Do you need to improve your resume? Maybe. Your resume is usually the first contact that a prospective employer has with you, and like most people, your resume could probably use a little bit of improvement. It is in your best interest to make sure that you make a good impression at this point of contact, so invest in your resume. Do everything you can to improve your resume. If not, you are unlikely to even get an interview, never mind get the job because there could be issues with your resume that need to be improved. The problem is that sometimes, your resume could be a mess and you don’t even know it. A lot of people have messy resumes and don’t even know it. In this article, we will look at ten different ways that you could improve your resume so that you have a better shot of getting called in for that interview.
- Be sure to put your name, address and contact information at the top.
One way to improve your resume is to remember to put your address, phone number and email at the top of your resume. This might seem obvious, but many people don’t do this. Or, if they do it, they forget to include key information such as their phone number and/or their email address. Don’t be one of these people. Having a resume that starts out with your contact details shows the recruiter that you are serious about your job search, you are organized, and that you want to be contacted if they are interested in meeting and talking with you.
- Summarize your biggest achievements in a summary right at the top.
Another touch that helps to improve your resume is putting a summary at the top, right under your name and contact details. Make sure you put your biggest achievements and key characteristics here. For example: “Won top salesman 3 years in a row at my last position” Or, “Fluent in 5 languages.” Or, “lived and worked abroad for 10 years.”
- Start with your most recent job or experience and work backwards.
It is usually better to do your resume in reverse chronological order. That is, dated information should be organized in a way that the most recent dates appear first. This will improve the flow of your resume. So, that means that you should start with your most recent work experience, and your last educational degree and things like that, and work your way backwards. This will help the person reviewing your resume to more quickly assess if you are a right fit—and they will appreciate you for this.
- Include a job title with your job descriptions.
Another way to improve your resume is to put a job title with your job descriptions. Whether you were a receptionist, doorman, counselor, trainer or home attendant, it always looks a lot better if you include this job title with the job descriptions on your resume.
- Use keywords that relate to your field.
Another way to improve your resume is to use the right keywords throughout the resume. The right keywords for a job are words normally associated with that job. So, for example, the keywords for a receptionist will be different from the keywords for a teacher. The keywords for a mechanic or an engineer are different from the keyword for a nurse. So, do a search online for the keywords that are relevant to the job you are looking for and use these words in your resume. Also, these days, your resume is likely to end up online in databases like Indeed, and Linkedin. Using the right keywords is another way to make sure that your resume is found.
- Keep your sentences short and simple and leave wide-enough margins
Use short and simple sentences if you want to improve your resume. Avoid long sentences that are filled with big words. Also, make sure your margins are wide enough. This will make your resume look neater and cleaner and as a result, it will be easier to read, and as a result, you are more likely to get a call from the recruiter.
- Use the present tense.
Another tip for improving your resume is to try to use the present tense as much as possible. It makes you sound younger, more energetic and more work-ready. People are more interested in the present, anyway, because the past is over. The question is, what can you do for the employer today, not what you achieved in the past. Sure, you have to include what you did in the past to showcase your talent and skills, but whenever possible, try to use the present tense or future tense instead of the past tense.
- Use familiar verbs.
Your resume is not the place to impress the interviewer with your superior vocabulary. So if you want to improve your resume, review it to make sure that you are using action verbs that are familiar to the average person. Verbs like “create” “design” “manage” “answer” “clean” “assist” and “file” are simple verbs that you can use in your resume. It is better to use vocabulary that the average 5th grader can understand on your resume, than big words that the interviewer may not know.
- Use a basic template and a basic font like Times Roman (and avoid fonts that are too fancy and complicated).
Your resume should be organized and easy on the eyes. So avoid templates that are too over-the-top. Keep it simple and basic. Another thing to think about if you want to improve your resume, is the font you use and the size of the font. You should try to use basic fonts like Times Roman, 12 points. It should not be smaller than 12 points and no bigger than 14 points, unless there are special circumstances in your situation, and the job you are applying for.
- Spellcheck and proofread before you print.
This is the last step in your resume-writing process, and it is a key thing to consider if you want to improve your resume. Even the best of us makes typographical and grammatical mistakes when we write our resume. So, consider doing two or three drafts including proofreading and spellchecking before you print out your resume and sent it off on a job hunt.