The Type of Résumé That Will Land Jobs

Executive Resume

You graduate from high school and head off to the university that you worked so hard to get accepted into. After four to five years, that include countless hours of studying, exams, and interning, you graduate with your degree (in the major that took you two years to decide on). Hooray, you accomplished what you set out to do, you are officially a college graduate. Now what?

If you are one of the lucky few, you have a position waiting for you upon graduation. For everyone else, well now it is time to job search and the first thing you are asked for when you apply to your dream role: a résumé. You have spent the last two to three years training to work in the industry of your choosing, that you completely ignored the fact that you will need a résumé.

If you are a recent graduate or someone looking for a new position, below are six things that should be done on a résumé to give you a boost over the competition.  

1. Experience

Understand that you will need to tailor your résumé (and cover letter when applicable) to each position that you apply for. Off the top, your résumé will be reviewed to ensure that you possess the experience that corresponds to the job announcement. Be mindful that you must come across consistent and relevant, therefore the job titles and responsibilities you include in your résumé match the position that you are applying for. If your job experience does come from outside industry experience, highlight the skills that are relevant to the hiring company to show that you do have the value they are looking for.  

2. The Necessary Skills

As a continuation of experience, list all the relevant skills that you will bring to the table. If you are unsure which ones to highlight, use the job duties in the position announcement as a starting point. Include all relevant skills that will be required in your new role. Ultimately, your skills should complement your experience.  

3. The Required Education

List all your education including degrees and specialized certificates. In addition to your education, recruiters and hiring managers love to see results so highlight all of your achievements. Do not be afraid to brag on yourself and your achievements. Remember you cannot leave it up to others to be your cheerleaders, so you have to do it yourself.

4. Formatting

The formatting and layout are just as important as the content is. If your résumé is sloppy or uneasy to read it will be tossed aside regardless if you possess all the necessary experience and desired skills. The format and layout of your résumé need to be clear and consistent. Make sure that your résumé has only one font type. You can use bold and italics to emphasize, bullet points to outline your skills, achievements, education, and responsibilities. If you are in doubt with regards to your résumé formatting, the Copy My Résumé writing guide can assist you so that you are on par with industry standards.

5. Accuracy

This may seem like a no-brainer, however, proper grammar and the correct spelling are a must. By not running your document through the spell check tells potential employees that you are lazy, lack follow through, or that you are not as proficient in Microsoft Word as you say you are. Ensure that you are using consistent verb tenses. In addition to the basic spelling and grammar, also make sure the names of important industry-related terms are accurate.

6. No Inconsistencies

Lastly, make sure your résumé does not contain any inconsistencies. Inconsistencies will cause red flags with any recruiter or hiring manager. Therefore, make sure that your résumé runs in reverse chronological order and that there are no unexplained gaps in your work history.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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