Whether you’re a recent grad new to the job search or an experienced professional looking for new opportunities, these seemingly small details in your resume can make a big difference in helping you get noticed for the roles you want.
Check out our quick tips for taking your resume from good to great:
1. Skip the formatting headache
Pre-formatted templates make it easier for you to get to the important steps – detailing the skills and accomplishments that make you right for the job – rather than wasting time on borders, spacing and fonts. If you’re creating your first resume, you might find it helpful to use a free template to get started.
Microsoft Word offers a variety of templates to help individuals at different career stages, from recent graduates to seasoned professionals, create the right resume for their job search. Free design tool Canva also has a library of resume templates that are ideal for those in creative industries like graphic design and marketing.
2. Show what you know
It’s important to highlight your most recent degree and professional certifications. If you’ve earned an advanced degree, such as an MBA or an MSN, for example, list that at the top of your education section. Similarly, industry-recognized certifications might make you more qualified for the position you are applying for, so don’t bury them at the bottom of the page.
3. List your most relevant experience first
Your employer doesn’t need to know about every job you’ve ever had – only the ones that make you a good candidate for the role you are interested in. If you’re switching careers, highlight transferrable skills you gained from your old job that are applicable to this new role. If you’re a recent graduate or current student, highlight the skills and qualifications you have as a result of your internship experience, coursework and extracurricular activities. Check out this blog post for more resume writing tips.
4. Send your resume as a PDF
This is a simple but often-overlooked step that can make a big difference in your job search. When you send your resume as a PDF, you ensure that whoever opens the file sees it exactly as you intended. Some word processing applications may not be compatible, and older versions of Word can have trouble opening emailed documents. You want to make it as easy as possible for recruiters and hiring manager to open, read and pass along your resume.
5. Name your resume
More often than not, resumes are submitted and reviewed electronically. Therefore, it’s important to name the document so that it is easily searchable in the recipient’s inbox.
Pro tip: the name of your resume should not be “resume.” Include your first name, last name and the word “resume” in the title of your document to make sure that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
6. Add links
Since you can assume that your resume will be opened on a computer or mobile device, consider embedding hyperlinks to your LinkedIn page, blog or online portfolio if you have one. You can also hyperlink your email, so that it’s even easier for a prospective employer to reach out to you after reviewing your resume.
7. Update your LinkedIn
If you’ve gone to the trouble to overhaul or refine your resume, make sure that those changes are reflected on your LinkedIn profile as well. This is especially important if you’ve included the link to your LinkedIn page in your resume document. You can even upload your resume PDF to LinkedIn to make it easier for recruiters and potential employers to read about your accomplishments.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.