When you’ve used a resume builder the last time you’ve made your resume, it doesn’t mean you’re done with it. You have to update it regularly. It’s not just a matter of putting in new jobs, tasks, and accomplishments. It’s also about enhancing your resume to match what hiring managers are looking for in a resume today.
So here are some tips that can help improve your current resume:
Use the right font. Obviously you don’t use hard-to read fonts or unprofessional fonts like Comic Sans. But some popular fonts, such as New Times Roman or even Arial, are either getting too common or falling out of favor.
Instead, try Calibri, Garamond, Gill Sans, Helvetica, or Georgia. Also, changing fonts can help you compress your resume to a single page, or it can help fill out a 2nd page much better.
Try to use bullet points where you can. Bullet points present your info more clearly, especially for people who are just scanning your resume. So if you have a paragraph containing 3 or more points, you may want to list them down instead.
Get rid of useless sections and words that hiring managers don’t care about. This starts with your “objectives”, since they care more about their own objectives than yours.
Then remove the personal pronouns that start sentences. Instead of saying “I submitted reports”, just say “Submitted reports”. Hiring managers already know that the resume is about what you’ve done.
Finally, get rid of personal details and long explanations of jobs and tasks that don’t pertain to the job you’re applying for. So aside from your name and contact info, remove references to your age, gender, marital status, religion, high school, and irrelevant tasks that aren’t connected to the job.
Make sure that non-industry people can understand what your job entailed. So let’s say you worked as an editor in a magazine. Other editors may understand what the job required, but hiring managers or their automated tools may not. So you have to list down (in bullet points) that you checked for grammatical and spelling errors, checked for clarity, confirmed facts, thought of topics to write about, assigned writers to articles, and wrote headlines.
Put in quantifiers in your accomplishments. That means you specify how you succeeded in your previous jobs. You may say that you were able to help increase sales by 15%, cut down on operating expenses by 50%, or shortened a manufacturing schedule by 2 weeks.
Even if you were a server in a restaurant, you can always include concrete numbers as part of your job description. You can say that you served 75 people on average per day, and you have received 100% satisfaction because no one lodged a complaint about how you did your job.
After each change to your resume with the resume builder, you should always take the time to check the whole resume. Your changes may have resulted in an error such as a misplaced period. The point of making these changes is to improve your resume, and not to make things worse!