If you’re searching for your dream job, you’ll likely need a great resume to stand out from the crowd. I visited NAIT’s Career Services and chatted with an advisor to learn how to tailor a resume and cover letter. This service is available for all current students. You can get a professional’s perspective to boost your resume and help land you the job! Here a few of the things I learned.
Highlights of qualifications
Recruiters take an average of 7.4 seconds to scan your resume to see if you are a good fit for the role, so summarizing the key points of your resume can help catch their attention. Instead of having a “professional summary” at the top of your resume, try a “highlights of qualifications” section, including your hard and soft skills, and how they are applicable to the role you’re applying for. For example, an Accounts payable role could include a bullet with “Processed accounts payable with QuickBooks, Oracle NetSuite, Sage50.” List three to five bullet points highlighting your qualifications to make it easy for the recruiter to see why you would be a good match!
Relevancy and transferable skills
Make sure your resume includes skills that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Scan the job description to identify what qualifications the employer wants from their new hire. While not all jobs you have worked may be relevant to the role you are applying for, see what transferable skills you can draw from previous experience. For example, if you’re applying for an administrative role but have only worked retail, you could include bullet points about handling cash transactions and balancing cash registers. Attention to detail in administrative roles is important, so including these points make your previous experience more relevant to this role!
Try to keep your resume to one or two pages. Sometimes the second page can include relevant experience which can’t fit on just one page. But keep in mind, recruiters don’t have the time to go through each resume thoroughly. That’s why it’s important to format your resume’s readability. Make it concise, but also highlight what qualifications make you a great fit for the role. Your resume could be structured like this:
- Contact information in the header section of the document which includes your name, contact details, as well as city and province to show you are local.
- Highlights of qualifications to point out the key qualifications you already have that make you a great fit for the role.
- Relevant experience this is an add on section to highlight roles in the past relevant to the job being applied for.
- Professional experience listed in chronological order from most recent to oldest. Summarize the experience gained from previous roles into transferable skills you can use for the new role you are applying to.
For more personalized advice from experts, book an appointment with NAIT Career Services! They offer interview practice and feedback, strategies for job searching, LinkedIn reviews along with resume and cover letter reviews. Book an appointment through your myNAIT portal.