One of the risks of using a resume template and not personalizing it is that your resume can come across as very stiff and robotic. It can look as though you simply filled in the blanks without much thought. On the other hand, some people go to extremes trying to personalize their resume and instead make it look more unprofessional through fancy fonts and colors or inappropriate information. There is a fine balance between no personality and too much personality.
There are many ways to showcase who you are as an individual and how you stand out from the competition without sacrificing the professional look and feel of your resume.
- Create an engaging summary of qualifications. This is one of the first things that an employer sees when they look over your resume. It is your opportunity to introduce yourself and your strengths. The old cliché of “show, don’t tell” works well here. Instead of simply stating that you have 15 years of experience in information technology, elaborate on areas you have worked on. Show the diversity of your experience. You want to create a statement that makes the employer want to know more about what you have to offer and how you can elevate their business.
- Highlight accomplishments that set you apart. Including metrics can be a strong way of supporting your achievements. A lot of people can say they met or exceeded their sales quota, but what does that mean? Explaining that you met 150 percent of your sales quota through rigorous prospecting, strategic selling techniques, and exceptional communication and follow through makes a more positive impression. Give meaning to each of your statements so that employers see how you have set yourself apart from others.
- Include volunteer experience. Many employers like to see that job seekers are well rounded and involved in the community and giving back. It demonstrates their ability to balance priorities and put their skills to good use. If you regularly volunteer with a specific organization, include this on your resume. If it is related to your field of work, this can also showcase additional knowledge and experience as well as use of your skills in a different way.
- Outline professional development and training. Taking additional courses in your field or being actively involved in a professional organization can show your commitment to your work. It lets employers know that you are continually excelling your abilities and keeping up to date with current trends and best practices. It can also highlight areas of particular strength or extensive knowledge.
- Don’t just copy and paste. Although employers are often looking for key words or skills, resist the temptation to copy and paste from the job description to your resume. This can make it sound very stiff and show that you put little effort into considering how your own experiences match these requirements. You can certainly use specific key words or phrases, but put them into your own voice. Make it a reflection of who you are and what you have to offer.
Taking the time to personalize your resume and make it a positive reflection of your abilities and accomplishments can pay off. While recruiters and employers are still looking for key elements to be included, how you phrase and present them can make a difference. Before you start looking for the next eye-catching font, talking about your hobbies, or attaching a picture, let the team at Chic Resumes guide you through more effective ways of revamping your resume. We can help you create a polished, professional document that showcases your personality while still aligning with what employers seek. To get started, call (803) 831-7444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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