How to Build Your Resume to Capture Important Job Keywords

Building a solid resume takes time and effort. However, it’s not just about having one that’s bare bones—it’s about tailoring it to capture important keywords for each job application. Obeid suggests avoiding trite phrases like “go-getter” and “team player.” Instead, focus on describing your accomplishments in specific, concrete terms. 1. Focus on Relevant Experience When writing your experience section, try to emphasize experiences that are relevant to the job for which you’re applying. This may mean that you decide to remove a previous job that doesn’t align, or even move some jobs into an Additional Experience section, freeing up space for more relevant experience. Don’t forget to include important details about your experience, including accomplishments and results. For example, if you’re an engineer, you can say how you improved sales in your last role instead of just listing your duties. This helps to make your experience more meaningful and makes it more impactful to hiring managers. A great way to show this is in your summary section. 2. Include Relevant Skills Whether you choose a chronological, functional or combination format, include a skills section that highlights your top job-relevant hard and soft skills. This section helps hiring managers quickly identify your key strengths. Include the names of your top skills and a short description of how you used them in past work experiences under each former job listing. Don’t list every skill you possess, however; only those that are pertinent to the position for which you are applying. Avoid including personal information such as age, religion, political affiliation or marital status unless it is relevant to your career path. Also avoid using slang or other informal language. 3. Include Relevant Qualifications When you look at the job posting for a position you’re interested in, note which qualifications are required. Use these as your guide when writing your resume, so you highlight the skills that employers will find most valuable. Work experience: A reverse-chronological list of your paid employment, listing the job title, company name, and dates of employment (month and year). Include a description of relevant achievements and responsibilities, especially those that are important for the role you’re applying to. Education: A list of your academic qualifications, including the institution, degree earned or in progress and graduation date (if applicable). Include a separate section for certifications. 4. Include Relevant Education When it comes to your education section, only include the information that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. This includes your school, degree type and year of graduation, as well as any major academic honors you’ve received (cum laude, dean’s list). If you have any professional certifications that are relevant to the job, these should go in your “Certifications” section instead. In cases where you don’t have much work experience, your education can be one of the most important parts of your resume to highlight. However, this is often not the case for experienced candidates. Therefore, it’s best to keep this section short and concise. 5. Include Relevant Hobbies Hobbies and interests can be a great way to show hiring managers that you are well-rounded. They can also be used to demonstrate important soft skills, such as teamwork or leadership. For example, if the job description mentions that the company is looking for a team player, including your involvement in a local sports league can be a good way to showcase your commitment and dedication to the sport. However, it’s important to choose your hobbies carefully and only include those that add value to your resume. This means avoiding hobbies that may be considered dangerous or antisocial, such as collecting knives. You should also avoid listing any activities that could be viewed as politically charged or controversial. 6. Include Relevant Outside Interests If adding a hobbies and interests section is going to take up too much space on your resume, or doesn’t add value to it, consider leaving it out. Likewise, if you’re a seasoned professional with lots of experience and accomplishments to highlight, a hobbies and interests section may not be necessary. If you have outside interests that align with the role for which you’re applying, include them in a “Hobbies & Interests” section. However, be careful about highlighting any interests that could be considered polarizing, like political or religious affiliations or activities such as gambling or hunting. Instead, focus on hobbies that demonstrate desirable personality traits. build your resume

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