top-resume-fixes

15 Top Resume Fixes for Your Resume Can Help You Get Interviews Quick

Posted on 29. Jun, 2015 by in resume

Chances are you are without a job or urgently looking for a new job and you need job search results quick! I understand your situation. I’ve been there. There’s no time for patience. You need results now. It’s a tough job market out there right now – not only landing a job, but keeping a job as well as companies of all sizes struggle in this economy.

So what resume shortcuts can you take to help you land more job interviews in less time? I get that question a lot. Truth be told, there are several top resume fixes you can make to your resume that can greatly improve your chances of getting interviews. However, every single top resume fix requires attention to detail. You decide whether you consider these top resume fixes to be resume shortcuts or not. I am not a big fan of the phrase resume shortcut because it typically implies sloppiness, laziness, and an overall lack of attention to detail – all of which could quickly put your resume on a shortcut to the trash or recycle bin. Let’s stick with the phrase top resume fixes instead.

Top Resume Fixes

I am a perfectionist. There I said it. I am not aware of any support groups. But the problem is, I review resumes. Other problem is, many people just like me review resumes as well. We have no patience for silly mistakes. That say far more about the person writing the resume than their resume ever could. Silly mistakes are a very frequently the shortest distance to the recycle or trash bin. That is why I emphasize top resume fix number one below. Many of you will pass it right by, but I cannot emphasize it enough.

  1. PROOFREAD YOUR RESUME. Then, set it aside for a day. Then, PROOFREAD IT AGAIN. The mind is a funny thing. As you read, especially, it often helps you overlook typos or missing words so you can continue reading. When you proofread, read every single word and read very slowly. Don’t count solely on spell check and grammar check because they do miss things. Your attention to detail will pay off by helping you find issues before us reviewers find them. This truly is a top resume fix because any glaring typos or missing words cast certain doom on your job search prospects because it shows lack of attention to detail and carelessness. Not high on a hiring managers list of desired qualities.
  2. HAVE SOMEONE ELSE PROOFREAD YOUR RESUME. As I mentioned, the mind is a funny thing and it can play tricks on you. Have you ever written something and read it time and again only to realize later that you missed a word or had a misspelling that apparently your mind must have corrected for you and you skipped right over? Or perhaps you used a word incorrect or the incorrect word for your desired meaning altogether? You are not alone. I see this all the time. Enlist the help of someone you trust who is detail oriented to do another level of review on your resume – just to make sure. Because you are so familiar with the content, you could easily miss something. Having another person review your resume helps you get an idea of what other’s reactions are to your resume as well as another set of eyes to look for mistakes. Save your resume from the trash and recycle bin, get someone else to review your resume for you.
  3. BE PROFESSIONAL ON YOUR RESUME. What does that mean? Well, it includes several top resume fixes.
    • The first top resume fix for being professional means that your resume should not include an contact email address like johnnylovesweed@xyz.com or partygirl128@abc.net. Have a professionally acceptable email address to put on your resume or get one from gmail or some other email service. Similarly, do not include unprofessional addresses for social media accounts. Don’t create a poor image of yourself with a potential employer based on your email address, let the resume you worked so hard on speak for you instead.
    • Your resume should include your full name and not any questionable nicknames that might lead a potential employer to question your morals, ethics, or character. You might think this is obvious, however, in the my years reviewing resumes, I can say that it is not so obvious to everyone. So avoid cute or incriminating nicknames on your resume and keep it professional. As an example, if your name is Susan and you go by Susie, that would be OK, however if your friends call you Sticky Fingers, Stinky Pete, or Boom Boom, you would be best served not using that nickname on your resume in most cases.
  4. BE PROFESSIONAL OFF YOUR RESUME. Say what? Well, if a company is looking to hire you, you had better believe that in most cases they are going to do some background searching on you. Some companies run official background and/or credit checks on applicants. Many more will look candidates up on social media sites, especially LinkedIn which is popular in business networking circles. However, they may also find their way to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social media sites. So, what might they find and do you care? Well, the example I like to use a lot is of Michael Phelps, Olympic champion swimmer, who had developed an outstanding image in the media and then a social media picture of him surfaced with friends smoking pot. There was immediate reaction that tarnished his image. Businesses have little tolerance for this activity and if you have questionable pictures posted or are tagged in questionable posts by friends, you would be best served to take them down. You do not need to give a potential employer any reason to pass you over for a job.
  5. USE DESCRIPTIVE JOB TITLES. You do not need to use your official job title on your resume for each job. In fact, this top resume fix says that it is often better that you don’t. Create a job title that best defines the role you held and shows how it is related to the position you seek. For example, do not list a job title as Customer Advocate Level I because that doesn’t mean anything to anyone outside of that company, and Junior Customer Service Representative would be a better description. Just make sure it reflects the work that you did. This is called a functional job title because it describes the function or role you performed, so it does not necessarily have to be the official job title. This makes your resume easier to read and evaluate and we resume evaluators thank you for helping us out.
  6. DO NOT INCLUDE AN OBJECTIVE SECTION. In this day and age, it may be surprising that this still needs to be said, but it does. Many, many years ago, it was taught that the first section on your resume after your name should be an Objectives section. This totally useless section took up valuable space – strike that – the most valuable space on your resume, with useless jibberish about life and career goals that no one cared much about. What a waste. If this section exists on your resume, delete it entirely. Send this back to the 1970’s and 1980’s where it belongs.
  7. DO INCLUDE A SUMMARY SECTION. The first section after your name and contact information should always be a Summary section. This section provides a short 3 or 4 sentence summary of your qualifications for position you are seeking. It is for highlights only and should help generate interest with a resume reviewer so that they will want to read the rest of the resume. Don’t fool yourself by thinking every word on your resume gets read. It does not. Resume are most frequently scanned. A short summary of your qualifications at the top can grab a reviewer’s attention and keep them focused on your resume longer. However, make sure that the detail of your resume clearly supports any claims you make in the summary.
  8. USE KEY WORDS FOCUSED ON DESIRED POSITION. Anyone who works with the Internet if familiar with the concept of key words. They are what search engines use to help identify the relevancy of internet content to what someone is trying to find so it can return a list of most relevant results. Similarly, when reviewers are scanning resumes quickly, they do not read every word (don’t be surprised). They are often just looking for key words from the position description. For example, for a programmer resume they may be looking for words like Java, .net, or C##. Your task is to figure out what the important things a reviewer will be looking for on your resume and make sure that they will find them in both your summary and the job history details. This top resume fix has high impact especially since many initial resume scan are performed by computer software rather than humans, so it is literally looking for a matching of words and phrases related to the job posting. See this previous posting on Applicant Tracking Systems for more information.
  9. Use a Professional, Easy-to-Read Font. This tip seems obvious, but you would be surprised to see some of the crazy fonts some people use for their resumes. Best bets would be any variation of Times, Arial, Helvetica, or similar fonts. Many will use a sans-serif font for titles and a serif font for body text and that is fine. Pay attention to size, because, you guessed it, it does matter. If a reviewer needs a magnifying glass to read your resume, it will not be read guaranteed. For most fonts, 11 or 12 point works well, but 10 could be acceptable. No smaller.
  10. LEAVE YOUR HOBBIES AND PERSONAL INTERESTS AT HOME. They do not belong on your resume. They may be interesting, but the resume space is better used for describing experience relevant to the position. Unless you’re applying for a bee keeper, your bee keeping hobby won’t score you any points. In addition, you don’t need to say that you belong to the local juggling club or thespian society, or local ethnic social hall whatever that ethnicity might be. These things are just not relevant and could do more harm than good to your job search.
  11. INCLUDE ADDITIONAL SKILLS AND CERTIFICATIONS. Foreign languages are great to include in this area, as well as any professional certification you have. Technical positions could also list software or hardware or other equipment in this section. This helps also ensure you use key words on your resume so reviewers can see them. Reviewers like lists because they are easy to scan. Just make sure you include the right things in the list for your reviewers.
  12. EDUCATION. Do not list your high school unless it is specifically requested. Most employers will assume you have graduated high school for the initial screening, but may ask for proof later in the interview process. As a typical rule, the education section is reserved for post-high school education including college and trade schools, or other specialized training.
  13. REFERENCES. Do not waste space at the bottom of your resume with the phrase, “References available on request.” This is another remnant from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, if references are desired, the potential employer will ask. Again, use the limited space on your resume to build your case and show more examples of why you are the best candidate.
  14. PHOTOS. In general, photos on a resume are a bad idea. There are some rebels who may object, but your photo does nothing to build your case. People have all kinds of perceptions of others based on their looks, and yes, some may even have prejudices. Don’t risk it. Leave the photo off of your resume. Let them look you up on LinkedIn or some other social media site if they really want to see what you look like.
  15. GRAPHICS. Avoid using fancy graphics on your resume. Ok, unless you are applying for some type of designer position. However, for most positions, limit your graphics to dividing lines and bullets. Graphics make the resume hard to read and many software packages used by companies to store and read resume can’t read the graphics. Don’t take any chances. Yes, it’s boring and that’s OK. Play it safe and make sure that your resume is easy-to-read by person or machine.

Bonus Top Resume Fix and Resume Shortcut

If you are seriously pressed for time and worried about your ability to turn out a professional, error-free product, you should consider the services of a top resume writer. These services are more affordable than you might think and can yield quick results as many testimonials prove. You can expect to spend typically between $300 and $600 for the typical resume by a top resume writer. Check out our reviews of our top resume writers for 2015 for the ultimate resume shortcut that shifts the burden from yourself to a proven resume professional. The choice is yours. Read the reviews and decide if this option is right for you.

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