From Indeed to LinkedIn, social media has made job postings appear endless. But according to Forbes magazine, the average hiring manager will have 118 resumes plopped into their inbox before they find the right candidate for their job opening – which means despite supply, the competition is still fierce.
An outdated resume can quickly put applicants out of the running.
Along with her team, Amanda Wagner, operations director for SC Works in North Charleston, spends countless hours every year helping job hunters prepare to enter the workforce as part of Eckerd Connects.
Their first stop on the road to success? A quick tutorial on proper resume building.
- Step 1: Find the right format for you.
“When someone comes to see us, we’ll talk about their experience and the type of resume they need,” said Wagner. “If they’ve had a lengthy work history, a chronological resume might suite them best. That’s going to break out everything you’ve done in a timeline order.”If you’re a young adult entering the workforce, or your employment history isn’t very extensive, try emphasizing your life skills with a “functional” resume style that focuses on your experience. Functional resumes are appropriate for career changers and individuals with large gaps in their employment.
For those with plenty of experience albeit in different fields, try a combination approach.
- Step 2: Keep it clean and concise.
A poorly punctuated resume will have potential employers pushing the delete button before their first morning coffee.After you’ve laid out and populated your resume, step back for an hour or two before sending it out. Give it a once over. If something can be written in less flowery terms, don’t be afraid to rework your first draft.
“A hiring manager usually only takes 25 seconds for that first look at a resume to see if they want to pull it, or trash it and move on,” said Wagner. “Take a few extra minutes to really format the resume with a clean font, wide margins and bullet points. Be brief and concise.”
- Step 3: Be your best self.
No one should advise you to be dishonest on your resume. Being professional, however, is always important. Simple upgrades, like switching out your old email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a new sleeker address (JohnSmith@gmail.com) is a quick improvement.“As a hiring manager myself,” added Wagner. “I always look to see if they have a professional email address. If you don’t have a professional email, it just doesn’t make it look like you’re up on today’s technologies, and that could be a huge problem.”