Looking for a new job opportunity or career change? Then maybe it’s time to revamp your resume!
Crafting a standout resume is crucial in the competitive job market. Your resume is more than just a piece of paper; it’s your professional tool to showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements.
A well-constructed resume can be the key to securing the interview for your dream job. This guide will walk you through the essential elements of an impressive resume, effective formatting tips, addressing job gaps and using the STAR method.
Key Elements of a Standout Resume
The key elements of a standout resume can make all the difference in catching the attention of potential employers. These elements include:
1. Contact Information
Your resume contact information should include your full name, phone number, email address, and location. Make sure this information is kept up to date and ensure there are no typos or errors. Accuracy is crucial for communication as well as showing your attention to detail. Avoid using unnecessary details or unprofessional email addresses as this may leave a bad impression.
2. Objective Statement
A resume objective statement is a brief, targeted statement that outlines your specific career goals and objectives. This serves as an introduction to the resume and communicates your aspirations and values to the potential employer. The statement should highlight your skills and ambitions while indicating how they align with the position you are applying for.
3. Work Experience
When crafting your resume, focus on specific details about your work experience. Use concise language to describe your previous roles, highlighting key achievements and responsibilities. Don’t just list your achievements, acknowledge how you achieved them. And be sure to tailor your language to suit the job description you’re applying for. This helps make a strong impression on potential employers.
If you want to revamp your resume, it’s vital to get specific about your skills. You want to reveal talents and abilities that are directly related to the job you’re applying for, use concise and clear language to communicate your skills and how it will benefit them. Be honest about how you’ve used these skills in previous roles. List your skills in clean factual bullet points rather than long wordy text blocks. This will increase your likelihood of securing an interview.
It’s important you include your education on your resume. Any qualifications should be highlighted to potential employers. List your highest level of education first, including the degree or certification earned, the name of the institution, and the location. If you have relevant coursework or academic achievements, consider including those as well to highlight your expertise in specific areas. Keep it concise and focus on the most relevant educational experiences that demonstrate your qualifications for the position you are seeking.
When listing references on your resume, include the names and contact information of people who can speak of your professional abilities and work ethic. Choose contacts who are familiar with your work and can provide specific examples of your accomplishments. It’s customary to list three references, including former supervisors or colleagues. Make sure to get their permission before adding their details to your resume.
Prioritising Relevant Information
The relevancy of the information you provide could be the difference between landing an interview or getting a knockback. A potential employee may be sifting through hundreds of applications so it’s vital your resume showcases the skills and demonstrated experience they’re looking for.
You want your resume to be shouting out the skills that are listed in the job description. You might’ve been a fantastic swimming instructor, but it’s not what they’ll be seeking for an administrative role.
Revamp Your Resume with the STAR Method
The STAR method helps people answer interview questions by breaking down their response into four sections: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Employers don’t just want to know what you did, they want to know how you came up with a solution, how you went about implementing it, and what was the result. Was it successful and how so? If it wasn’t successful, what did you learn from it?
Using the STAR method provides an advantage by showcasing how you apply your skills and knowledge to achieve results.
Can this method apply to resumes too? Absolutely.
You can abbreviate your achievement into a single bullet point while using the STAR method. This example below is a work situation condensed into a bullet point.
The hotel had high vacancy in winter. We needed to increase our occupancy so I extracted raw data from our computer system to identify who our regular customers are then sent them emails offering a ‘Regulars discount’ for the proceeding months. As a result, we received more return customers, increased occupancy and made the customers feel welcomed and valued.
Resume bullet point:
- Increased hotel occupancy by identifying regular customers and implementing deals that boosted return business and customer satisfaction.
When you score your job interview, you will have the opportunity to expand on these examples.
Effective Formatting Tips
To revamp your resume, you must apply effective formatting. This significantly improves the readability of your resume. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Divide your resume into clear sections to help guide the reader’s eye.
- Use bold font for headings to make them stand out.
- Use bullet points for outlining experiences and skills so the reader can quickly find the most important information.
- Keep your resume brief, ideally one to two pages.
- Include margins on all sides for even spacing and a professional appearance.
- Convert your resume to a PDF for consistent formatting across all devices.
Addressing Job Gaps
When you revamp your resume, don’t see job gaps as a barrier. It’s essential to briefly explain any career breaks. Honesty is key when addressing job gaps, whether it’s due to personal reasons, further education, or caring for a loved one. Having explanations for your job gaps avoids any questions or speculations.
What to Avoid in a Resume
Now that you know how to craft your resume, let’s look at what to avoid:
- Irrelevant or old information.
- Unrelated hobbies.
- Personal details such as age, date of birth, or health conditions.
- It is not necessary to include your photo if you don’t wish.
- Lots of bright colours and pictures. Unless you’re applying for a designer job, professional resumes are typically black and white, or limited spot colours (i.e. dark blue).
- Grammar and spelling mistakes – make sure to use your editing tools
- Using too much first-person language (“then I did this, then I did that…”). Keep it factual and concise.
Showcase Your Skills on Accompanying Platforms
In today’s digital age, resumes are no longer restricted to paper. Showcasing your skills on a digital platform can increase your visibility to potential employers. Many employers now look up candidates online, and having your resume in digital formats can improve your professional image and demonstrate your computer skills. You might want to revamp your resume with these profiles:
With a LinkedIn profile, you can highlight the key points in your resume. Emphasize your most significant achievements and skills, using bullet points to make them easily scannable for recruiters. Focus on how you achieved your accomplishments and keep your language action orientated.
Join professional groups that share your goals and values, follow business mentors, and connect with like-minded people. Using LinkedIn can be great for networking and maximizing your visibility in a competitive job market.
Digital Port Folio
Using a free WordPress website, you can easily create a digital portfolio to showcase your creative work, including designs, writing, and reports. This portfolio allows you to curate and display your best work in a professional and easily accessible format. It can be eye-catching, professional, and informative.
Having a digital portfolio makes a strong impression on those reviewing your work.
The best time to revamp your resume is now, even if you’re not job hunting yet. A well-crafted resume takes time, implementing key points, effective formatting, and clear language.
Having a premade resume reduces pressure and hasty errors. When a job opportunity catches your eye, you will have more time to focus on your application and answering the selection criteria.
By following these guidelines, you can make your resume shine and boost your chances of landing that dream job. If you have any questions or would like assistance, you can contact me directly.
Best of luck in your resume revamp journey!