Aida Maëlys January 30, 2021 Resume
Describing soft skills on a resume often starts to sound like a list of meaningless buzzwords, fast. But being a “strong leader” or an “effective communicator” are important characteristics you want to get across. Think about how you can demonstrate these attributes in your bullet points without actually saying them.
Hardworking, self-motivated, self-sufficient, proactive and detail-oriented are all words you’ll find on most people’s resumes. But most job seekers are motivated and hardworking, so these traits don’t really set you apart from the rest of the applicant pool. Instead, focus on the specific skills and accomplishments that make you different from everyone else applying to the position.
An easy way to keep your resume trim is to only include recent, relevant experience. While that yearlong first or second job might have taught you a lot about the field, it’s not always necessary to include every detail from your entire career history.
Not all hobbies deserve a place on your resume, but some do. Hobbies that highlight positive personality qualities or skills that could benefit you on the job are worth including. For example, running marathons (shows discipline and determination) and blogging about something related to your field (shows creativity and genuine interest in your work) are hobbies that will cast you in the best possible light and might pique a recruiter’s interest.
Before they’ve even met you in person an employer will make judgments about your personality and professional capabilities based on the look of your resume alone. So, make sure those first impressions are as positive as possible, which will improve your chances of getting to the interview stage (where you’ll, of course, wow the interviewer with your sparkling personality). Choosing an elegant, legible typeface and setting it nicely on the page will have more positive impact than a layout weighed down with gradients, eyesore colors and novelty fonts. Show off your creative side in a subtle way, by proving that you know when there’s a time and a place for being ultra-experimental…and for some jobs you may apply for a professional resume isn’t the place to do it.
Tied to the tip above, make sure the content of your resume is easy to scan. This is where brevity and proper formatting come into play. Use short sentences and bullet points to make the information easy to skim through. That way, recruiters can easily tell if you’ve got the necessary skills and education for the job you’re applying for. Using lines or section dividers as well as creative resume headings and icons are also great ways to make your resume more scannable. Consider this template that not only uses headings, lines, and bullet points but also plenty of white space to make the content easy to scan and digest.
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