A resume is the first touchpoint between you and the potential employer. It is necessary to ensure that the resume presents your skills, competencies and accomplishments in the best light. A strong resume that showcases your value for the company can generate more interview calls and job opportunities. In today’s article, we are going to explain how to edit a resume to make it appealing to recruiters and increase your chances to get noticed.
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- The importance of quality resume editing for your career development
- 10 tips to edit the resume effectively
- 1. Keep the resume to 1-2 pages
- 2. Remove the irrelevant details
- 3. Write in bulleted lists, not paragraphs
- 4. Use strong action verbs
- 5. Check if the tenses are correct
- 6. Remove the first person pronouns
- 7. Add keywords from the job posting
- 8. Be careful with resume design
- 9. Add some remote work skills
- 10. Proofread before sending
The importance of quality resume editing for your career development
As you progress in your career, your professional growth should be reflected in a resume. Here’s why it’s essential to edit a resume if you want to get hired for a lucrative position:
To make a stellar first impression
You have only one chance to make a first impression, and if the resume doesn’t catch the eye at once, a busy recruiter will not return to it. On the contrary, if they see a well-structured and organized resume with succinct job descriptions and a skills list, they are likely to spend more time reviewing it, which can lead to an interview invitation.
To prove you’ve got the needed skills and competencies
The resume needs to reflect your current skills, achievements, certifications and other important details. If you don’t add that programming course you’ve completed recently, the hiring manager will never know that you have such a skill. Make sure that the resume contains all skills and experiences important for the target job.
To negotiate a higher salary
Have you heard the statement that a resume is a marketing tool? The purpose of the resume is to summarize your professional experience and accomplishments. And, if it demonstrates a breadth of skills and a track record of exceeding expectations, you can use it as an argument to negotiate a higher salary during the interview.
To eliminate outdated or irrelevant information
It’s equally important to add new jobs and skills to a resume and remove the old ones which are no longer relevant. Career experts recommend that you remove experience older than 15 years, and delete your college graduation date if you graduated over 10 years ago. This saves the resume space and makes the document more focused.
To ensure it is error-free
Hiring managers don’t like resumes that contain grammar, punctuation or style mistakes. They see such mistakes as poor written communication skills. Or, they might think that you aren’t much interested in a position if you hadn’t bothered to proofread the resume to make it flawless. To make a professional impression, you need to edit the document and fix mistakes before sending it.
10 tips to edit the resume effectively
Want to update a resume on your own but not sure what steps to take? Follow these tips to strengthen your resume and get rid of mistakes:
1. Keep the resume to 1-2 pages
A perfect resume length is one page for students and graduates, and two pages for experienced professionals. Do not exceed the two pages as hiring managers don’t like reading long resumes and often toss them. If your resume is excessively long, consider removing outdated or irrelevant information (more details about this below).
2. Remove the irrelevant details
A resume should only reflect the qualifications and experience relevant to your target position. Feel free to remove job descriptions or activities that have nothing to do with the job you’d like to get. If you’re a professional with 10+ years of experience, delete the part-time jobs you had at the beginning of your career, hobbies that are not connected with your field of work, or volunteering projects if they take too much space.
3. Write in bulleted lists, not paragraphs
Don’t use paragraphs for your job descriptions, projects and other sections. Instead, use bulleted lists as they are easier to skim through and make a resume visually more organized. Resume experts recommend that you include 7-8 bullet points for each job, and if your descriptions are longer, it’s a good idea to remove the secondary job duties. Also, it’s best to use short sentences so that the resume is easier to read.
4. Use strong action verbs
Start each bullet with an action verb, but don’t rely too much on managed or responsible for. Use more powerful words, such as directed, initiated, implemented or oversaw. These strong verbs highlight your responsibility and contribution to the organization’s success. Moreover, they give your writing a confident tone that the hiring manager will appreciate.
5. Check if the tenses are correct
The rule of thumb is to use the present tense for your current job and projects and the past tense for all other jobs. Accomplishments need to be written in the past tense as they present the result you’ve already achieved. Double-check the tenses as they might confuse the hiring manager.
6. Remove the first person pronouns
Write a resume in the first person, but don’t use personal pronouns (I, me, my). Pronouns are not necessary since it is assumed that you describe your own experience, not someone else’s. However, the situation is different with your LinkedIn profile: it is acceptable to use pronouns here.
7. Add keywords from the job posting
Keyword optimization is the most challenging yet the most important element of resume composition. The simplest way to optimize a resume is to use names of skills, degrees and qualifications from the job posting and add them to your resume naturally. Avoid inserting a list of keywords in white font or at the bottom of the resume just to pass the software selection. The hiring managers are well aware of such tricks and are likely to reject such a resume anyway.
8. Be careful with resume design
Many job-seekers want to make their resumes visually attractive, but be careful with resume builders and templates. Quite often, such templates are ATS-unfriendly, meaning that the software will not read your resume correctly. It is best to use simple formatting (such as boldface, caps, bullets and some color) so that your resume opens correctly with all devices and programs.
9. Add some remote work skills
In 2022, many companies offer remote or hybrid work schedule, therefore, a resume should demonstrate remote work skills. Add remote work collaboration tools such as Google Suite, Trello, Zoom, Slack, and others. Also, you might want to highlight such soft skills as time management, self-motivation, digital literacy, and remote communication.
10. Proofread before sending
Read the written resume line by line carefully to spot grammar, punctuation or spelling issues. Professional editors recommend that you print out the document as in this case you are likely to find and fix more mistakes. You can use an online spell checker to speed up the editing process.
A well-written resume can attract more attention from employers and open doors for better job opportunities. If you are not sure how to edit a resume to make it more effective, consult a professional resume editor, or get a resume improved for you.