Looking for a job is no easy task. Even when you work up the energy and motivation to start applying en masse, employers are judging you in less than 10 seconds on a resumé, a single piece of paper, which in no way can fully encapsulate the extent of your working, educational and lifetime experience.
Like it or not, this piece of paper is going to be the one thing that’s going to separate you from a fulfilling life in the workforce, so it absolutely needs to be the best that it can be. 90 percent of resumés aren’t personalized for the job, which means that 95 percent of them are never even read.
So here’s some things you might be missing on your resumé:
- Numbers and magnitude – Numbers are impressive. While something like “led team to record profits,” is definitely an incredible leadership feat, it’s missing the magnitude that only large numbers can portray. In this example, changing that one sentence to something like “lead team to a record 20 percent increase in profit of over $3 million a year,” is much more impressive and staggering to some of the jobs that you might find yourself applying for.
- Bullet points – You’re reading this because it’s in easily digestible bullet points. Whether you admit it or not, you like the way I layed out this post because it’s easy to read and can be understood point-by-point, rather than coming off as one big, intimidating wall of text.
- Spacing – Similar to bullet points, not having any “room to breathe” on your resume is going to overwhelming for the hiring manager and make yourself look unorganized, even if your resumé has all the content that makes you a perfect candidate for the job. By leaving some white space and leaving a little bit of space between previous jobs, you can make yourself look significantly more professional. It might be difficult to get as much information as you would like on a single page with even less space to work with, but in order to get it right, you’re going to have to do your best.
- Specific industry tailoring – By far the biggest mistake you can make when applying for jobs is not specifically personalizing your resumé for the position that you’re interested in. Having a single, stagnant resumé is a death sentence. Imagine how poor your case for a data analysis job would be if you included the retail jobs that you worked in your teens. Each resumé that you send out should have work-related information specifically tailored to the industry of the job that you’re applying for.