Resume Hacks – Follow These 5 Tips to Quickly Improve Your Resume

Are you looking to freshen up your resume to capitalize on the wealth of job opportunities available to today’s motivated job seekers? Great idea! With unemployment at a historic low, there has never been a better time to find a job.

Here are a few tips to help you whip out a resume that will hold the attention of both bots and humans:

  • Make it skimmable. Glance at your resume and do a gut check. If you were looking at it for the first time, would you think, “Yes, this looks easy to understand,” or, “Ugh, too many words! Look away.” Job seekers aren’t the only ones who’ve had a rough time over the last few years; recruiters and hiring managers are tired, too. Make it as easy as possible for them to recognize you’re a great hire. Send them a resume with:
    • A clean layout
    • A classic format
    • An easy-to-read font
    • Bullet points
    • Plenty of white space
  • Keep it short: Today’s resume should be a high-level snapshot of your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Craft key takeaways for your reader. Write your own personal “best of” list—and keep it to one page—no more than two, if possible. A landmark study shows recruiters spend less than 8 seconds scanning a resume. Don’t force them to spend time turning pages instead of reading yours.
  • Customize your keywords. Many employers use an ATS (applicant tracking system) to “read” your resume before a human ever sees it. Scan each job posting for language that fits your skills and accomplishments, and use those keywords to customize your resume for each application. Getting as close as possible to their language (without losing meaning and truth) will help you pass muster with robots.
  • Lead with the good stuff. Employers want to know how you will add value to their organization, and you only have a few precious seconds to show your worth. Get rid of the fluff and create a bulleted list of impact statements to show how you made a difference in your previous roles. An effective way to do this is by leading your sentence with an action verb, explaining a challenge, and wrapping up with a positive result. Bonus points if you can quantify your results and show how you generated profit, saved time, or improved the culture in a past position. Ditch outdated language that puts recruiters to sleep, like:
    • Responsible for
    • Duties included
    • Worked with
    • Helped to

And replace it with action-oriented verbs, like:

  • Achieved
  • Delivered
  • Impacted
  • Executed
  • Built
  • Created
  • Get feedback. Before you hit submit, ask a knowledgeable and trusted friend to take a peek at your resume. If it gets the thumb’s up, go one step further: use an online proofreading tool to catch any remaining errors.

Related posts:

When (and When NOT to Include a Cover Letter)

How to Explain Resume Gaps

Looking for a quick way to improve your resume and find a better job?

PrideStaff can help. Our expert recruiters can help you get your resume up to par, coach you through the interview process, and help you find success in the field that matters to you. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to learn more about great local job opportunities.