Picture this: You’ve just found out about a fantastic job opportunity, and the deadline to submit your resume is today.
Panic sets in, and you frantically start updating your resume, realizing that it’s been months or even years since you last touched it.
If this scenario sounds familiar, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share some top tips for last-minute resume building that will make your application shine in no time.
1. Start With the Basics: Contact Information and Objective Statement
First things first, double-check your contact information to ensure it’s up to date. After all, you don’t want the recruiter to call your old phone number or send an email to an address you no longer use. Be sure to include your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL.
Next, craft a brief objective statement that highlights your career goals and the value you bring to the table. Keep it short and sweet, and tailor it to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, you might say:
Experienced marketer with a strong background in digital advertising, seeking to leverage my skills to drive results for XYZ Company.
2. Prioritize Your Experience: Most Relevant First
Time is of the essence, so don’t waste it on describing every single job you’ve ever had. Instead, focus on the experiences that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for. If you’re a seasoned professional, you might want to ditch the part-time gig you had during college.
Start by listing your most recent job, followed by the ones that came before it. Be sure to include your job title, the name of the company, and the dates you worked there. Then, under each position, briefly describe your key achievements and responsibilities using bullet points.
Remember, you want to showcase your accomplishments, not just your duties. For example, instead of writing “managed social media accounts,” you could say:
Increased social media engagement by 25% through the implementation of targeted campaigns and creative content.
3. Showcase Your Skills: The More, the Merrier
Now that you’ve highlighted your experience, it’s time to flaunt your skills. Make a list of the abilities that set you apart from the competition and are relevant to the job at hand. Be sure to include both hard skills (like programming languages or certifications) and soft skills (like communication or leadership abilities).
Consider using a simple format to present your skills, such as a two-column list or a series of bullet points. This will make it easier for recruiters to quickly assess your qualifications.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Education
Even if you’re short on time, don’t neglect to mention your educational background. List the name of the institution, the degree you earned, and the year you graduated. If you’re a recent graduate, you might also want to include your GPA, relevant coursework, or honors.
5. Polish It Up: Formatting and Proofreading
With your resume content in place, it’s time to make sure it looks great. Choose a clean, professional font like Arial or Calibri and stick to a font size between 10 and 12 points. Be consistent with your formatting, such as using the same bullet points and headings throughout.
Now, for the most critical step: proofreading. Even if you’re in a hurry, take the time to carefully review your resume for any spelling or grammatical errors. A single typo could make a negative impression on a potential employer, so it’s crucial to ensure your document is error-free.
If possible, have a friend or family member take a quick look as well; a fresh pair of eyes can catch mistakes you might have missed.
6. Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description
To make your resume truly stand out, take a few minutes to customize it for the specific job you’re applying for.
Review the job description and identify the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to the position. Then, incorporate those terms throughout your resume, particularly in your objective statement, experience, and skills sections.
This will not only demonstrate your attention to detail but also increase the likelihood of your resume making it past any applicant tracking systems (ATS) that employers may be using.
7. Include Relevant Links
If you have an online portfolio or professional website, be sure to include a link to it on your resume.
This gives potential employers an opportunity to view samples of your work and gain a deeper understanding of your capabilities.
Additionally, if you have a decently-maintained blog or have been featured in any industry publications, you might consider adding links to those as well. Just ensure that any links you include are professional and relevant to the job you’re applying for.
8. Utilize Action Words
To make a powerful impression, use strong action words when describing your experience and achievements.
Words like “led,” “managed,” “created,” and “implemented” can make your accomplishments sound more impactful and engaging. This will help your resume stand out and convey your competence to the hiring manager.
9. Keep It Concise
Although you may have a wealth of experience and accomplishments, it’s important to keep your resume concise and to the point.
Aim for one to two pages in length, depending on your experience level. This will ensure that potential employers can quickly scan your resume and grasp the key points without getting overwhelmed by excessive information.
10. Save and Send Your Resume in the Appropriate Format
Finally, once you’ve completed your resume, be sure to save your document in a commonly accepted format, such as a PDF or Word document. This will ensure that your resume retains its formatting and is easy for recruiters to open and review.
When submitting your application, follow the employer’s instructions regarding file format and naming conventions, if any instruction is provided.
What do you think?
Creating a polished and professional resume at the last minute can be stressful, but with these ten tips, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an application that makes a strong impression.
By focusing on the most relevant information, showcasing your skills and accomplishments, and paying attention to details like formatting and proofreading, you can quickly put together a resume that will help you stand out in any competitive job market!
Do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know if you have any insider tips or tricks in the comments section below.