The importance of a solid résumé cannot be stressed enough if your goal is to land a desirable job position with an ideal salary. Homemade résumés and those that clearly lack the professional element are almost immediately discarded in today’s increasingly competitive corporate environment. If you want to be taken seriously, you absolutely must have a refined and well-formatted résumé that highlights all of your work experience, educational credentials, and achievements in a way that stands out from the crowd. With that said, here are five ways you can refine and revamp your résumé to start improving your chances of being a selected candidate:
1. Bring in a Professional Résumé Service
You can use this tip in unison with any of the tips below to produce a highly impressive résumé that will be hard for anyone to ignore. An executive résumé service is especially useful for individuals with an extensive amount of work history and achievements that they are having trouble summarizing and formatting everything in a manner that is consistent with the industry standards in résumé writing. Résumé writing itself is an art form and a trade that is much more complicated than most people perceive it to be. Anybody can fill in a template, but creating a powerful presentation that really sums up your career and skills in one document is something that requires training and experience. Some resume services also offer free resume reviews for those who need to find out what to improve.
2. Create Unique Variations for Each Use
One common mistake many people make is submitting the exact same résumé to every prospective employer, investor, or client. Nobody wants to be pitched with a preset piece of material – they want to see that you’ve put time and effort into considering the specifics of the job position and have a thorough understanding of what is required and how your skills and accolades make you a prime candidate. Thus, be sure to take the time to make slight adjustments and tailor your summary and overview in accordance with the features of the position you’re applying for.
3. Go Over Your Work History and Portfolio
One way to refine your résumé to ensure it includes all of your significant achievements and credentials is to review your entire portfolio and work history. Look for anything that demonstrates your strengths in specific areas and try to include this information in a succinct manner to add some bulk to your list of accomplishments. A robust résumé is always better than a sparse one, so really reach into the bag and look for any perks that can be added until the content of the résumé embodies the highlights of your career in their entirety.
4. Add a “Summary of Qualifications” Section
Studies have shown that most people skim through résumés looking for appealing details rather than thoroughly reading all of the data point-by-point. One of the best ways to catch a hiring manager’s eye is to include a “Summary of Qualifications” at the bottom of the résumé, since this is typically the last spot they’ll look. Humans have a tendency to want to skip to the conclusion of something, so this section can be a huge difference maker for those “get to the point” types who don’t have the patience for drawn out bullet lists and generic templates.
5. Avoid Listing Potentially Negative or Less than Ideal References
Some people make the mistake of listing a previous client, customer, co-worker, or associate as a reference even though they’re not 100% sure that the reference will be available and ready to give a positive review. If there’s one thing hiring managers don’t like it’s references that they can’t get a hold of or those that leave unconfident or negative feedback about the job candidate. Thus, it’s best to be absolutely certain that you’re listing only your best work experiences as references on your résumé to avoid accidentally exposing a less than ideal point in your career.
Have More than One Résumé
Many professionals have a diverse job history and skill set that makes them eligible for a variety of different job positions. However, most have a handful of options that they’re considering in terms of what position they’d like to apply for. For example, someone with restaurant experience may have worked as a server and a cook before. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense to have an identical résumé for both of those positions, so it would be logical for that individual to have two résumés ready – one that showcases his cooking expertise and the other that highlights his server experience.