When searching for a new job, you want to give the best possible impression of yourself. A professional resume is one of the most important pieces of information in the hiring process. That’s why it’s so important to apply these 5 easy resume optimization tips to help make your resume stand out.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get stuck on how to format the content or whether you should highlight every single project from every job you’ve had. In a competitive job market like today, every little bit counts. While there’s no one correct way to write a resume, there are some things you can do to help make sure that yours stands out amongst the competition.
Here is our expert opinion on the resume tips that will improve your resume the most.
1. Does a Resume Need to Include a Comprehensive Profile Summary?
We’re sure you know the saying about first impressions, right? The first impression of your professional resume is of the utmost importance. So yes, your resume absolutely should include a comprehensive profile summary. Otherwise, you might never make it past the first round.
Since your resume profile summary will be the first thing hiring managers read, you need to make sure this first impression is a good one, and long-lasting. Write three to five sentences of overview or career experience incorporating the number of years you’ve worked, your industry, and job functions in your comprehensive profile summary.
Showing team leadership skills are incredibly important for moving up the business ladder. Adding insight into how you lead, coach, and work with cross-functional teams would be a great way to help your professional resume stand out.
- Are you a specialist in a particular field?
- Are you working or helping launch some next-gen product?
- Did you help your organization expand business operations or grow exponentially?
If yes, then add these to your comprehensive profile summary too. The more that differentiates you, the better when it comes to resume optimization.
2. Resumes Need to Include a Career Highlights or Key Achievements Section
Did you know that hiring managers spend only seven seconds looking at each resume? That’s not a lot of time to make a first impression.
Before diving into the resume content and job experiences, it’s good to focus on the key achievements section. This section should be under your profile summary but before your experience section.
In this section, add bullet statements showcasing quantifiable achievements and specific issues resolved in your recent roles. By giving quantifiable metrics, a hiring manager can better understand the impact you had and analyze your skills. Knowing the data also demonstrates a higher level of ownership in your last position.
This will help showcase not only a skills-based fit with a potential employer but also a cultural fit. The section also gives employers an idea about your knowledge, expertise, leadership, and work style.
3. Include Bullet Statements in the Experience Section That Showcase a Results-Action Format
Consider these two resume experience examples:
- Documented different job roles and SOPs for new employees.
- Improved new hire training and streamlined project handover by documenting various job roles and SOPs.
Which one makes a better impression? The second example features resume optimization that better showcases your talents. Option one is a generic statement about your job duties and doesn’t differentiate you from other candidates, while option two is your accomplishment and personal to you.
Work toward creating an accomplishment-oriented resume rather than a skills-based resume. For this, think about the actions or duties you perform in your job. What is the outcome of these actions?
- Did you increase product sales?
- Did you maximize engagement with the audience?
- Did you reduce business costs?
Include these results in your resume bullets, followed by briefly explaining how you achieved them. Recruiters and managers are looking for individuals that will make a positive impact on their business. That’s why it’s crucial to include these points as part of your resume optimization.
Demonstrating your experience in making a difference will help you stand out from the crowd.
4. Should You Use First-Person Language on a Resume?
A resume is a formal and factual document about the attributes you have. “I,” “me,” and “my” language doesn’t belong in a resume. Resumes are written in the first-person implied format instead of the third-person format. This simply means that no pronouns are included.
Your LinkedIn profile is where you can use first-person language as it is more conversational and personable in tone. The platform is optimized for first-person writing as you directly speak to a large audience.
Your LinkedIn profile should complement your resume. Other than the difference in tone, there should be no discrepancies in terms of your job experiences.
Ultimately, if your resume includes the use of first-person language, you need to remove them immediately as part of your resume optimization.
5. How to Include Keyword Optimization in Your Resume
Today, most resumes go through a computer program that scans your resume and looks for specific inclusions before a real human ever gets to take a look. To make sure that your resume is flagged as a potential hire by the program, you need to make sure you follow the resume optimization guide.
Keywords help your resume rank higher in the ATS. The best way to determine if your resume is keyword-optimized is to view a couple of your targeted job descriptions. First, create a list of skills and attributes desired by the candidate. Then, add those to your own resume creatively.
Incorporate these keywords into statements on how you lead and contribute to your roles. No recruiter or hiring manager wants to read laundry lists in a resume. So, it’s important to add these keywords in your resume bullets showing how you’ve applied these skills and attributes and not just put them in a list.
It’s also important to do some research into the role and identify the general keywords that are important to that position.
A good and free resource to check if your resume matches any job description is Jobscan.
Find An Expert for Resume Optimization
Resume optimization is tough. Not only do you need to be able to write about your accomplishments and skills, but you also need to communicate what you can bring to the table if you get hired. Fortunately, if this all seems too much or your efforts aren’t working, there is options for help.
Capstone’s certified resume writers can take care of all the resume writing specifics for you. Ranked as one of the best resume writing services, our writer will discuss content strategy and resume optimization goals with you directly.
If you want to improve your resume and increase the chances of getting hired, schedule a FREE initial phone consultation today!