Job Applications: 5 Quick Tips

5 Quick Tips for Improving your Resume

Everyone wants to stand out! In the article below, I go over 5 ways to quickly and effectively improve your resume so that you will stand out to recruiters. If you’re interested in improving your resume, contact edtingbychristina@gmail.com or check out editingbychristina.com.

Quick tip #1 How many bullet points should I have? 

    The question shouldn’t be “How many?”, the question should be “Where do you want your reviewers to look?” 

Try it out yourself! Hold your resume about arms length away—Where do your eyes go? Naturally, they go to the section with the most bullet points. Therefore, when organizing your resume, include the most bullet points in the sections that are most applicable to the job posting. However—to get back to the original question—aim for 4–7 bullet points in the sections you want the reviewer to read first and make sure this section is near the top so the reviewer can’t miss it!

Quick Tip #2: The 10-second rule 

Reviewers spend about 10 seconds scanning a resume before they decide if they want to read it. This process may seem unfair to the applicant, but some job postings can receive over 100 applications and it’s not feasible for the reviewer to read through every one. During these 10 seconds, reviewers skim for similarities between the job post and submitted resume. Therefore,  spend time perfecting the style and organization of your resume by making sure section headings are labeled, keywords are utilized, and bullet points are appropriately placed. Styling and organizing your resume will make you a more competitive applicant because it will guide the reviewer’s eyes to the sections that show off your applicable skills and accomplishments. 

Quick Tip #3 How long should a resume be?

Unfortunately, there is no right answer. Every industry has their own expectations for length and format, which means applicants must do their research before they apply. However, if you are a young professional—less than 10 years of work experience—the suggested length is 1 page. The “1-page rule” is recommended because it prevents the applicant from including irrelevant information that will distract the reviewer. For example, the hiring manager (HM) doesn’t need to know you worked at an ice cream shop in high school if in college you held 4 internships while also working at your local bookstore. Likewise, if you’re already in the workforce, the HM doesn’t need to know you worked at a bookstore if you already have applicable experience for the job posting. Therefore, organize your resume to include only information pertinent to the job application, which will help your resume stay within the recommended 1-page limit.

Quick tip #4 I don’t meet ALL the requirements! 

That’s OK! A good rule of thumb is to apply for a job if you meet between 70-80% of the requirements. If you meet 100% of the requirements, you’re overqualified. 

Why is that? A job posting is an overview of tasks that you may do on the job, it doesn’t mean that you will be doing every task or at least every task, every day. Furthermore, the hiring manager knows what they are looking for in an applicant, so even if you aren’t proficient in every requirement, apply anyway!

If you do secure an interview but are nervous due to your lack of experience, you can actually use that lack of experience to your advantage. In the interview, let the hiring manager know you applied for this job because you want to learn new skills and expand your knowledge base. This drive will demonstrate initiative and curiosity, which are always good traits in a potential new hire. 

Quick tip #5 Should I include an objective statement? 

When submitting a resume it’s important to think about who will review your resume: 

  1. Talent acquisition: If the individual is a part of a talent acquisition team, you can guess they read multiple resumes a day for the same job post. Therefore, adding an objective statement that includes keywords from the job post and clearly states your goals will help you stand out among the sea of resumes. 
  1. Hiring manager: If you submit your resume directly to your potential manager, an objective statement may not add much value since they are more likely to focus on your relevant work experience. Future goals and career trajectory can be discussed during the in-person or virtual interview stages.

Additionally, it’s recommended to include an objective statement if you are new to the workforce. Many times recent graduates do not have much relevant work experience. Instead of adding irrelevant work experience to meet the 1-page minimum, including an effective and concise objective statement will help the reviewer understand what you’re looking for in a position and can help them place you in the desired roles.



If interested in improving your personal statements contact me
at editingbychristina@gmail.com or visit editingbychristina.com.

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