7 Things You Should Have on Your Resume
Writing a resume properly isn’t something that we do often. Many of us probably still have a resume from when we were younger, we just simply keep adding to it (guilty!). Things such as lengthy resumes, incorrect grammar and unprofessional email addresses are all things that may be impacting your ability to land your dream job. But before we go and review our own four-page resumes, we’ve put together seven things you should have on your resume, to ensure you make it through to the next stage.
Resume tip #1 – ALWAYS check your spelling and grammar
Regardless of whether the job you are applying for is writing-focused, it is important that you proofread and do a spell and grammar check of your work. You may not believe it, but a huge 77% of hirers see spelling and grammar mistakes as instant deal-breakers. Mind blown! Even though each resume is typically only looked at for 15-20 seconds, critical grammar errors somehow seem to always find a way to show themselves!
When checking your work for spelling and grammar mistakes, make sure you aren’t just relying on good ol’ spellcheck for picking up errors. While it generally finds and pulls you up on misspelt words, it won’t tell you if you’ve put a correctly spelt word in a wrong sentence. For example, if you are writing about “work uniforms” and you accidentally write “work unicorns,” spellcheck, unfortunately, won’t pick that up.
Try running your resume through a program like Grammarly, or even read it out line by line to make sure it makes sense. Getting someone to read over your work will also help as they can provide suggestions on things you may need to add or take out.
Resume tip #2 – Soft and hard skills are both important
Soft skills (skills such as listening or critical thinking that are difficult to teach) and hard skills (skills such as being competent in programs like Microsoft Word, etc that are teachable things) should both be included on a resume, with 61% of employers believing that soft skills are just as important as hard skills. It is important to highlight these skills, but tailor them specifically to the role you have applied for. According to Zety, the most popular soft skills to include on a resume are communication, leadership and time management, while the most popular hard skills are Microsoft Office, project management and Microsoft Excel. In saying this, make sure you don’t just put these on your resume to look good if they aren’t skills you possess – it’s best to be honest which brings us to our next tip.
Resume tip #3 – Honesty is the best policy
No one likes a liar – even on a resume! In fact, 85% of recruiters think that people exaggerate on their resumes. It makes sense, to tell the truth – imagine rocking up to a new job and them asking you to do something you had listed being able to do on your resume, only for you to then not be able to do it – it would look pretty silly. There’s also a major difference between exaggerating a little bit and telling a flat out lie on a resume, so don’t write that you’ve got a university degree if you’ve never been to uni, as it’s not hard to find out the truth!
Resume tip #4 – Avoid clutter
Try to keep your resume as clutter-free as possible when putting it together. Aim to keep it less than two pages with a simple layout, and not overcrowding words – you still want to be able to see some white space between sentences. The other thing to steer clear of when formatting is using an image of yourself. You want to be hired for your experience and knowledge, not what you look like, so ensure you save what you look like for a face-to-face interview.
Resume tip #5 – Shape up your online presence, including losing the old school email address
While we’re on the topic of what you look like, it’s time to talk about an extension of your resume – your social media and digital footprint. No matter who you are or what business is looking to hire you, almost every employer will check out your social media to see whether you are a good fit for the company or not. If the thought of someone you don’t know going through your social media account strikes fear into your soul, you may want to reassess your online presence. Especially because more than 90% of employers will look at your social media accounts before deciding whether to interview you or not. Imagine your future boss looking at your profile when you feature some very revealing clothing or a caption that goes against their values – we can’t imagine they’d be too impressed.
Along with this, it might be time to lose the email address you made in high school, as firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t exactly scream professionalism to a corporate employer!
Resume tip #6 – Put in some quantifiable results
What is the best way to show your skills? Put in some results! If you’ve put together an awesome campaign or seen great growth results in a project at your current or previous workplace, why not include them in your resume next to a listed skill? For example, if ‘social media strategy’ is one of your listed skills, why not include a sentence about a tangible result that came as a result of your work? Something like “grew company social media following by 5% in May” will put you in a positive light as it shows that you have taken the time to explain the skills that you have listed.
Resume tip #7 – Get personal
Another great tip for resume writing is to get personal with it. Most of us only have one resume and we don’t tailor it based on the company we’re applying for. Although we may think that our resume should be a “one size fits all” document, 54% of employers knock back resumes for lack of personalisation. Although it might feel like a mundane task, going through the job description and including keywords in your job experience section may help give you a leg up on the competition. This small change may put you in a more favourable light to your potential employer, so it is worth including. As well as this, try condensing some not-so-relevant work experience you may have had, including aspects of your first jobs that may not carry over into the role you’re applying for.
Writing a good resume can often feel like a drag and quite often we leave out things that we should have on a resume which can sometimes work against us. Next time you apply for a new job, try adding in some of these things, as well as browsing the Biz Corporates range for a killer new interview outfit!