Every time you send out your CV, all you hear in response is the occasional tumbleweed moving down your street or the background chirping of crickets.
You followed all the basic guidelines and created a resume that follows a great template, isn’t too lengthy, and clearly demonstrates your experience and talents.
What may you be doing incorrectly?
It’s not so much about what you’re doing poorly as it is about what you might be doing even better.
Fortunately for you, we’ve listed the top 12 resume-boosting tips that won’t take up any more of your time than drinking your morning coffee.
How to Improve Your Resume
A CV is a dynamic document, therefore you should constantly be looking for methods to make it better. After all, a stronger CV increases your chances of landing the desired position. That is a position that can be supported by everybody.
The good news is that it’s quicker and simpler than you may expect.
Here are the top 12 techniques to enhance your CV in a matter of minutes:
1- Use Resume Keywords
This one ought to be obvious, yet it’s tragically frequently disregarded and may be the cause of your resume routinely disappearing into a black hole.
Why? Go to the ATS (applicant tracking system).
The majority of recruiters enter resumes into an applicant tracking system (ATS), which then generates an analysis based on the resume keywords you selected in your job application. You have a better chance of getting that interview if your resume is more ATS-friendly.
Employ the job description as a cheat sheet to determine the appropriate resume keywords to use. By simply searching for relevant terms in Google for the industry you’re applying to, you may uncover resume keywords. Add those phrases to your resume, and watch as it begins to get callbacks.
2- Make Your Resume Header Stand Out
Your resume header may be compared to a business card; if it isn’t clear and current, it won’t be much use. Your resume can be greatly improved by a strong headline.
Make sure the contact information on your CV is up to date and properly labeled. Your first and last names, contact information, and business email address are required.
If appropriate, link your LinkedIn profile to your résumé. If you have any additional social media profiles that could be relevant to the position you’re applying for, follow the same procedure. But don’t forget to look at your online presence. Recruiters have access to everything information that the general public does.
3- Use Action Words
“I spoke 20+ clients daily about company services.” So? “I consulted with over 20 customers daily over beneficial company services over the phone.” I guess you have my attention now.
I made that, did you see? Action verbs are similar to resume enhancers in that they transform your content from dry and boring into something much more engaging and intense. Action verbs not only describe the action, but also your willingness to take responsibility, your proactive nature, or your capacity for dealing with difficult circumstances. Positives all around.
4- Get Your Formatting Right
No matter how well you describe yourself as an industry expert, if your resume resembles a pig pen, it won’t matter how well you describe yourself.
To make sure your resume is up to par and to improve it, double-check these resume format guidelines:
- Set the page margins of your resume to one inch on all sides.
- Select a resume font that is contemporary and expert, such as Arial or Georgia, and set the size to 12 pt.
- Verify that each section of your resume is clear and makes it simple for employers to locate the pertinent details of your experience or skills.
- To make your resume simpler for employers to read, use bullet points rather than lengthy sentences.
- Make sure your resume is organized and savvy-looking.
- Save your resume as a PDF unless otherwise specified in the job posting.
5- Start With a Strong Objective or Summary
If you want to improve your resume, you need to make your resume objective or summary stand out as one of the first things the hiring manager will see.
Select the resume objective if you are just beginning your career or in the midst of switching careers. It will highlight your knowledge and abilities and demonstrate to hiring managers your dedication to success.
A resume summary is ideal for you if you have a significant amount of prior work experience. It emphasizes your professional qualifications and work history to convince hiring managers that you are the ideal candidate.
6- Use Numbers and Quantifiable Achievements
The same is true of the numbers on your resume if a picture is worth a thousand words. Quantifiable achievements and numbers really make your resume stand out and catch the recruiters’ attention.
Consider the scenario where you completed projects on time and on budget. Although nice, it doesn’t really capture the reader’s interest. However, if you plug in some numbers, you get something like “delivered projects at least 8 days ahead of schedule and $15K under budgeted costs.” That sure does look impressive!
7- Sprinkle Your Accomplishments All Over
There isn’t a single, sacred spot on your resume where you should list your accomplishments. Obviously, if you have a truckload of them, feel free to add a separate resume section just for them.
You can highlight your accomplishments in your resume header, work experience, projects that you’re proud of, education, or extracurricular activities from your time in school.
8- Know When Enough is Enough
Not enveloping the recruiter in your life story is the goal. The right amount of background information about you should be provided to hiring managers without boring them to death.
To go back further in your experience than 10-15 years is a good general rule of thumb. That relates to another general maxim, according to which a resume shouldn’t be more than one page long.
Candidates writing an academic CV or those applying for top-level management positions, which may require a lot more knowledge and expertise than usual, could be exceptions to that rule.
Drag and drop skills and bullet points into your resume using our builder, and let the tedious information auto-fill. Use spellcheck. Check. Create a professional resume template right now for nothing.
When you’re finished, Zety’s resume builder will grade your document and provide detailed feedback on how to improve it.
9- Tailor Your Resume to the Job Offer
Sending a resume when applying for a job is more than just taking up space. One of the worst strategies is to make one resume and send it to each employer you wish to apply to for a job offer. Employing managers can tell when a resume is a generic one, and they will treat it as such.
Instead, to automatically strengthen your resume, customize it to the job description.
To start, use the job description as a cheat sheet to help you identify the qualities the hiring manager will be seeking.
Go full Marie Kondo on your resume, but does that add value to yours? Will the recruiter be happy about this? Throw it out if either of them receives a “no.”
10- Add Additional Sections to Your Resume
Even if you have the largest stamp collection in the world, it won’t really matter if you’re applying for a job as a sales representative, for example. This does not imply that any additional sections of your resume must be completely eliminated.
Numerous factors can give your resume a significant boost and earn you points with potential employers. Following are some winners:
- Volunteering. Because volunteering is similar to working for a living, you should use it to show potential employers what you are capable of, passionate about, or how you think.
- Projects. Projects can show a variety of abilities and traits, so include them if you can.
- Accomplishments and honors. It’s not about boasting in this. Include honors or accomplishments that reflect your talent, diligence at work, or desire to learn more.
- Language proficiency. Foreign language proficiency can really open some doors, as nine out of ten employers prefer employees who are multilingual in addition to English. Include them in addition to a rating at the average level.
- Interests and pastimes. Once more, we’re not referring to stamps. However, your environmental blog, for instance, might have an impact on a business that provides green services. Just make it pertinent.
No matter how proud you are of any of these accomplishments, keep in mind that they only make sense on your resume if they are pertinent to the job offer.
I don’t know how often people mention this, but they continue to skip this step and submit applications with resumes that highlight their incredible “attention to detail.”
The process of proofreading your resume is very easy and crucial. Although your word processor likely has a built-in spell checker, don’t rely solely on it. You can also use tools like Grammarly to check your usage of language and grammar. You can find mistakes you might have missed if you read your resume aloud. You might also want to consider asking a friend or member of your family to look over your resume.
12- Use a Modern Template
A well-written resume that is presented in a terrible resume template is one of the worst things you can do.
Pick a polished, up-to-date resume template that will grab the hiring manager’s attention. Make it relevant to the field for which you are applying. For conservative industries, pick muted, black and white resume templates. For more creative industries, you can use colors and graphic design elements more freely on your resume.
Here are some useful lists of various, practical resume formats for a variety of jobs:
Finally! Check your resume against our improvement checklist to see if it can be improved.
Additionally, a strong cover letter that complements your resume will set you apart from other applicants. You can create one using this cover letter builder. Here’s what it might resemble: