After repeatedly trying and failing to curate the perfect graphic-resume on every Adobe™ editing platform available to me with zero hits on Linkedin, I decided to give a professional resume writing service a go. After not having touched my resume since my summer internship in college, I knew that my CV needed a little bit of work, but a free resume review later, I had about 3 pages worth of edits to peruse. For those of you who think they can get away with some slight tweaking and debating whether or not to spend the big Lincoln’s on a full resume revamp package, I’d recommend getting a free resume review, the company I went through was: https://www.clearpointhco.com/resume-writing-services/. However, 5 minutes into reading just the free review I decided to shell out the 70$ on the complete package via Groupon.
After buying the package, I was assigned a professional writer to take over. They sent over a questionnaire, which was essentially a deep dive into your career and existing resume. The questionnaire asked for everything from your dream job, to accomplishments, to technical skills. It was a way for the writer to really get a better idea of who you are as a person.
While not every industry calls for the same resume, I rounded up some of the best bits of universal advice I got from the service that everyone can use to spruce up those job applications a little bit. It may make the difference between just getting your next job or your dream job:
- So FYI, those pretty graphic resumes with the bar charts fresh from Photoshop are a complete no-go. Graphic resumes are apparently not Applicant Tracking Systems friendly. It’s a system that companies use to parse information from your resume to find candidates that are best suited for the job description.
- This section should have your name, city, state, phone number, email address, and a Linkedin profile URL. This should be located in the body of the doc and make it easier for ATS to pick up and read
- Make sure you have a section that is your personal sales pitch for your dream job. This section means you don’t need an objective section anymore, these are now considered out-dated.
Skills/Area of Expertise
- This is arguably the most important part of your resume. Most recruiters and hiring managers will skim this section, but this is critical because it includes the keywords ATS is trying to parse. This section should change with every role that you apply to since it should be relevant to the specific job.
- The format should stay pretty consistent for every role. Start with your earliest role and include the title, company name, and dates of employment. You don’t want more than eight bullets for any section, as that tends to be the point where people stop reading, and bullets should be no more than two lines long.
Some End Notes
- Try to be as concise as possible while still getting your point across. The resume is just to get your foot in the door, the interview is where you can really deep dive into your core skills and why you’re a perfect fit not just for the job, but for the team.
- Also a BIG MISTAKE I see on a lot of resumes; PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you do a spell and grammar check. There is nothing sloppier to a hiring manager than glaring spelling errors.
- Be careful with your grammar usage as well (ie. try not using the proper tense when talking about your past roles).