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Posted 17 August 2023

Tips to Boost Your Resume

According to Forbes, an average of 118 people apply for any given job and only 20% of them get an interview. These statistics speak to how challenging and important it is to get your resume in front of an organization’s hiring committee. Read on to discover key tips to get your credentials ahead of the herd to assist with landing your next dream job!  

Tip 1: Keep it relevant. 

While many of us can share our extensive work history and accomplishments from years past, it’s important to consider if all that information is valuable to the position you’re applying for. If the job you held previously was more than 10 years ago or doesn’t relate to how you’ve accrued the skills for this new position, consider leaving it off your resume. This also includes not listing an average GPA since employers aren’t looking for “just average!”  

Listing dated or irrelevant experiences and achievements can distract potential employers from seeing the key skills and attributes they’re hiring for. Instead, list certifications, accomplishments, and previous employers only if they add to your resume in a way that speaks to your acquired knowledge and talents relevant to the position you’re seeking. If you’re a recent graduate or don’t have a vast employment history, consider creating a functional resume that showcases your skills grouped by theme alongside professional experiences.  

Tip 2: Consider your word choice. 

Employers are hunting for someone who has obtained the knowledge and skills they’re looking for, and what better way to learn what they’re searching for than by reading the job posting? As you review this information, think of ways you resemble their ideal candidate and point to this in your resume by using the same or similar keywords where possible. For example, some organizations will directly state they’re looking for someone with experience in claims submission, public speaking, or someone who has obtained certain qualifications or certifications. Using these same words when highlighting your experiences will help employers see how you fit the job description.  

Be sure to use active language when providing examples, then lead your statements with phrases containing using action verbs like “led,” “directed,” “conducted,” “created,” etc. to concisely express what you did during your time with previous employers. For example, the statement “Managed seven projects while creating and implementing new onboarding procedures to increase department retention rates from 50% to 80%” communicates the action you took with few words and strong language, allowing a hiring representative to easily see how you fit the role. 

Tip 3: Individualize your resume. 

While resume templates can be helpful to provide suggestions for headings, fonts, and margins, they should be modified to resemble and highlight your unique experiences. For example, if the position you’re applying for is only your first or second job, you might include sections that speak to your academic achievements, relevant coursework, volunteer work, and internships instead of listing a traditional work history heading. In doing this, you can highlight your accomplishments and proficiencies rather than point out your limited employment record. 

As you apply for multiple positions, you certainly can reuse your resume, but find ways to customize it for each job you're applying for where applicable. This could be a matter of modifying some of the keywords used in your resume or revising relevant experiences or credentials to allow your application to stand out.  

Implementing these tips should help potential employers easily determine if you’re a good fit for a role while offering you an opportunity to highlight your relevant qualifications and achievements that speak to different positions. This can lead to more interviews, putting you one step closer to landing your next job. Good luck!