Easily Fix Your Resume in Just 5 Minutes

Have you been sending your resume out and not hearing anything back? You feel like you’re close but keep falling down at the finish line. Maybe you just need a quick way to fix your resume.

You’re not alone in the confusing world of resume writing. In fact, it’s actually pretty easy to trip yourself up considering how many times you might be adjusting your resume. Not to mention that companies frequently don’t give any feedback at all to help job seekers. Sometimes though the solution is easier than you think. You can fix your resume in just 5 minutes by preventing some of the most common mistakes.

Fix Your Resume In 5 Minutes

In the same time it takes to make a cup of tea you can fix your resume. Not only will it look good, it will also have  everything that the employer is looking for. Of course, this guide assumes you have already got a resume for this job. Maybe you’ve even put together a template resume that you use before each job. Hopefully you’ve avoided the major resume mistake that most job seekers make. If you haven’t got an awesome resume just yet, think about how you’re going to grab an employer’s attention right away.

Tailor It to the Job

The most important thing when writing a resume is making sure you tailor it to the application. Most people will immediately think of spelling and grammar – and that is important too! However, a resume with perfect grammar and punctuation still won’t be successful if the employer can’t see it’s relevance.

That means carefully reading the position description. Once you know what they’re looking for, you can put in skills and experiences that relate to the role. For previous jobs that don’t relate too closely to the one you’re applying for, give a brief description of the role and then highlight transferrable skills that you learnt and applied there.

Some positions receive thousands of applications. Simply, a resume that looks like you didn’t take the time to read the ad will end up on the rejection pile. Show the employer you care and match your skills and experience to the position.

Highlight Your Skills

Have a quick look at your resume. Can you quickly see your key skills? If you can’t, then a hiring manager probably can’t either. Show the employer that you have the ability to work well in their company. Prove that you have the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to achieve your goals and be successful a part of their team.

If you are worried you don’t have enough experience in their particular field, show them what else you have. Include techniques and soft skills you have learned at other jobs or groups that might be useful for the role. Sport teams and charities are excellent for developing soft skills. You may have more transferrable skills than you realise. Soft skills like team work, problem solving, and creativity for example are always appreciated.

Language

Improving your language helps clear any confusion a hiring manager might have. Don’t forget, hiring managers aren’t the only ones reading your resume. Fix your resume so that AI software can read it and more easily approve you. There can be a tendency for people to exaggerate their role to look better. Be careful with this because the computer might miss a phrase that it’s looking for if you have been too creative with your job description. For instance, imagine an employer is looking for someone to help prepare lunches in a busy cafe. If you describe yourself as a “sandwich artist” instead of the more conventional “sandwich maker”, you might not be picked up.

Typos and Grammar 

Cleaning up your language also involves making sure there are no spelling errors or glaring grammatical mistakes. This is often said to the be the bane of job seekers. Nothing can tank a hopeful applicant’s chances quite like continued misspellings. Of course, the biggest typo in your application will pop up right after you’ve told them you have an eye for detail.

To prevent this, have someone else read it. Since they’re not as used to it as you they should pick up any errors. To get the same feeling by yourself you can read from the bottom of the page upwards. Another good idea is to print it out and read it in hard copy form. This helps break the repetition again by taking it away from the screen. Whatever you do, shake up how you proofread to ensure no errant errors are being left.

Formatting Your Resume

Putting your resume into a clear, logical layout helps both computers and people to scan it and find the key phrases they’re looking for. Unless you are applying for a creative role, keeping to a more traditional layout can make it easier for the reader to extract information. Some Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) can have trouble reading information especially if the writing is set out differently to what it expects such as in textboxes. If you are concerned about this, ditch the box and put the information in bullet point form in your main text. Demonstrate from the get go that you can convey information clearly and concisely through your resume layout.

Finally, when sending in your resume, keep it as a Microsoft Word document that will be easiest for the software to scan. PDFs offer the security of knowing employers will receive your resume exactly the way you meant. This is great because it keeps formatting the same and won’t move stuff around. It also means that the ATS might not be able to read it. That means the robot that’s reading your resume might miss your key skills and qualifications. If that worries you save your resume as Word document.

If the job description asks for one or the other however, follow it. Better yet – save a copy of your resume as both a pdf and a doc so that you can send either one when you’re ready. Just remember to update it.

5 Minutes Over – You’re Done!

If you already had a resume template and you’ve followed the above steps you should be good to go. Make sure you tailor the rest of application and stay relevant. You can use the same tips you used to fix your resume to improve your cover letters and online applications. 

Not everyone takes the time to do this final step. This is what’s going to help you get ahead and leave the competition in the dust!

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