Globally, employers prefer a resume and cover letter before going through a candidate’s LinkedIn profile. You should tailor your resume depending on the country you are applying to for the best results.
The summary should be a quick, easy, yet impactful read in the first shot. Candidates who add too much information on the resume may see lower success rates than those who keep it precise and effective.
Hiring managers and recruiters in countries like the US and UK are usually overwhelmed with responses for a single job post. Depending on the job position, recruiters may get hundreds of applications. Standing out on paper without an interview can be daunting.
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Most resume styles are accepted in the US. However, your resume should contain all your relevant work experience, education, and unique skills. Let us look at some resume tips and tricks to help you land your dream job.
Keywords are valuable when automatic software segregates resumes and funnels them through a process. Using keywords in your resume that fit the job description and position will also be helpful when the recruiter or hiring manager physically reads your profile. Highlighting keywords throughout the resume assures that your resume will not get rejected in the first round.
However, adding keywords does not mean you stuff your resume. Select a few prominent keywords and skills from the job description in the original post. Add these words relevantly to your resume backed by quantitative proof. Doing this will help highlight your achievements and get your profile noticed in the first selection round.
Review Resume Examples
You may often not know how other candidates’ resumes look. It is best to research different resume examples for your intended position and rework your current resume to fit the job description. This is only the time to include metrics like ratios, percentages, and approximate figures (not the actual ones) in your resume. Backing your claims with measurable proof adds credibility and weightage to the profile in the long term.
Most professionals applying for international jobs have extensive experience and skills. Keeping the resume as efficient and brief as possible without adding too much information is critical. Most candidates have the question, “How much is too much information?” This answer wholly depends on the relevancy of your experience with the job description.
If you are applying for a software engineer position in a multinational company, add your skills certificate in bakery and confectionery in the hobby section. Similarly, if you are applying for a health administrator job, don’t add experience relevant to coding and web designing.
Proofread and Edit
Candidates tend to forget that a poorly edited resume gets trashed. Before pressing the ‘send’ button on the email or submission link, you should cross-check your resume with a fine-tooth comb and a magnifying glass.
Some excellent online resources assist with proofreading, comma placement, clarity, and even plagiarism. Once you’re done editing and proofreading your resume, it is best to ask a friend or colleague to look over it too. Another set of eyes will help you clarify which aspects need a thorough brushing up or changing.
Fonts and Colors
There are several fonts that you can use. However, avoid using cursive and flowery fonts when selecting a font and size. These are great for wedding invitations, not for a professional resume. Ensuring your profile is legible, easy to read, and clear without unnecessary emoticons, images, or smileys will help you get noticed rather than ones too colorful. If you plan a single-page resume in an image format, you may add color, but avoid making the resume look like a rainbow.
Fonts like Cambria, Times New Roman, or Arial in sizes 10 or 12 may seem bland, but they make the resume look mature and professional.
Your resume should speak to the recruiter in an active tone, not first person. Avoid writing, ‘I ran multiple teams to achieve so and so the outcome,’ and instead focus on, ‘led a 5-people team on multiple group tasks and achieved so and so.’ Doing this helps shorten the resume, makes it more succinct, and helps free up space to add more power words like achieved, accomplished, completed, and earned.
When listing your achievements, avoid going overboard. Out of all your achievements in each experience-based subheading, select three or four of the most critical job duties relevant to the potential job. Wherever possible, add numbers and metrics that measure your success in achieving the goals.
Many candidates also add a separate column or heading for skills and achievements. Highlighting relevant achievements in volunteer work, career, sports, music, and education will portray you as a well-rounded individual with an adequate work-life balance.
The typical margin size is 1 inch. This covers all four sides. A one-inch margin with a single space or 1.15 – 1.5 is adequate for recruiters and hiring managers to read. Usually, anything lesser than this, a small font size, and narrow margins will make the resume difficult to read.
If you feel a 1-inch margin is too less, you could increase it to 1.5. However, it is best to keep it under 2 inches. Anything more than this will drastically reduce your chances of using all available space. You may also need to compromise on the information provided to keep the resume short.
When you are done with the resume, you should always critically examine it like a recruiter or hiring manager. Some things to consider before finalizing the resume are answering questions like, “Have I made the resume legible?
Are my achievements listed to the best of my abilities? Have I covered everything of relevance?” and so on. Once you are satisfied, you should go ahead and click on the application or send button.