What’s the best resume template to get the interview? It includes these 5 things:
Reverse Chronological Format
You may be tempted to use a functional resume (or a skills-based resume) if you’re light on experience or you have a gap in your work history—but don’t. Hiring managers and recruiters often look on these with at least some suspicion. In their experience, job seekers sometimes try to hide problems with a functional resume.
Use the format hiring managers and recruiters prefer: reverse chronological. Start with your latest experience and work backward. You can still highlight skills you acquired or used in those jobs. (Here’s how to address a work history gap.) If you have too much experience, narrow it down to the last 15-20 years and leave earlier jobs off. (We cover this and more for older job seekers in my webinar.)
Your headline statement announces to the reader what you are, or what job you do. A job search is a sales process in which you are the product. Your headline statement says what kind of product you are. So, your headline needs to include the title of the job you want. The idea here is to focus on what they need and draw their attention to show that you can meet the need or solve the problem.
One of the worse things you can do on your resume is to include the phrase “responsible for.” Being responsible for something doesn’t mean you handled it well.
Use power words such as action verbs that say what you did in a dynamic, interesting, eye-catching way. For example: Instead of saying, ‘Responsible for accuracy in company database,’ you could say, ‘Achieved 100% accuracy in company database.’ You weren’t just responsible for it—you achieved it.
Say what you did: managed, led, increased, improved, decreased, eliminated, generated, designed…you get the idea.
Your resume should have bullet points—NOT paragraphs.
In a first round of resume evaluations, hiring managers and recruiters skim resumes to gather information quickly. Dense, wordy paragraphs cause them to skip over information you need them to know.
Instead, use eye-catching, easy-to-read bullet points under each of your jobs to describe what you did there. This will make sure they see what you need them to see.
Every resume needs quantification. What does that mean? It means quantify your accomplishments. Use numbers, dollars, and percentages to describe what you accomplished in each role.
For example: if you ‘Attracted new customers,’ then ask yourself ‘how many’ or ‘over how long’ or ‘how much’ those customers were worth. Then, change your bullet point to: ‘Attracted 10 new customers worth $1M over 4 months.’ Quantification applies to any job, so anyone can do this.
Your numbers, whatever they may be, will draw the eye of your future boss and make them want to speak with you. Quantified accomplishments build your value and help you get more interviews.
Best Resume Template and Example
The fastest way to a perfect, interview-generating resume is to use my Extreme Resume Makeover Kit. From your contact information to your education, this kit gives you everything you need for an outstanding resume. Find out more about it here.