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13 Tips to Perfect Your Resume

What is one piece of advice for candidates to perfect their resume? To help you write a perfect resume for your job application, we asked hiring managers and recruiters this question for their best advice. From targeting your resume to the specific role you’re seeking to making it application-tracking-system-friendly, there are several tips to help you create a resume that is perfect for the job you're applying for.

Here are 13 tips these leaders offer candidates to perfect their resumes:

  • Target Your Resume to the Specific Role You Are Seeking

  • Don't Make It Too Wordy

  • Keep Your Resume Concise and Focused.

  • Maintain Consistency of Tone and Tense Throughout

  • Have Someone Review Your Resume

  • Make it Well-Formatted and Visually Appealing

  • Include a Link to Your Online Profile

  • Highlight Your Extra-Curricular Achievements

  • Match Your Skills to the Job Description

  • Save It as a PDF

  • Add Hyperlinks to Your Portfolio

  • Include Outcomes for Tasks in Your Previous Work

  • Make it Application-Tracking-System-Friendly

Don't Make It Too Wordy

Since employers have a long list of candidates to evaluate, reading a resume shouldn't take up too much of their time. For this reason, it's best if your resume is concise and brief which is why sticking to a single page is the ideal CV length for job applications. It's important to remember that an interview will give you enough time to dive deep into your expertise so there's really no need to write in-depth descriptions on your resume.

-Harry Morton, Lower Street

Target Your Resume to the Specific Role You Are Seeking

Target your resume to the specific role you are seeking. Writing a general email with all your work history may not show clearly and easily to the hiring manager that you are the perfect fit. Make sure your resume mentions only the roles and experiences that relate to the role you are seeking. Include accomplishments that are quantifiable and meaningful to messing the success of someone in the given role. Lastly, if you are interested in being hired by a particular company add information that shows you would fit in easily to their company culture and that you support their mission as a whole.

-Liz Hogan, Find My Profession

Keep Your Resume Concise and Focused

Look for hints about the qualities and skills the business values most in an applicant in the job descriptions you're sending out. Then, at appropriate spots, you sprinkle such terms across your application materials. Keeping your resume concise and focused is rule number one. The position, array of tasks, daily activities, and organizational values can typically be deduced from the use of these phrases. Consequently, including their use will strengthen your application materials.

There is only one chance to have your resume seen in this day and age since most organizations utilize an application tracking system to gather and analyze resumes. A word cloud may help you see which words and phrases are used most often in a document, so follow this advice and input the position description into one. You may then tailor your CV to include just the relevant phrases. In addition - you can also highlight your core capabilities and fields of specialization using the key terms.

-Lisa Stewart, Lisa Stewart

Maintain Consistency of Tone and Tense Throughout

Make sure that your resume is presented in one tense, past or present. Deciding which voice and tone to apply helps with the literal and metaphorical flow of the resume. It also eliminates questions from screeners on whether you are still working certain roles. If you have multiple active roles on your resume, list the most recent one on top. Refrain from creating your own timeline which may deter screeners from reading your resume because the initial judgment is made in 25 seconds or less. Overall, consistency matters in terms of formatting, tone and presentation of the document. If it looks overwhelming, chances are high that the content is also overwhelming in how it's laid out and presented in the content.

-Sasha Laghonh, Sasha Talks

Have Someone Review Your Resume

Reach out to a mentor or trusted colleague to review your resume. An extra pair of eyes is always helpful and they can catch some errors you may not have caught originally. They can also suggest a new format or another way to explain your current position or summary statement. This can avoid any errors or questions later down the road.

-Jodi Neuhauser, Ovaterra

Make it Well-Formatted and Visually Appealing

One piece of advice for candidates to perfect their resume is to ensure that it is well-formatted and visually appealing. It is also important to ensure that the content is relevant and accurate while highlighting your skills and experience. Additionally, it is helpful to include a link to your resume on your LinkedIn profile, as this will make it easy for potential employers to view your qualifications.

-Admir Salcinovic, Pricelisto

Include a Link to Your Online Profile

The resume you’ve submitted is not the only document prospective employers will look at when deciding whether to hire you. Thanks to all the information your digital profiles hold, there is a strong chance that your online persona will receive as much attention as your submitted resume. From your LinkedIn profile to your social media handles, employers who have shortlisted you as a potential employee will surely give these a thorough look. So make sure the info you have on your resume matches what you’ve shared online because any serious mismatch will be seen as a red flag.

-Kris Harris, Nootka Saunas

Highlight Your Extra-Curricular Achievements

While you should keep your resume to a reasonable length, don't shy away from adding extra sections to highlight activities and achievements such as volunteer work, proficiency in foreign languages, travel experiences, hobbies, and even entrepreneurship experience. These ''extras'' can earn you some cool points and make you stand out from the crowd. Your experiences are unique, and if you can show how they are relevant to the job, they can be the very thing that helps you get your foot through the door.

I know conventional wisdom is against adding extracurricular activities to your resume but in a competitive job market, sharing your personal story, albeit in bullet points, could be your secret weapon. Remember to include targeted keywords even in this section to align your resume with the job description and optimize it for the ATS.

Match Your Skills to the Job Description

Show how your skills match the requirements of the job. In a nutshell, your resume should highlight the skills, knowledge, and experience required by the job description and your qualities. The most common way to do this is to list the needed skills and experiences and then match your own experiences, skills, and achievements against these. Once you have made this table, all it takes is some careful formatting, good use of keywords, and an attractive layout. This will help you to demonstrate to the employer that you have a perfect resume and are an excellent match for the job.

-Todd Jensen, Nursa

Save It as a PDF

Save it as a PDF. When you write your resume on a particular word processing software, you're locked into their formatting. It may look great on your end, but if the person you send it to has a different program, it can be a disaster. The best way to avoid this potential issue is to save your resume as a PDF. These files are consistent across the board and keep your resume looking the way you expect it to on both ends.

-Rachel Reid, Subtl Beauty

Add Hyperlinks to Your Portfolio

It’s safe to assume that your resume will be viewed on a computer or mobile device, so add embedded hyperlinks to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, or blog if you have one. Also, consider hyperlinking your email to make it easier for a prospective employer to contact you after reviewing your resume.

-Natalia Morozova, Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.

Include Outcomes for Tasks in Your Previous Work

A common mistake is that candidates will list the tasks they did at their previous company, without including the outcome or value it had for the company. When you are able to switch it around you will show the reviewer what you are capable of and what kind of value you can bring to the company. To give an example, some would say; I was responsible for managing the sales team and making sure they hit their targets on a monthly basis. You could also focus on the outcomes driven. I was able to increase the demo-to-sale conversion rate from 20 to 30 percent. This will give a clear outcome you can also deliver to the company you are applying for.

-Joran Hofman, Reditus

Make it Application-Tracking-System-Friendly

There are other people out there looking for the same job as you are. Hence the number of applications for a single job increases in no time. Therefore, to make your CV stand out and increase its chances of selection, make it application tracking system friendly. ATS is the software used by a maximum of big companies to select the CV of interested candidates. The ats system chooses the CVs that match the job description. To clear that round, create your resume with the help of online ats software. It will guide you to build your CV as per the company's requirements. Many companies fetch people with various criteria. Therefore, adding on the criteria that the company desires will increase your chance of being on the selection panel.

-Alexander Reid, TriviaWhizz


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