5 Ways to Keep Your Resume out of The “No Pile”

*Guest-post writen by Caileen Kehayas, a content marketer for Proven.

Who loves writing resumes? Hello? Anybody?

That’s right. Nobody actually likes writing a resume, but they are extremely important in the hiring process.

However, there are easy ways to write a good resume. You can avoid the pitfalls that will put you on the express train directly to the dreaded “No Pile.”

If you follow these steps, you can be assured that your resume is well-prepared for the Yes pile!

1. Formatting: Make sure your resume is neatly formatted & organized.

This is likely the first time a hiring manager is learning about you. Make sure your resume looks clean, simple and easy-to-read.

Something to note here is length! Keep your resume to one or two pages.

No need to add your hula hooping abilities or that two week babysitting gig from four summers ago. Include only the most relevant (and impressive) achievements and work experience.

Nobody wants to pick up a resume to see a giant block of single-spaced text.  Break up otherwise bulky descriptions by using bullet points. This will make it easy for hiring managers to scan your resume for relevant skills, experiences and achievements.

2. Spelling and Grammar: Check for spelling and grammar errors.

Have a friend look it over.

Going directly into the NO pile for a spelling error is H-E-A-R-T-B-R-E-A-K-I-N-G!

Another element to pay attention to is verb tenses when describing responsibilities and achievements in former positions. Pick whatever tense you like but make sure it is consistent!

3. Objective: What are you looking for?

The objective is a source of debate for many resume experts. Some believe it should be trashed altogether. Others believe that a well-written and direct objective can provide clarity to hiring managers.

Take this opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Be specific. Don’t say “hardworking individual looking to grow and thrive in this company.”

Create 2-3 sentences summarizing your experience and specifically how it will be beneficial to that job.

The objective can be a great opportunity to personalize your resume for the job at hand.

4. Make it Job-Specific. Don’t mass-produce one resume.

It’s fine to have a “master resume” but make sure to tweak it for each position.

Remember, however, to keep it short and sweet (and relevant).

Research the position at hand and recognize the skills, responsibilities and qualifications necessary.  Skim through your existing resume and add those in where applicable (and truthful!).

This will not only help hiring managers but it will also make your resume more attractive to ATS systems scanning for keywords.

5. Do Your Research: This is a chance to shine in your cover letter.

Make sure you know about the company.

What makes them stand out? How do you fit in?

Put this all in your accompanying cover letter!

Pay attention to the tone and candor of the job description. If it is light and playful, make your cover letter light and playful, too. This will not only show your attention to detail but your desire to fit into the company’s culture.

Do not miss this opportunity to flex your knowledge and interest!

Putting It All Together

Next time you are looking for a job, pay special attention to revamping your resume.  Coming armed with a great resume and a strong cover letter will immediately make you a contender for the right job.

Did We Miss Something?

Do you have any other tips on improving resumes?  Let us know!

Caileen is a content marketer for Proven. When she is not blogging or tweeting, she likes to curl up with a good book or go for a run in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

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