Four tips for a 'sexy' resume – and four big turn offs to avoid
Apparently it’s time for your resume to get sexy. An infographic put out by the career advisors at the website topcounselingschools.org highlights the challenges of creating a document that stands out from the crowd in a tight job market, and points out how to increase the ‘sex appeal’ of your resume.
How fierce is the competition? One in four recruiters receive 50 resumes for every job they post. One in ten say that they receive 100 resumes for every job.
So how can you make your resume more attractive when its surrounded by so many others vying for the same position? Top Counseling Schools offers four tips for increasing your allure.
Begin with a career summary of what makes you uniquely qualified for the role. Let employers know how your interests are a natural fit for the job and how your skills and experiences will make you good at it. A successful summary can be also used as a template for your answer to that common first job interview question, “So, tell me about yourself.”
2. Be confident
We know this from the dating scene, and it holds true at work as well: confident people naturally come across as more attractive. Your resume should highlight your key accomplishments and describe how you made a difference in each role that you’ve held. This isn’t the time for sentences like “Duties included posting stories online.” Your resume should say, “Wrote headlines for online stories that engaged new audiences and increased clicks by over 200% in four months.”
3. Take a professional resume tone and stick with it
If you start using full, grammatically correct sentences, then use them all the way through. However resumes don’t need formal sentence structure, as long as you’re consistent. It is often preferable to leave the ‘I,’ ‘We,’ or ‘Our’ off the beginning of sentences for a more crisp sound. Use bullet points to break up the text and provide appealing white space, and make them powerful with strong verbs.
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4. Use the proper keywords
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. The sad truth is the many, if not most resumes are never read by an actual human – simply because they lack the proper keywords that software filters are screening for. (See: How to get more employers reading your resume) Do the research for your industry, and make sure that you describe your qualifications in similar language to that used in job postings for the position you’re applying for.
The biggest turn offs?
Using an inappropriate email address as your contact on your resume. firstname.lastname@example.org might crack your friends up, but just use your name in the email address you use for professional purposes.
Unseemly posts on your social media profiles. Employers are going to Google you, and they’re going to check you out on social media sites. Make sure they don’t spot any of the big turn offs: angry posts, foul language, heavy drinking or drug use, facts that contradict your resume, etc.
Objective statements about what you want. Employers know what you want. You sent in your resume; you want the job. What they want to see right off the top is what you can do for them.
Typos, mistakes and poorly thought-out abbreviations. Sending in a resume with even one spelling or grammar mistake will almost certainly get you immediately rejected. It implies that you have poor language skills, or that you’re sloppy with poor attention to detail, or that you simply don’t care that much. Oh, and if you were an Associate Director, don’t shorten that to ‘Ass. Director.’ It doesn’t look good. Have a friend read over your resume with fresh eyes to spot slip-ups.
When a sense of humour isn’t attractive:
Top Counseling Schools also list some classic examples of errors in a resume that turned out to be unintentionally funny. These might give the hiring manager a chuckle, but they aren’t going to win you a job interview.
- “Took a career break to renovate my horse”
- Hobbies include: “cooking Chinese and Italians”
- “Service for old man to check they are still alive or not.”
- “Job involved … counselling clientele on accidental insurance policies available”
- “2001 summer Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people”
- “I’m working today in a furniture factory as a drawer”
View the full ‘Anatomy of a Great Resume‘ infographic with more intimate details on sexing up your resume on topcounselingschools.org.