Ready to find your dream job? If so, it’s time to polish up your resume and make it shine. Indy Maven asked Meg Applegate, a certified resume writer, personal branding strategist, and the owner of Hinge Resume, for her insight on making a wow-worthy resume — and here’s her advice:
Tip #1: Design a clear format
It’s easy to be wooed by the drool-worthy resume templates on Pinterest or Etsy. Don’t fall for it. Most of these templates are designed by graphic design artists who rarely have insight into how resumes are read or the modern hiring process. Color and strategic design can still be there, but stick with a one-column format that makes your unique blend of experience shine. Uniform formatting across your work experience is a must for your value to pop off the page.
Tip #2: Include your LinkedIn custom URL
Job applicants who list their LinkedIn profile link (that led to a robust profile) on their resume were 71% more likely to land an interview than those that didn’t, according to a 2019 study by ResumeGo.
Ditch your default gobbledygook of a link. Create your custom LinkedIn URL for a sharp look on your resume (placed with your contact deets) and hyperlink it in the file. Check out the how-to here.
Tip #3: Add a headline
This is the job title you are applying for. List this center stage on your resume underneath your contact details. It not only lets the reader know what position you are interested in but places your name next to the job role (a strategic branding move of word association).
Tip #4: Share your special sauce
Your resume is a marketing document and it’s selling you! Just like your favorite product labels, you have unique features and qualities that specifically qualify you to do work that you love. So, share it! Trade your lifeless work summary (no more “I am seeking…” statements) for your unique value promise. Greet your reader with a catchy statement in the top-third of your resume that addresses what sets you apart, the benefits you bring to the table, and how you uniquely solve company pain points.
Tip #5: Show your impact
Don’t let your unique contributions drown in generic job duties. While sharing the scope and context of your role is important, your bullet points share your successes in the role.
Rouse your document with your career wins. Replace dense paragraphs with lean, bulleted, achievement-driven statements by sharing the challenges you faced, the action you took to tackle the challenge, and your results. And the more you can quantify your impact the better!
Bonus Advice: Check in quarterly
Avoid the hustle and stress of getting your file ready in a pinch. Check-in with your document like you would a family member. Update it with your newest wins, and gosh darn it, be specific about it! Make sure the file matches up with who you are now, so it’s just minutes away from pressing send.
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Meg Applegate is a certified resume writer and personal branding strategist who connects high-achieving women to career advancement through her business, Hinge Resume. Meg was twice named one of Jobscan’s Top Experts to Follow on LinkedIn and was a 2021 winner of the Toast of the Resume Industry awards. Meg’s work has also been featured in Forbes, Fairygodboss, and the most recent edition of Expert Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles for Managers and Executives.
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