Master the Art of the Résumé

There comes a time in every professional’s career journey where it becomes apparent that a change is necessary. While shifting gears feels natural to some, many others haven’t switched jobs in years. Maybe you’re comfortable at your current longstanding position, but yearn to challenge yourself at a new company. If fear of entering the unknown waters of job hunting is holding you back from kicking your career into high gear, it’s time you took control of the sails and steered yourself in the necessary direction to achieve your wildest professional aspirations.

In order to get through the door at top companies, you must have a powerful résumé to highlight all of your accomplishments. Hiring managers at large corporations scan hundreds of résumés a day, and relying on the dated one you have stored on your computer somewhere simply wont cut it. So how exactly can you master the art of the résumé by writing one for yourself that acts as a magnet, pulling you towards new opportunities?

Craft a Powerful Opening Statement 

Online professional networks such as LinkedIn include a “summary” platform used for providing hiring managers with the readers digest highlight reel version of their résumés. While many opt to forgo using this feature for all it’s worth, its top-of-the-page prime location makes it the perfect place to include a powerful opening statement that touches on everything that employers need to know about you as a worker. However, LinkedIn isn’t the only résumé platform where you can include this striking feature – include the personal statement on your actual résumé too.

Focus on your Story

In order to effectively present your professional journey to date, compelling storytelling is crucial. It’s imperative that you construct your résumé so that it tells the linear story of your career. Within that, touch on your previous work experience, career-related challenges that you overcame, and what value you brought to your old company. Furthermore, many highly skilled résumé writers excellently display actual statistics of how their prior workplace efforts propelled their previous company to greatness. In doing so, they provide hiring managers with specific figures that show for themselves the quality of their skills, and thus simplify their eventual interview process.

Avoid these Common Mistakes 

In addition to spelling and grammatical errors, which you should scan for profusely, there are many other subtle mistakes that job seekers commonly make when writing their résumés, such as:

  • Unrelated work history: If you’re applying for a software engineer position at an elite tech company, it only seems obvious that you need not include information about your tenure working at a soft serve ice cream parlor. However, while this example may be extreme, to this day multitudes of job seekers choose to include unrelated work experience on their résumé. A general rule of thumb is to forgo mentioning any job that does not highlight your skills that could be harnessed in the position you are applying for.
  • Unrelated Private Information: If it is illegal for an employer to ask you about your relationship-status, age, sexual orientation, and religion, why include it on your résumé? Stick to your professional story, and save your personal one for those you come home to after work.
  • Social Media Links: Your new boss likely does not care to look at your Instagram feed, despite how professional you have crafted it to be. However, LinkedIn is the exception to this rule, as it is a widely respected networking platform.
  • Tacky Fonts: You want your résumé to be easy to read, right? Then avoid using elaborate font styles. While the business world is often innovative and fun, no hiring manager wants to try to decode the font on your résumé. Sticking to Times New Roman is your best bet.
  • References: It is simply a waste of résumé real estate to give a portion of space to the words “references available upon request.” If you are a legitimate candidate, your employer will likely deduce that you have the references to back up your claims and later ask for them if necessary.

Once you’ve constructed a quality résumé, you can begin making additional copies that cater specifically to the demands of the positions you are applying for. If you’re searching for inspiration, look online within your professional network to see how your colleagues are presenting themselves. Additionally, if you’re hoping to nail down a killer position quickly, great résumés work fantastic in conjunction with great recruiters. Contact us today to learn more about how our recruiters can help pave the way towards your next career destination.