A resume is an effective tool for conveying your interest and eligibility for a new job. However, many job seekers find it challenging to stand out from the competition and don’t know how to optimize their resume to catch the eye of their would-be future employer.
While every organization is different, many of the qualities hiring managers look for are the same. Here are four things hiring managers want to see on your resume.
As unfortunate as it is, having a visually appealing resume can often be the difference between having a hiring manager take a detailed look at your work history or skimming it over quickly. Visual appeal doesn’t mean that you need to hire a graphic designer to create an elaborate document. On the contrary, it’s about knowing how to use font and white space to make it easy and enjoyable to read.
If you look at the best resume examples online, you’ll see that they use bold font and text size variations to help pertinent information– like your name– stand out and capture attention. From there, things are organized in an easy-to-follow flow with plenty of space to prevent crowding. Columns are an effective way to convey a lot of information without having pages upon pages stapled together.
Relevant or Transferable Skills
Once you’ve made it easier for the hiring manager to review your resume, you want to ensure that both your relevant and transferable skills are highlighted. Relevant skills are those that directly and obviously create a connection between what you’ve done in the past and what you hope to do in the future. Transferable skills are seemingly unrelated at a glance but could add supplementary support to your new role.
When including transferable skills, you need to tread carefully. Cull your list of transferable skills to those that are easiest to connect. For example, working as an accounting clerk in the past may not directly link to your current application for a marketing manager. However, in that role, you may be responsible for managing a budget and working closely with the accounting department each month. Thus, your seemingly unrelated skill may give you an edge over the competition who is equally qualified.
Another thing that hiring managers look at is your employment history. In most cases, there are a few key details they evaluate, including:
- Industry experience – how long have you been in this industry?
- Consistency – have you been with a few employers for a long period of time or do you change jobs frequently?
- Employment gaps – is there a gap in your employment that isn’t explicable at a glance i.e., showing that you were attending a continuing education program during that time versus having no apparent cause listed.
This information provides insights regarding your experience, as well as your behavior as an employee. Hiring managers are often hesitant to hire someone who has changed jobs often or has been unemployed for a prolonged period. These issues can be addressed in a cover letter and should be rehearsed before an interview.
If it’s apparent that you didn’t put a lot of effort into your resume, then hiring managers won’t feel confident that you’d put adequate effort into your job. Paying attention to detail and going over your resume with a fine tooth comb is essential. Be on the lookout for formatting and grammatical errors.
Everything included in your resume and cover letter should be intentional and express your interest in this job, not just any job. Additionally, it’s important to remember that your high school email address may not cut it and that your hobbies and interests outside of the workplace do not belong on your resume (unless it pertains to volunteer experience).
A resume is a medium by which to communicate with a potential employer, but it isn’t everything. How you conduct yourself online plays a critical role in the modern business world and having proven results from your previous work will help secure your position with a new company.