4 Ways to Improve Your Resume Now
Spend 5 more minutes on your resume and give it a final polish. Use these 4 pointers to take it up a notch.
If you have already read How to Write a Great Resume Even if You Have no Experience chances are you have a good product. But there is always room for improvement. It is easier to write poorly than to write well. Remember, there is one purpose for your resume- to land an interview. The way to do that is to have a crisp, impactful resume. Here are 4 ways to improve your resume now.
Use the top 1/3 of your resume (also known as “above the fold”) for relevant keywords from the job description. The recruiter may not make it further down the page- you must engage them immediately. This may mean putting your “Skills” section above your “Education” section (better for an experienced applicant). That’s fine. It’s your resume-you can order it in any way you prefer. What do you want the employer to see first? See Sample Resume for a New Grad The section headings should be clear and if possible engaging.
Use bullets to draw the reader’s eye to focused, easy to understand points, such as your clearly written skills. Likewise, use italics, bolding and caps sparingly for emphasis. Do not overuse or it backfires and nothing is important. Be consistent in use of font. Use one font throughout to provide a consistent background for your points of emphasis. Typically section headers, job titles and employer names are bolded. Balance between white space and blocks of dense text for a pleasing balance.
3. Maximize for Mobile
Make sure your resume views well on mobile devices. Documents can look entirely different on computers than on phones. Single columns work best on mobile devices, as does brevity. Use digital numbers, not written numbers (3, not three). A resume is not an academic paper, and digital numbers pop, as well as take up less space. Have a friend open your resume on an Android, an iphone, etc. Use a common font that will open across all devices, such as Arial. Left-align as center-align is hard on the eye (but can be used for contact information). Use a size 10-12 font to be easily readable for readers of all ages.
4. Eliminate Fluffery
Condense sentences. Often words such as “a”, “an” can be removed. Use an active, not a passive voice in your writing. An example of passive voice is “was responsible for”. The same written is an active voice is “Directed”. Make your words count and make them impactful.
Edit for redundancy. “Administered medication ‘safely and as ordered‘ ” is redundant. Eliminate all words and sentences that do not add value. “Ability to integrate current technology to provide competent patient care” says absolutely nothing, but “Experience with Cerner and Medi-Tech” is clear and helpful. Remove “References Available on Request” as it is no longer used, is not necessary and makes your resume look outdated.
Here’s from the resume of an LPN who worked in a medical office: “Prepares and submits claims to various insurance companies in a timely manner”. For more impact, it was changed to “Increased insurance reimbursement payment rate to 95%”. Use numbers and quantify whenever possible.
Finally, have at least 2 friends edit your resume for errors which escape your eyes. Now you can prep for you interview, where you’ll most surely be asked “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?” Be sure you know what NOT to say!
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Until next time friend,
Come visit me at Ask Nurse Beth career column at allnurses.com for all kinds of entertaining and informative career questions and answers, and to submit your own question