Anyone can type up an average resume, but crafting a high-quality resume that will land you your dream job is another matter. Writing a better resume doesn’t just involve listing your previous jobs. It means telling your professional story in a way that makes employers want to know more about you–and ultimately hire you.
While every individual’s resume will look different based on their unique skills and work history, there are several traits that all of the best resumes have in common. If you want to change your resume from bland to must hire, start with these three tips.
1. Tailor Your Resume to the Job
The reason employers review your resume isn’t to get to know all about you–it’s to find out if you have the skills to do the job. Therefore, your highlight only the job experiences and skills that make you the perfect candidate for the job. In other words, leave your summer job at McDonald’s off of your resume, unless you are looking for a job in the food industry and have no other job experience.
Tailoring your resume to the job will require you to make multiple versions of your resume, but this is not as much work as it sounds. Instead of writing a new resume for each job, simply write one master resume and customize it for each job you apply for.LiveCareer’s Resume Builder is a great way to build multiple, targeted resumes quickly and easily.
2. Include Relevant Keywords
If you are submitting your resume online, it is essential that you include relevant keywords in your resume. This is because employers will often search through job databases by keyword to find resumes that fit their needs. If you have a marketable skill or you are looking for a specific job, you want your resume to come up when employers do the appropriate search.
For example, an average teacher’s resume might include a phrase like “taught third grade for 16 years.” A better resume might include a phrase like “incorporate whole brain teaching methods in order to raise students’ standardized test scores 34 percent.” When employers search for the keyword terms “whole brain teaching” or “standardized test,” this resume will come up.
3. Answer “So What?”
Don’t just create a laundry list of skills or work experiences; show employers why you are the right person for the job. You can do this by answering the questions, “So what?” or “Why should the employer care?” For example: You taught summer school in an inner city school. So what? Why is that important? If it is important because you adapted your curriculum for diverse learners, you were resourceful with very little supplies, or you created a unique incentive technique to keep students’ attention, then write that instead.
In today’s competitive workforce, an average resume probably won’t get you the job you want. If you need to write a better resume, but don’t know where to start, be sure to check out LiveCareer’s Resume Builder. LiveCareer has the tools and resources you need to create a better resume and get hired for the job you want.