By Devin Caldwell

As job markets become more saturated with competition, even the slightest errors on your resume can sabotage your chances of starting a career. Your resume or CV is the first piece of document that prospecting employers look at, and we all know how important good first impressions are. In fact, career experts all agree on the importance of having well-constructed and customized resumes that grab the attention of interviewers and talent scouts. Here’s six tips on how to enhance your resume while keeping it brief and simple.

Break Down the Job Post

Analyze the job posting word for word. Your resume must fit exactly with what the job description is asking for. Look for ways to throw keywords that the employer uses on their posting. Even the subtlest difference in word choices can turn employers away. For example, if they use the word “manage” and you use the word “supervise” on your resume, this makes you sound like the wrong person for the job, even though those two words have the same meaning. Of course, avoid stretching the truth as this can backfire and give employers the impression that you are lying about your credentials.

Weed Out Irrelevant Details

It’s all too easy for these small, forgotten details to make their way into your resume. You might have added them months or years ago to impress a company and get your foot in the door, but then fast forward to today and those certifications and licenses have expired. Only include information that’s up to date and that you can back up. If you are taking night classes in web development to broaden your technical skill set as a data analyst, for instance, you can use the word “pursuing” to make it truthy.

Keep Learning

The more skills and certifications you collect, the more dynamic your resume becomes. Take online or traditional courses on your free time and update any existing licenses that are about to expire. Secure certifications that can be applied in a broad range of situations, such as a BLS certification. Basic life support skills are something you can apply to any workplace and having one can make you more marketable.

Use Bullet Points

A bulleted style resume makes information more readable compared to large paragraph chunks. It’s also the most ideal format, considering that employers and interviewers only really glance on your resume for as short as six seconds before moving on. With bullet points, you can draw more attention to details that actually matter, plus not to mention that it’s much gentler on the eyes.

Use Reader-Friendly Vocabulary

While speaking like Shakespeare can impress some of your friends, it’s not ideal to use SAT words on your resume. Instead, choose simple but easy to understand words. If you’re using acronyms and industry jargon, explain it to the reader otherwise you just leave them with a confusing piece of information that they cannot use to evaluate you.

Draft and Experiment

Changing up your resume’s format can make you see things that you overlooked the first time. Career experts suggest the technique of writing a letter to your friend or family member that contains job achievements. Afterwards, cut out the casual words, such as “I” and “we”, and make it more formal.

The perfect resume isn’t made in one sitting. As you add on to your skill set and work experience, your resume will have to reflect that. Furthermore, you’ll have to make adjustments to your resume whenever you plan on finding a new job or transitioning to a new industry since each employer has their own needs and expectations when screening candidates.

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