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7 Creative Ways to Greatly Improve Your Resume

7 Creative Ways to Greatly Improve Your Resume

Your resume is your own personal promotional advertisement; including sufficient information to sell your skills and experience will determine whether you are asked for an interview.

Think of a promotional flyer; the main purpose of a flyer is to give relevant information to the reader. The same is the case with your resume.  Your resume should highlight the most attention-grabbing, impressive and unique details about you, your work and your skills.  Your resume doesn’t have abundant time to make a great impression on the employer. A professional recruiter can tell in seconds the time your resume has to get noticed. So your resume should help the employers to determine whether your skills match their needs.

In this extremely competitive market, it’s important that your resume and cover letter be specifically meshed toward a particular opportunity. Here are few creative ways to greatly improve your resume.

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1. Make a great first impression.

The first section of your resume shows a clear picture of the value you’ll bring to an employer. The headline and the summary section can be used to capture the reader’s superfluous attention by emphasizing outstanding successes, experience, expertise and professional qualities.

Let’s give you an example of a creative Headline and Summary section:

  • Headline: Marketing Manager with expertise in Marketing and PR
  • Summary: Marketing Manager with seven (7) years of experience in advertising, Public Relations and Marking for several multinational Brands.

2. Select specific industries, businesses, and disciplines.

You cannot send the same resume to different companies for different jobs. Rather, you should customize each application for each employer. Your job search should focus on the targeted areas in industries, companies, businesses or services sector.

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3. Highlight your expertise, capabilities, skills, and successes.

Contemplate your interests, experiences, skills, and achievements that you want to showcase to a potential employer. Try to add the obvious yet essential qualities of yours to make yourself unique and impress the employer. To have a satisfying career it is essential to understand your interests, expertise and qualities.

4. Improve readability.

Improve the readability of your resume by using the language that is comprehensive and understandable to those who make hiring decisions in these fields. Avoid using certain terms, phrases, and contractions that are distorted and unrecognizable outside of your workplace; as a result, reading your resume is like decoding a foreign language. Information on your resume should be easily and quickly gleaned and readable.

Make these changes to enhance readability:

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  • Adjust your font and add space by cutting words and spreading margins. You can expand your resume to two pages if necessary.
  • Consolidate job positions rather than listing each assignment separately.
  • Avoid repetitive information.
  • Use one font and attributes (small and capital letter words, italics, character spacing bold,etc.) to differentiate headings and sub-headings.
  • Try to eliminate content that reads like a job description.

5. Quantify your career, job, and work life accomplishments.

Try to quantify and monetize your career, job, work, and life accomplishments and the complexity of your accountabilities. Always mention numbers, dollars, and percentages instead of just describing your responsibilities.

Quantify this type of information:

  • Sales, percentage of sales growth, and new accounts opened.
  • “Held responsible for bringing in new clienteles” or “Brought in X new clients in X months”
  • 500 Employees supervised directly.

6. Polish and showcase accomplishments.

Reflect your past accomplishments, illustrate the value you’ll bring to a prospective company. Your resume should accentuate the outcomes you have delivered with precise examples. You should utilize this section with concise sentences and bullets to make these results stand out.

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7. Resume length.

You should be very specific about your resume length; if you have of seven years of experience working at different positions, your resume should be two pages. With low work experience, write a one page resume.

Every day, thousands of employers search for candidates; taking the time to improve your resume will result in better chances of getting hired. Get started today!

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 25, 2019

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

How to Ace an Interview: 10 Tips from a Professional Career Advisor

Wondering how to ace an interview? In this article, you will learn everything you need to nail your dream job — from resume submission to the end of the interview cycle.

In order to land a job interview, you must start with submitting a great resume. Submitting resumes is generally done by, “apply now”, the way many apply for consideration to a job requisition. Even if not applying the tradition way, let’s say, emailing someone in your network about an opportunity- you will still need a great resume.

So first thing first, work on your resume.

Today in the United States, 98% of organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to extract information from an applicant’s resume to build a digital applicant profile that can be searched, filtered, and/or ranked.[1] So, a resume that is ATS friendly is part one for landing and acing a job interview.

To do this, a resume must have certain formatting and keywords to get the resume through the scan and into the hands of a recruiter. Without a resume that works with and for today’s technology and requirements, an interview can be difficult to land.

Here’s a great DIY Resume Guide (Do it Yourself Resume Guide) to help you craft an ATS and Recruiter friendly resume:[2]

There used to be a time where a job application was enough, today, an ATS friendly resume leads all methods in landing a job interview.

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Now, let’s talk about acing that interview.

A job interview is part 2 of the job application process. An interview is where applicants that have met the minimum requirements are selected to discuss the job opportunity with the employer or hiring manager.

Interviews are generally conducted via telephone, in person, and or applications/technology such as Skype. When the interview is landed, these 10 tips will help you ace the job interview:

1. Going for a Job Opportunity That Speaks to Your Passion

Having a passion for the job/ industry is extremely important. Doing something that aligns with inner passion is important for quality of life.

People that have passion for the job that they are interviewing for generally have better interview experiences. When we talk about what we love, it is seen in our faces, our body language, and heard in our tone. Here’re 10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money.

In short, consideration of talents, discovering the things that make you happy and sad, and what you love losing yourself in.

2. Study the Job Description: Essential Job Functions and Qualification Requirements

Doing this will allow you the opportunity to develop examples of past and present experience that relate to the essential job functions and required qualifications.

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Examples of experience is always a plus for interviewers, painting a full picture goes a long way. Even when not asked for an example, it is always a plus to tie answers to interview questions to examples from your experience.

If there is a portfolio (work samples: images, writing samples, published work, videos, awards, etc.) of work- that’s even better!

3. Research the Company and the Interviewer(s)

Being an employee means entering into a relationship with an employer. In many areas of life, research is done prior to committing; researching a company prior to an interview is no different.

It is important to determine if the company is a good fit and therefore makes it easier to answer “why do you want to work here?” It helps better verbalize how past experience, skills, and values align with the company’s mission, and it shows the interviewer that you are interested in more than just a job.

4. Think Positive and Tap into Confidence

Positivity exudes confidence and both are necessary, so the employers knows that trust can be given.

Thoughts lead to action, therefore, operating from a positive perspective will reveal confidence. The goal of the interview is to land the job offer; employers need to believe that you believe in yourself so that they can believe you. Here are a few tips for positive thinking.

5. Have Copies of the Resume Used to Apply for the Job

It’s always good to be ready for extra interviewers in the room; many interviews today are panel interviews/ multi-person interviews.

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Though a resume was likely submitted with the application, it is always a good idea to come with extra copies in anticipation of the potential need. If there was no resume submission, it is crucial that you provide a copy during the interview; doing this shows the employer preparedness and resolution to challenges.

6. Plan for Behavior Based Interview Questions

Most companies use pre-selected questions, often times having a list of behavior-based questions. Usually these questions start with: “provide an example of”, “tell me about a time when”, and/or “describe a time/situation when”.

Having examples of problems solved and strategies used, initiatives led, contributions to teams and departments, will help ace a job interview. Painting a picture to help employers see skills, qualifications, and experience is extremely important during a job interview.

7. Make a List of Selling Points

It’s important to be proactive about the selling points that you want to make in an interview. This is where a portfolio works great! It is a great idea to make a list of selling points that reaffirms and demonstrates skills, qualifications, and experience.

Consider: awards, programs/ processes launched that led to cost savings and/or profitability, training/education, etc.

8. Showcase a Mixture of Personality and Professionalism

Companies like to make sure that interviewees are a good match for the company culture. Having a good balance of personality and professionalism during a job interview is key.

Personality can be shown when discussing hobbies, community service or extracurricular activities in answers to behavior-based questions, when describing your passion, and when discussing selling points.

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9. Have Your Questions Ready- Interviewing Isn’t One-Sided

Interviews are two-sided, like all relationships (an employee and employer agreement is a type of relationship). Before entering in many relationships, we all have a set of questions that we need answers to, prior to making the decision to commit.

Beyond doing this for self (because asking questions helps reduce doubt and uncertainty), it also shows the employer that there is interest in the company and its future and, shows that you are informed.

Here are a few considerations: “Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?”, “Why is this position open?”, and “What qualifications/ skills are important to succeed in this role?” You can also take a look at this guide for more idea: 7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

10. Follow-up with a Thank You Note

Interviewers love gratitude. Sending a “thank you for taking the time to discuss the job opening with me”, is very important to acing an interview.

Interviewers discuss one job opening with many applicants. A thank you note can serve as gratitude and the final chance to showcase selling points. This is also the opportunity to address any concerns that the interviewer may have had in the interview.

Summing It up

Consider a job interview a house. the foundation for acing a job interview is passion. The frame is a resume that lands the interview. The plumbing and electrical are showing up with confidence, providing a list of selling points, having examples of your experience and qualifications, and engaging the interviewer. The roof is showing gratitude with a thank you note.

More Tips About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Nik MacMillan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Jobscan: What is an Applicant Tracking System?
[2] Veronica Castillo: New Job- DIY Resume

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