A resume is a brief window into your skills and accomplishments, but it’s the preview to the movie about life’s accomplishments.
An ideal resume should entice an employer to find out more about you and how you’d fit into their company.
Some resumes barely get a glance because of poor formatting, bad grammar, or because they’re clearly not the right fit for the position. But a clear, concise resume could put you on the short list with a potential employer.
An effective introduction to a resume includes an employment objective. In a sentence or two, this tells the employer what you’re looking for as a job seeker, and it’s a great way to introduce yourself and hook the reader.
Some candidates might blanket their resume across every job listing, but no matter how many jobs you apply to, creating a custom employment objective indicates to an employer that you’re not just using a stock resume for every position.
It’s a small and subtle change, but employers pick up on it. Jonathan Duncan is the team leader at Agilec in Barrie and says employers take notice when your employment objective matches up with their job listing.
“Something in that basic objective gives the employer knowledge that you’ve at least tried to tailor your resume to the job,” Duncan said. A simple objective like “looking for a construction position in the Barrie area” would suffice when applying for a job in that sector.
After the employment objective, it’s all about front-loading your resume with the most relevant information.
Education doesn’t need to be on the first page of a resume; instead, focus on the most crucial aspects of your resume and put those after the employment objective.
You could have all the qualifications and skills in the world, but if they’re buried at the bottom of a two-page resume, an employer might never see them. Which means you should always headline the key elements as early as possible in a resume.
“Typically, when people are reading resumes, they’re reading for the first 15 to 20 seconds,” Duncan said. “If in the first 15 to 20 seconds it’s not hitting you as an employer, they’re just going to put it to one side.”
Sometimes paring down your resume from two pages to a concise one-page summary would be beneficial. Relevant work experience, skills and education are usually the most important things employers are looking for.
Things like other work experience, awards, volunteer experience and interests can help fill out a resume, but if they aren’t relevant to the job listing, it’s best to omit those sections entirely. You want to put your best foot forward, but there is such a thing as information overload.
Keep your resume straight to the point, and lead with your best skills, experience and knowledge. If it’s enticing enough, an employer should want to contact you for a follow-up interview to learn more about you.
Whether your resume needs a simple touch-up or a complete makeover, Agilec offers free resources to help job seekers polish their resume, and they can typically help improve a resume within 30 minutes.
Drop in anytime to Agilec in Barrie, or visit Agilec.ca.