Interviewing for a position can be nerve-racking.

How to optimize your resume

However, many people don’t even make it to that stage of the hiring process. Instead, they are eliminated from the list of candidates as soon as a recruiter reads their resume.

The resume is one of the most important things in regards to whether or not an applicant gets a job. In fact, 20 percent of recruiters say they sometimes eliminate candidates before even finishing reading the complete document.

Having an impactful and professional resume is a must if you wish to get the position you want.

With that in mind, below are some tips for optimizing your resume.

1. Make good use of negative space

The first mistake you want to avoid is creating a proverbial “wall of text” because you want to fill up your resume to the brim with accomplishments and accolades.

However, walls of text are naturally off-putting to readers. That certainly includes recruiters and HR professionals.

Instead, include a good amount of white space on the page so the reader’s attention is driven to important information.

This can allow the things you do mention to have more impact.

2. Edit your resume for each application

Another mistake many applicants make is submitting the exact same resume to every employer.

This will get noticed by probably just about every company you submit your resume to. Not only will they notice, you won’t get the job either.

However, simply editing the objective statement of your resume to mention the employer by name isn’t enough.

Instead, you should list skills, job experience and positive traits you have that are relevant to the exact position you are applying for.

Obviously, if you are applying for a job involving finances, you should mention that you have experience as a virtual bookkeeper rather than a staff member at “Chuck E Cheese.”

It is very important to modify your resume so that it goes along with the job that you are pursuing.

There is an average of 117 other applicants for each job opening that you have to compete with.

3. Keep it to a single page

There is some debate over how long a resume should be. Some say up to two pages is tolerable.

However, you need to keep in mind your objective here.

You need to be able to catch the attention of a job recruiter.

That recruiter could be reading over a hundred resumes. If that is the case, you want to keep your resume concise and impactful.

With that in mind, you should keep your resume to a single page.

The interview is what a company uses for you to go into more detail about what is mentioned in the resume.

With that in that mind, think of your resume as an appetizer to wet the employer’s appetite for the main course that will be served during the interview.

The job of the resume is not to convince the employer to hire you.

It is to convince that company to choose you as one of the two percent of applicants that gets a call-back for an interview.

4. Include bullet points within reason

Bullet points are great in the sense they draw the eyes to specific information on the page.

You should certainly include some bullet points in your resume for this reason. However, some people do go overboard with them.

As a general rule, only include five to six bullet points in a row at maximum.

Including more than that can seem a bit boastful, and the recruiter may not read all of them anyways.

5. Make your contact information prominent

One of the most important parts of any resume is the contact information.

It should be clearly visible and near the top of the page.

Making the contact information hard to find is, of course, a huge mistake.

With so many resumes for recruiters to sift through, they’re not going to bother looking for the contact information for more than a couple seconds.

Include your phone number, email and physical address.

Only include social media profiles if your accounts are extremely sanitized and work friendly.

How do you optimize your resume? How did you find the tips above? What would you add? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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