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Writing a Killer Resume

RESUME TIPS FOR 2015

Writing a killer resume
Taking your resume from good to
great can make a difference

Writing a killer resume is the best way to stand out from other candidates. With recruiters and employers receiving hundreds of resumes for a single position, you must make sure that your resume hooks an employer's attention within a 10-second glance. According to ZipRecruiter, a strong resume or cover letter is made up of strong component parts: how it describes past experience, how long it runs, what it includes, and what it leaves out. The key takeaways are to keep it short (no more than two pages), keep it relevant, create sections like “objective,” “summary,” “work history,” and “training.” Present yourself as someone who is ready to step right in and help a company’s bottom line.

Resume Length

Writing a killer resume does not mean it has to be lengthy. Keep it to two pages maximum – or one page if you have less than seven years of experience. According to most recruiters, any longer and you risk losing your audience. If you have more to say, put it in your cover letter.

Resume Format

The simpler your resume is visually, the better. Create your heading with your name, address, phone number(s), and email address. Your name in the header can be larger, but the majority of your text should be no smaller than 10 point. Using a standard font, such as Times New Roman, Courier or Arial, will help combat conversion issues from PC to MAC and from one program version to another. Margins can be between 1/2” to 1” wide.

Include a Career Summary

Rather than an objective at the top of your resume, include a summary that lists key achievements, skills, and experience relevant to the position for which you are applying – sort of your written “elevator speech,” as Pamela Skillings, co-founder of Big Interview, refers to it. According to Skillings, the summary should catch the reader’s attention immediately, ensure a clear understanding of your top selling points at a glance (important when hiring managers are skimming through dozens of resumes at a time and attention spans are short), and emphasize your career highlights and key strengths in an easy-to-scan format.

Customize Your Resume

Most companies use recruiting management software to screen candidates for job openings. In order to get found, your resume needs to contain keywords that directly target the job you want. All of the information you include on your resume needs to be relevant to the job for which you're applying. That means targeting your resume based on the career fields, job duties and relevant keywords within a job description. Using a customized resume instead of a one-size-fits-all version will greatly decrease your chances of being screened out.

Showcase your Accomplishments

Focus on what you accomplished and contributed in each of the positions you list. Did you save your former company money? Did you introduce a new program or service? Did you win a company award for excellence in customer service? Employers want to know what you achieved in the past so they have a good idea of what you might do for them. They are less interested in what your job responsibilities were.

Include Links

If you think an employer may not be familiar with one or more of your former companies add hyperlinks to each one in the Experience section of your resume. Doing so allows recruiters or HR representatives to quickly access information about your former employers’ products and services. Also, be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile in the Contact section of your resume – and make sure the information matches up.

Proof Read!

Last, but certainly not least, writing a killer resume concludes with proof reading for typos, spelling and grammatical errors, and then ask someone else to double-check your document for you. People do notice mistakes to the detriment of your application.

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