You’ve invested hours of effort and attention into your resume, but all of your labors and all of your research and all of your typing won’t add up to anything if your resume can’t land you the interviews you need. To reach the next step of the job search process and bring yourself closer to an offer, you’ll have to do more than just correct a few typos. Try these easy fix-it moves that help you get more mileage out of your application.
1. Revise your layout
Back up and glance over your resume without reading a single word. Just try to get a feel for the way your document looks on the page. Is your text messy, cluttered, and unbalanced? Do you use more than four different font sizes? Do your line spacings vary in an inconsistent way between subheadings? Does your name stand out proudly and convey a sense of style, order, and design? Clean up these issues and make sure your resume looks like a simple, elegant work of art , not something thrown together at the last minute.
2. Keep your subheadings parallel and consistent
If you use bullet points under each subheading, make sure your bullet points all have the same noun or verb structure. For example, each bullet under your education section can be the name of an institution OR the title of a course of study, but whichever one you choose, make sure they’re all the same. This rule also applies to the basic job requirements and/or special accomplishments you list under each heading in your work history.
3. Tighten your verbs
Go through your resume and circle every adverb, meaning every word that describes a verb or another adjective. These words usually end in “ly,” as in quickly, efficiently, and effectively. Then go back and delete 90 percent of these adverbs. These words slow down your message and add little value to your application.
4. Remove irrelevant jobs from your work history
Before you do this, read carefully back over the job post for the specific position you’re trying to land. Will these employers care about the part time job you held as a barista when you were in college? Maybe, if this job involves food service or coffee sales. But if it doesn’t, delete any roles you’ve held that won’t emphasize your readiness for the position in question.
5. Re-write your summary
Imagine a reader making a full evaluation of your resume based on your summary section alone. In other words, imagine you have no way to reach your reader and no other credentials listed on the page except for the three to five short sentences that make up your summary section. Can you land the job based on these sentences alone? Polish them until they convey the strongest elements of your entire message.
6. Get Help
If you’ve tried all of these tips (and even if you haven’t), there’s no harm in reaching out for some professional help and outside guidance. Visit LiveCareer for a wide range of practical job search resources, including resume templates and job-winning samples that can take your application to the next level.