Resumes are often the first and only impression you’ll get to make on a potential employer, and it’s crucial to make it an impression that counts. A highly effective resume can quickly capture an employer’s attention while a lackluster one will be placed in the ‘reject’ pile.  Below are a few tips to land your resume in the former category.

Improve Your Resume

1. Use Bullet Points

Instead of lengthy paragraphs, opt to use bullet points instead. Not only does this make your resume more reader friendly, it makes it easier for employers to pick out what matters to them. Bullet points can highlight your strengths and make them stand out.

2. Take Note of the Job Post’s Language

Use words that play to the job description. If it asks for “creative”, use the word creative instead of other synonyms. Many employers use software that matches resumes with the adjectives that were used in the job posting.

3. Highlight Results

Emphasize the actual numerical results of your previous work. Instead of saying “improved sales” or “drove up customer satisfaction”, say “increased sales by 15%” or “customer satisfaction improved by 30%”. Details will make your work stand out to the potential employer

4. Accomplishment Instead Responsibility

Employers want to know that you went above and beyond your responsibilities at work and that you showed initiative. Diction such as responsibility makes it seem that you only did the tasks that were handed to you. Accomplishment directed language alerts the employer that you’re the type of employee that does more than what they were asked for.

5. Avoid Fibs

Though it may seem convenient to stretch the truth a bit in your resume, don’t add any details to your resume that aren’t true! It may appear inconsequential but small fibs can put your job search in jeopardy.

6. Order Your Jobs by Importance

Place the most notable jobs that you have held at the top of your resume instead of the bottom or the middle. More likely than not, the important jobs will be the most recent ones you’ve held, but don’t feel the absolute need to order your resume chronologically.

7. Keep it Simple

Avoid elements that can clutter up your resume such as unnecessary dates and references. Dates are crucial, but you don’t need the exact date; months will do just fine. On a similar note, don’t put references on your resume unless you have a phone number or email address that they can be contacted at. Keeping your resume simple will showcase the important details of your career.

8. Make it Stand Out!

Formatting is crucial to making your resume unique. In a sea of black and white resumes, it can be beneficial to add some color to your resume or change the formatting. Just be sure to keep the resume to a page and to not make it overwhelming to the employer. After all, you want to make your skills stand out, not just your formatting abilities.

Today’s guest post was written by Evelyn Xue from the Lift Education blog team. Evelyn enjoys excercising, hanging out with friends and long walks on the beach.