Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Dos and Don’ts of Editing vs. Writing a Resume

A well-written resume highlights your skills and focuses on your potential as a successful job applicant. This is the document to mention your high school diploma and see how your work experiences align with your qualification.

Many job seekers ask the same interview question, “Where can I edit resume?” yet struggle to find the appropriate tools. We just want to let you know that some things hiring managers want to see in a future employee and some things they despise. 

So, if you are wandering around with no opportunity to land a dream job, it’s your lucky day! We’ll tell the popular (and less popular) dos and don’ts of writing and editing a resume that will make you an absolute pro in resume writing!

The Major Dos

So, before you move on to editing, our main advice is — don’t do that immediately. Leave it to “breathe,” and get some rest to start proofreading with a clear head. You might want to send the paper to a friend or a colleague who can share an unbiased opinion.

Now, let’s go to the Dos!

Pick a format

The resumes can vary in structure significantly. Depending on the job and company’s voice, the applications must follow a specific format, such as:

  • Chronological: listing your education and jobs in time order, starting from the most recent experiences
  • Functional: the experts say it’s useful for individuals with no experience, as they have more “room” to focus on the skills.
  • Combination: just the middle choice between the two previous options. This resume format is trendy and on-demand in the HR environment.

To determine which format is better for you, review the list of jobs you’ve done and identify the career goals you’d like to present to a recruiter.

Write a summary statement

The summary statement is similar to an objective statement, which many people included in resumes a while ago. It shows employers how your skills and ambitions align with the corporate viewpoint. Therefore, if well-written, it can get you an interview in no time! 

Optimize for Applicant Tracking System (ATS) requirements

ATS is a monitoring tool HRs use to pre-screen the candidate. To make an ATS-friendly resume, you must include relevant keywords and spread them across your paper. Your job application might look great to the human eye, but to AI systems, it may still lack the reason to hire you right away.

Using appropriate keywords (find them in a job description or google for specific positions) and utilizing standardized resume headers is a common way to pass an ATS stage successfully. 

Make sure to match a resume with a career field

Editing is not done once you proofread the grammar mistakes. A document should be unique, preferably fit on one page to engage with recruiters. When people want to apply for a few positions, they can’t just use a copy-pasted resume for all of them.

Be sure to update a resume according to the information from the job description. Match the keywords and remove unnecessary work experience. You want to look like a promising candidate, not a desperate person looking to “do whatever job I’m assigned.”

Quantify if you can

Use numbers and practical examples whenever possible. It’s strange that many applicants still ignore that rule, considering how insightful this is.

For example, why not use “Reached a sales goal of 15 new clients and $40,000 in additional revenue” instead of “Targeted a sales goal”?

The Likely Don’ts

We’ve talked about the editing efforts to produce a winning resume. Let’s go to the not-so-pleasant basics that might cost an interview or even a dream job.

Make it bigger than one page

We agree that an initial draft will hardly take less than one page. However, we suggest that every job seeker makes an extra effort to cut off the unnecessary information and make a job application a bit terser. 

Get fancy with pictures, colors, and fonts

This rule may not always apply if you work as a graphic designer or are looking for a place in the fashion industry. 

But here’s the thing: hiring managers are mainly used to seeing standard online templates. They won’t spend time getting adjusted to your customized layout. They need to see numbers, and years of experience, not fancy pictures. If you want to share your creatives, share them in a portfolio, but keep in mind that applying for a job should carry a formal tone.

Include all of your jobs

Not every single work experience is essential. Sometimes a candidate might benefit from listing temporary occupations like volunteering or a seasonal job, but try sticking with the most recent and most relevant entries.

State the obvious

For example, people will likely assume you speak English or are a confident user of Microsoft Word and Outlook. If you’ve mentioned those skills, stop reading the article and delete them now—clear space for more relevant data.

Mention controversial information

In times of interracial or religion-based conflicts, it’s probably for the best to keep your marital status, race, religion, or political affiliation to yourself. These topics can cause unnecessary bias and confusion or even cost you a job interview if the hiring manager has a different opinion.

Brief Summary

Resume writing is a challenging process. You have to collect data on your previous jobs, highlight your skills, and be ready to advocate for your position during an interview. 

There are certain Dos and Don’ts of writing and editing a resume. The obvious Don’t is: don’t send a paper without proofreading.

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