A job search can be very tedious. It’s a process that takes precious time, effort, and emotional investment. On a perfect day, success can fall on your lap but for the greater part, disappointments and setbacks are a part of the journey. It’s like you are in a series of matchmaking with companies in hopes of finding a good match. And what do you have as leverage? Your resume. One can consider them as gateways to the professional world. Your ticket to your dream job happens to lie within the power of your resume. This is how to design a perfect resume for your job search.
By now, what fills a resume is common knowledge. Some could treat it as a simple list of what you are and what you’ve accomplished—just a list of personal information, work experience, and qualifications. But more than such a hasty generalization, approaching resume writing with a higher purpose can get you in another zone. As resumes have the power to present you as a viable candidate at first impression, there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to building your CV. What more can you bring to the table?
5 things to consider when you design your resume during your job search
Here are five things you should consider adding to your resume before you hand it out to companies.
1. Tell a good narrative
Your resume is your story. It might look like a simple black-and-white list of your experiences, but it is an essential piece of information to help you make the right impression and get your foot through the door. Paying attention to your narrative allows recruiters to grasp your work experiences better.
Instead of trivial words, use resume action verbs that can help you describe your experiences better. Using these keywords amplify your narrative and prevent your CV from sounding passive.
The right resume design can also help you tell your story. Find effective resume layouts that work for you using free design tools like Canva. You can take inspiration from professionally-designed templates and adapt them to your own.
2. Adopt a result-oriented approach
Showing actual results is part of establishing a good narrative for hiring managers. What better way to tell a good story than detailing your pathways to your work victories? The same applies to showcasing your work experiences. Listing down your responsibilities at work isn’t enough. You have to back it up with substantial outcomes.
Were you able to spearhead a project before? Present your accomplishments proactively using quantifiable and measurable terms. If you have percentages on how well you did individually or as a team, highlight them. You can also focus on featuring how you set up your team for success. Having facts and data about your work allows hiring managers to assess and gauge your performance and see your work ethic through tangible results.
3. Be specific and relevant
Some job searchers think they need to exhaust all their information and pour it all into the design of the perfect resume for a higher chance to appeal to recruiters. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your resume details shouldn’t be treated as sweepstakes. You must hit the bullseye with your qualifications.
Not everything needs to be there. Narrow down your work experiences to information relevant to the job description. You might want to bump up the most significant output you’ve had that could land you an interview and, ultimately, the job.
When detailing your skills and training as well, you must also remain specific. Distinguish your best skills that are related to the job and focus on them well. You can solidify them further by adding proper training, programs, or educational background that led you to develop those skills. The end goal in providing relevant qualifications is always to match your previous performances with the job opening at hand.
4. Simplicity can take you further
As much as possible, stick to three C’s in your resume writing: clear, concise, and concrete. Most people would even recommend keeping it within one page. Having a one-page resume is plausible, given how hiring managers spend time reviewing a pool of resumes. However, some job postings might require you to design a longer resume, especially for high-ranking positions.
Do remember never to sacrifice your intention of detailing a good narrative of your work experiences and qualifications. In case you need to, decide on decluttering your resume with information that isn’t essential at the moment.
Simplifying the design of your perfect resume means also dealing with unnecessary elements. Sure, you want to make your resume fancy, but going overboard could potentially harm your chances. You can keep your resume visually-attractive without being all over the place. It is crucial to know when to use graphic resumes to your advantage.
Prioritizing readability must be your guiding principle when you design your perfect resume. You wouldn’t go wrong in settling with modern and efficient fonts in readable sizes. Choose a simple layout that is easy on the eyes as well. Having a good structure will also present your information thoroughly. It ultimately gives the hiring managers an easier time to skim through your resume.
5. Proofread your resume
Proofreading helps you assess where your resume stands. Is it updated? Is it relevant enough to the position you are applying for in the company? It can help you spot weak points in your narrative as you detail your work experiences. Taking the time to scrutinize your CV can help you better understand how you present yourself and make necessary adjustments along the way. You can also have someone close to you to evaluate your resume. Having a different perspective from a friend, family member, or a trusted colleague can give you a fresh take on what you’ve written so far.
Your resume is your chance to make a great first impression during your job search
Knowing your resume from front to back also prepares you for a potential job interview. By spending some time to review, you become well-versed in your talking points when asked to detail your qualifications. Always treat it like a step ahead of your job search process. In a way, you can defend your resume in a panel or interviewer better.
Having multiple ways of building your resume gives you various alternatives to succeeding in your search. In the end, what you want hiring managers to see is the excellent performance and incredible work ethic that makes you a great addition to their company. You can only do so by captivating them with a strong first impression through a solid resume that can stand out among the rest.
This guest blog post was written by Jennelyn Tipones, a search engine optimization (SEO) outreach specialist at Canva. She’s passionate about digital marketing and social media management. When not working, she spends most of her time taking care of her family and watching game playthroughs on YouTube. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.