fewer words.
The best way to keep your resume lean, focused, and sharp is simple: create a single template that you can tailor to meet the needs of each position you pursue. And to make this happen, get some help from the resume building tools on LiveCareer.