As a career advisor, your job is to help your clients get hired for jobs that are well-suited to their talents and abilities. Part of this process involves helping them polish their resumes so that they get noticed by potential employers. This can be challenging since it requires you to keep track of the latest resume-related trends. That way, you can avoid giving your clients cookie-cutter advice that will make it harder for their resumes to get noticed.
You have to walk a fine line between creating a professional resume that adheres to traditional standards while at the same time adding extra features that help it stand out. The goal is to create a document the gets noticed without coming across as being too flashy or over-the-top.
The tips in the following section can help you guide your clients in the right direction when creating their resumes.
1. Don’t Stuff The Resume With The Latest Buzzwords
For young professionals, there is a natural tendency to want to stuff their resumes with industry-related jargon. This is partly because they believe these words make them seem more knowledgeable. In fact, however, these types of words are used so often that people in charge of hiring usually won’t give them a second glance.
A good way to find out whether or not a particular word needs to be included in the resume is by thinking about what the person in charge of hiring is actually looking for. Before including any type of industry jargon in the resume, ask yourself whether it showcases the applicant’s skills or whether it is simply being included as a way of impressing potential employers. Ultimately, the goal of the resume should be to put the applicant in the best light – not to use the latest buzzwords if they don’t add value to the document and always do a resume grammar check at the end.
2. Refine The List Of Skills
To have the greatest impact, resumes should be short. Hiring managers don’t want to have to waste time reading through pages of documentation. One way to accomplish that is by refining the list of skills so that it only includes relevant information.
That includes eliminating skills that applicants are naturally expected to have. For instance, in the past, listing that an applicant was proficient with Microsoft Office showed that they had good computer skills. Today, however, employers expect applicants to have this skill, simply because the software is so commonly used in everyday life.
At the same time, however, it is important to know what skills employers are actually looking for. For instance, most employers are looking for job candidates who have strong communication skills. If you can find a way to demonstrate that the applicant knows how to communicate clearly and effectively, their resume is more likely to get noticed.
Employers are also looking more closely at soft skills when evaluating applications. Using the right wording on a resume can go a long way toward helping hiring managers understand the personality of the applicant.
3. Use Links To Your Advantage
Paper resumes are a thing of the past. Today, most employers accept electronic resumes instead. This makes it possible for applicants to share additional details with employers through the use of links.
Today’s employers usually examine the social media habits of job applicants before deciding whether to hire them. Applicants can make it easier for employers to check these details by providing links to their profiles on major social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Links can also be used to showcase work that the applicant has done in the past. These types of links are a good way to reinforce the skills that are listed on the resume. By providing real examples of work that the applicant has completed, employers can see for themselves what they are capable of. Making it easy for employers to access this type of information can increase the chances of an applicant getting hired.
4. Avoid Distracting Graphics Or Layout Features
Ultimately, the content of the resume is the most important feature. Every so often, however, including a graphic or two can add something special to the finished product. The key is to avoid using graphics or other enhancements in ways that could prove distracting.
For instance, if the applicant worked on a project in the past that raised brand awareness for their previous employer, you can include a graph showing that improvement.
This technique should definitely be used in moderation, however. If there are too many graphs and images included in the resume, it can be distracting. It can also give employers the wrong impression, making them think that the employee is purposely trying to hide some sort of weakness by overcompensating with graphics.
5. Avoid Stretching The Truth
Most employers value honesty. Exaggerations – or even downright lies – on a resume can wind up getting applicants rejected. Make sure that your clients avoid the temptation to stretch the truth or to try to exaggerate the work that they have done in the past.
Few people actually lie on their resumes. However, some people do exaggerate so much that they may as well be lying. It is important to remind your clients to be honest. Even a tiny lie can ruin their chances of getting hired. Embellishing their skills or the type of work they have done in the past can wind up doing far more harm than good.
People turn to career advisors when they want help finding the perfect job. As a professional working in this field, you should have a good understanding of how to help your clients create resumes that stand out and get noticed without going over-the-top.