Remember the days when you would find yourself sifting through hundreds of resumes and they all seemed to blend in together? As a previous hiring manager and recruiter, I remember getting lost and uninterested by line three of the long, 12 line introduction paragraph at the top, if there was one at all.
Quite often it seemed as if the old fashioned word documents were cranked out in less than two hours, they all had the same Times New Roman font, and all had the same top with name, address, phone, and email centered underneath each other.
If your resume still appears anything like I have described above, it is time to make a significant revision – especially if you are in the job market! Competition is fierce out there candidates, and you only have one chance to present yourself at your best. Time to bring your resume up to 2014 standards!
I understand that sometimes hiring a professional writer is just not financially feasible, especially if you are unemployed and trying to watch expenses. Here are ten awesome tips that will be helpful in creating a resume and personal branding package from your home while on a tight budget:
1. Use Dashes
Try putting your name, address, email and phone on the same line at the top separated by dashes. Use a different font and color for your name.
2. Add Your LinkedIn Profile
Don’t forget to add your LinkedIn profile link at the top. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile? Run, do not walk, to the LinkedIn site and start typing. Recruiters look at LinkedIn immediately to review your profile. You can easily download a LinkedIn badge or logo and insert a hyperlink with your profile link.
3. Create A Logo
What is one of the first things that you do when you start a new company? Create a logo for branding. Why not do it for yourself? Consider hiring a graphic artist to create a simple design with your initials and color. The cost should be minimal and the impact is well worth every penny. You should use the design with your cover letters and reference page. The top of all three documents should have the same top two – three lines including your personal logo, name, contact information, and LinkedIn profile.
4. Lose The Long Introduction Paragraph
Many companies and hiring boards use applicant tracking systems to screen for keywords. Instead of the paragraph, include six to nine core competencies at the top under your name that are relevant to the job description and your background.
5. Add Soft Skills
If you are a recent college graduate, include some “soft skills” in addition to your core competencies. Examples of soft skills are Passion to Succeed, Motivated, Intelligent Fighter, Empathic, or People Person.
6. Separate Sections By Clean Lines Or Text Boxes Filled With Color
Color is perfectly acceptable, even in the most conservative culture. Adding dark colors with white font make your resume pop when opened. Navy and dark gray are my favorites, although sometimes I use burgundy or green. I have even used red and black for a C-level executive that created a sleek and modern presentation.
7. List Your Biggest Accomplishments
The most important part of the resume is the top half of the first page. This is the time to sell yourself and entice the reader to continue reading. List your top three to four biggest accomplishments in bullets.
8. Add Quotes
Include some quotes from your LinkedIn recommendations in the top half of your resume. Quite often, I also strategically place quotes throughout the document in quote shape text boxes.
Speaking of quotes, add some warmth and personalization. Try including your favorite professional quote at the top of the resume near your name in a text box. Some of my candidates have creatively written their own quote and the exercise proved to be very effective. An example is a quote that a recent college graduate wrote for his entry level sales resume: “I believe that the key to a successful sales career is humility. One must embrace teaching in order to be taught.” Fill the text box with a color to make it pop and draw the reader’s attention.
10. Add Charts And Graphs
If you are in sales, please utilize charts and graphs with color to reflect your quotas vs. production.
Your resume is your one shot at landing that interview. Dare to be bold, be different, and be successful!
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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