August 19th, 2016

Build a winning resume

3 tips to build a winning resume

Hiring managers spend just a few seconds scanning each resume before deciding who gets an interview. Those few seconds are all you have to make a lasting impression, so you need a resume that gets you noticed. Here are our top tips on building a winning resume.

  1. Start with an opening statement

A few years ago, every resume started with the job seeker’s objective. Something like, “To obtain a role as a senior-level communications professional for a financial services firm.”

That type of statement is now largely out of favour, because it focuses on what your potential employer can do for you – when your resume should focus on what you can do for them.

Instead, start your resume with an opening statement that quickly summarizes what you have to offer and what you can do for the company in this particular role. For example, “Expert communicator with more than 15 years in increasingly senior-level roles in the financial sector. Experienced at solving complicated communications-related challenges such as x, y and z.”

  1. Tailor your resume for each job

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to use the same resume (and even cover letter) for every position they apply for. Many employers now use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is software that screens incoming resumes and automatically rejects those that don’t seem like a good fit. In other words, for a real person to see your resume, you have to get past the ATS first. And submitting a generic resume isn’t likely to do that.

To increase your chances, you’ll want to tailor your opening statement and work history to focus on accomplishments that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Work in some keywords from the job posting and show that you understand industry-specific terms.

  1. Pay attention to detail

When you feel like your resume is perfect for the job you’re applying for, get it proofread by several friends, or by a professional editor or proofreader. Even a small typo can be enough to have your resume rejected. Finally, unless you’re in a very creative industry, keep your formatting simple, straightforward and easy to read. Remember that your resume isn’t your portfolio.

For more tips for job seekers, check out the resources offered by CareerLink.

Head over to our course page to find a course suited to improving your resume.