A great resume is the biggest chance you have to impress a potential employer and get noticed among other job applicants. You need to seize the hiring manager’s attention quickly so they’ll be more apt to read through your accomplishments and bring you in for a formal interview.
It can be challenging to tout your qualifications when you have very little experience, but there are numerous ways to liven up your resume without going overboard. Think about the following resume suggestions to help you advance through the hiring process.
Avoid the ‘template look’
Microsoft Office has a number of fill-in templates for people who want a quick, easy way to put together a resume. While these templates can be quite useful, they can also make you look lazy and basic.
If you are going to use a template, use it as a guide, not as a cookie cutter. Layout your resume in a way that makes sense to you and that highlights your most attractive qualities. Don’t feel the need to use a section or design element just because you saw it in a template.
Use keywords and phrases
Many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to organize resumes for review. These programs are capable of scanning resumes for keyword and phrases that are specific to the open position. For instance, an ATS scanning resumes from an administrative assistant job might pick up resumes that include the terms “Microsoft Office” and “directing calls”.
Therefore, its essential for any resume to include keywords that are specific to the job being sought and it is particularly important for someone who does not have much experience in the field.
List major accomplishments
Because you don’t have years of experience to back you up, it’s important that you list any major achievements that might be relevant to the job. Obviously, you want to list any major academic achievements, but you also want to go beyond those. For instance, if you held a leadership position in a volunteer organization or went overseas and learned a second language, you should mention it because it shows a desire to go above and beyond and expand your horizons.
Choose words carefully
Your resume is more than just a listing of your qualifications for a job; it’s also a chance to showcase your written communication abilities. Pay attention to every word you use on your resume and pick words that make your resume seem compelling. For instance, instead of using ‘results-driven’, use ‘passion for success’. Or, use ‘meticulous’ instead of the mundane-sounding ‘detail-oriented’.
Ensure its mistake-free
Whether you’re just starting out in the field or you’re a seasoned veteran, typos on your resume can crush your chances of get a job. After you’ve triple-checked your resume for mistakes, have someone else give it a final look over before you use it.
At NSC, we often help people with very little experience connect to job opportunities that can advance their career. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you or visit our job board to start your search!