Most employers spend less than one minute scanning your resume in their first pass through of job applications. In those few seconds, you need to clearly demonstrate how your skills, experience, education, and characteristics match the employer's needs. Here’s how you can do it.
Customize your resume
Make sure that you have reviewed and tailored your resume to match the job posting and requirements:
Develop a “summary” or “highlights” section at the top of your resume that speaks directly to the top skills, experience, and knowledge the role requires.
Review the statements under each role on your resume, and make them relevant to the job to which you are applying.
Accomplishment statements are the foundation of an outstanding and competitive resume. By the end of this short video, you will:
- Deepen your understanding of how resumes function,
- Be able to identify the components of an effective accomplishment statement, and
- Access a step-by-step guide for creating accomplishment statements that reflect your own skills, abilities and potential.
Consider how you might apply what you learned to your resume. Here are some questions to consider:
- How have you described your experiences in your resume? Where are you already sharing about your results or the quality of your work?
- What about your experience can be better described with the VERB + TASK + RESULT formula? How might you quantify and qualify your experience even better?
- How can you apply “fast numbers” (e.g. service to over 250 clients, collaborated with a team of four classmates, raised $4,000 dollars, supervised 10 volunteers) to the statements in your resume? These give the employer a better sense of the scope and complexity of your work.
Formatting and readability
It’s important to ensure that your job application documents are professional, consistent, and error free. While some of this can be subjective, key elements include:
- Reviewing your documents for spelling and grammar,
- Formatting your documents for easy reading (for e.g., paying attention to fonts and white space), and
- Keeping formatting consistent across your documents (i.e. resume and cover letter).
Remember, employers have many resumes to review and they can often look similar. Make sure that key elements of your resume stand out in a quick scan. This includes the key qualifications that you believe are going to be most important for the role and the unique assets you bring to the table.