Anyone who is job searching knows that their resume will be the first thing most hiring managers see when considering them as a candidate. Knowing the best ways to write that piece of paper can go a long way in helping land that dream job.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, one of the most common pieces of job search advice pertaining to the resume is that each application sent should have its own unique buildup. This doesn't mean that every resume you write should start from scratch, as that would take up plenty of valuable time. Instead, it's recommended that you develop one shell of a resume for the industry you're aiming to join. Once it's at a level of quality you're happy with, it should then be tailored to specific opportunities.
When you look to rewrite your resume, you may need to change wide portions or as little as 10 percent of it. This depends on the language found in the job listing, as well as job- and company-specific concerns. Make sure that your listed work experience is directly related to the position you're aiming to land. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should eschew half of your work history, but that you should focus on the skills that carry over and will be appreciated by hiring managers.
The San Francisco Chronicle added that when you rewrite your resume, there are a few ways you can organize your information that will pay off over time. One is that after your shell resume is complete, as well as whenever you lock in your specific resume for a position, you should save it in multiple file formats. Many employers allow for users to upload their resumes when applying for a job, but some restrict the potential formats they accept, and others have systems that can limit file uploading. As well, if you speak to a staffing services expert for additional advice, they'll note that many managers will disregard a resume they can't open. As such, every file should be saved in three formats. A PDF file is best for easy uploading, while a .doc file allows for easy editing if necessary and a .txt file keeps all relevant information in one simple format.
As well, you should be wary of your formatting. Microsoft Word often includes resume templates, but those are a dime a dozen on hiring managers' desks and can be perceived poorly. Instead, do research into effective design models and work from them. This helps you customize your documents and prevents you from forcing your information into a template that doesn't really support it.
Fast Company reported that some other issues that arise when applicants are crafting their resumes based on their assumptions of best practices, many of which are not as successful as they'd hope. Some examples of these problems include the assumption that an executive summary in a resume is the same as an objective. They aren't both supposed to be expectations of what you want to gain from your next position. Instead, an executive summary is supposed to outline how your skills and abilities line up with the needs of your prospective employer.
It's also important to avoid stuffing a resume with keywords in an attempt to ensure it gets past a resume scanning program. While it will likely get that past that initial step, what will the reaction be when a manager reads the overstuffed and rambling final product? It's better to focus your keyword use to a few specific and targeted ones. Following advice like this will likely provide a major benefit in future job searches.