Making a resume all comes down to one thing, leaving an impression good enough to get the interview. A resume is a lot of things but with a single purpose. It is a crucial part of the job search and is often the first impression of a person in front of the organization. And most importantly, you never know who is going to see your resume, when, and why! Even when you are settled in a job, your resume travels and represents you, often to the next big opportunity.
As a writer, one is always advised to write and edit, and forget about it for a few weeks. Then read it again with a fresh perspective. Now ask yourself, is it good?
Although, waiting for a few weeks to review and release the final draft of your resume might be highly impractical. So here are the tricks to self-evaluate your resume format and subsequently, the content. Although, you may still want to review it after a while to get it closest to perfection. But first, use these little hacks to get the formatting and content on your resume to the point with a fresh perspective:
Run Keyword Check
Copy everything into a tool like readable.io and wordcounter.net and run a readability check along with keyword check. You can use the keyword density to understand what areas and functions your resume is most insistent on, in sets of two and three keywords. Optimising for 2-4% density of important (sets of) keywords will make it "readable" for software-based screening. There may even be tools to do it directly and gain further insights into the same, so research a bit.
Come whatever may do not try to push in keywords (unnecessarily) just to get the density, remember a human will eventually read it and you'll be at a disadvantage. Keep it natural.
Just how many things we discard and don't read for the sole reason that the overview looks chaotic and not-so-neat as we prefer? This is what good resume formats and layouts tackle in the first place. As a document, it has to be balanced, and as a non-standardized document, it can be symmetric. Pressing a butter paper or something similar will blur the text and will give a very good idea of how it looks. If it looks unbalanced, go ahead and change things. Try a few things like stepping up the font size by a point everywhere, adding or subtracting few words, justify (alignment), using tables, etc.
There is a fine line that separates balance from symmetry. Go for the balance. Tables are the best way to do it but it compromises with certain things by condensing the content.
Difficult To Read Fonts
Even with the change, self-biasing is bound to occur. Read carefully, rather speak it aloud to understand how it will feel. Whatever feels out-of-ordinary-wrong may not always be, so keep an unedited copy separate to compare.
After the exercise, take some rest and let your hard work do its magic. Resumes need continuous updating as your career and time progress. Making small changes and updates in your resume from time to time will keep it ready and easier to update further. It is a good exercise to review and subsequently, edit your resume every 2-3 months and revamping it every year or so. After all, it is your professional image in words!
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