Whether you’re a software engineer, data analyst, or network engineer, there are key points recruiters are looking for when looking at a resume. Your resume is the first thing a recruiter sees, so it’s crucial to make a good first impression to get a callback. The best resumes should be easy to read, highlight your accomplishments, and convince the recruiter you’re a good fit for the job. Here are our tips to make sure you have an awesome resume:
- Keep Your Resume Template Simple
- Keep Your Resume Under 1 or 2 Pages Max
- Use a Professional Font Type and Font Size
- Include Links to Relevant Content
- List Relevant Information First
- Utilize Keywords from the Job Description in Your Resume
- Highlight Your Accomplishments not Your Responsibilities
- Start Sentences with Action Words
- Make your Resume ATS Friendly
- Tailor Your Resume for the Job You’re Applying For
Keep Your Resume Template Simple
A great way to see what your resume should look like is by searching for examples of resumes from the industry you work in. The template you pick should be simple and easy to read. Avoid using charts or images to avoid distractions on the page. Employers need to review many resumes a day and if it’s hard to find key information they are looking for, they will toss your resume aside.
Make sure each section of your resume has a purpose and short and to the point. Key sections to include an objective, experience, and education. Make sure to keep the information concise and relevant in order for recruiters to quickly understand how you’re fit for the role.
Keep Your Resume Under 1 or 2 Pages Max
Unless you have more than 10 years of experience, stick to one page. A resume should typically be only one page especially for recent college grads. Make sure to include your education as well as any relevant internships and projects that showcase your knowledge in the field. You need to be concise and focus on accomplishments. If you’ve already been working for at least one year remove sections such as volunteer activities and interests.
Use a Professional Font Type and Font Size
Utilize an easy to read font type and font size. Fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman are standard in many resumes because people are familiar with the font and are industry standard for professionalism. Typical font size is kept between 10 and 12 points in order to be readable.
Spacing is important to make sure you can visually see breaks between sections but make sure to remove any excess whitespace. Excess empty space will make your resume appear as if you lack experience.
Include Links to Relevant Content
The best way to show employers that you are qualified for the job is by linking to relevant websites. Make sure to link your LinkedIn and portfolio. Make sure your LinkedIn is complete and accurately reflects your experience. Upload your projects to GitHub or a personal website to showcase your experience. We highly recommend entry level resumes to include examples of previous projects completed to make up for the minimal work experience.
List Relevant Information First
When you have extensive work experience and education, it’s important to be able to select the most relevant information to highlight. Including jobs you did years ago or minors that don’t deal with your current work will distract the recruiter from relevant information. Prioritize work that will reflect your experience in the job you’re applying for, along with the most recent work that is relevant.
Utilize Keywords from the Job Description in Your Resume
The best place to refresh your resume is by reading the job descriptions. Even if the role is the same, depending on the company there will always be different characteristics and experience that a company wants in their ideal candidate. Study the job descriptions and identify the keywords that you should plug into your resume.
For example, when applying for a data analyst role, the job description might list keywords such as “data visualization”, “data analysis”, “SQL”, or “dashboards” in the job description. The key is to focus on the sections listed as “Qualifications” or “Requirements”. Any skills the company is looking for that you have, make sure to list it under your skills section.
Highlight Your Accomplishments not Your Responsibilities
Your resume is the company’s first impression of you. In the industry, most technical interviewers are employees who are taking 30 minutes of the day to complete the interview. This doesn’t give them a chance to sit down and get to really look into your resume. This makes it very important to be mindful about what information you are highlighting in your resume.
When describing your accomplishments, make sure to use numbers to back up your statements by providing metrics. This will allow recruiters to accurately measure the value you provided to the company. An example of this would be “Created script that removed duplicate data which reduced data discrepancies by 25%.”
Start Sentences with Action Words
Action words such as “achieved”, “accomplished”, or “conducted” are power words that allow you to share things you’ve done in the role in a concise way. Action words help reduce long sentences and make it easier to read. For example, a work experience bullet point such as:
“When working at Framework Inc., I was in charge of a cross-functional team and determined the tasks that required completion for the project.”
A concise version that has more impact would be:
“Led a cross-functional team and conducted sprint planning activities”
Make your Resume ATS Friendly
With many companies using an Application Tracking System (ATS), it is important to make sure the template you pick is easy to parse through. When you submit your resume to a company, it will go through an ATS which scans your application for keywords identified for the role. Once scanned, the ATS will provide your application a rating. Recruiters will then review any applications that are provided high ratings.
The easiest way to determine if your resume is ATS friendly is to save your document in plain text. Check to see if any information is missing from your original resume or if there are any special characters, excess spacing, or if the information has been jumbled up. The other option is to utilize a resume review scanner which will act as an ATS and let you know whether not your resume is ATS friendly.
Tailor Your Resume for the Job You’re Applying For
While you may be searching for just for a specific role, depending on the company the responsibilities associated with the role may vary. Be sure to check to see if you need to create another version of your resume in order to tailor your experiences and qualifications.