When it comes to your drafting your e-commerce resume, are you a rockstar… or more of a novice? For many of us, the prospect of writing a resume sounds about as interesting as sitting in the “nosebleed section” at a concert. You know what it’s like—sitting in front of your computer, staring at the screen… typing, re-thinking, deleting, re-typing—over and over again. It’s tedious and it can make you feel like you spent an hour or so of your life without accomplishing much. Not good! But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The truth is, your resume is just a document that’s all about you—and that’s a topic you know everything about! Many of us drag our feet working on our resume because we simply aren’t sure where to get started.
Seven resume tips to start right now
Don’t waste another second bumbling around, unsure of what your resume needs to dazzle recruiters and hiring managers. You can easily add the sizzle that catches attention when you follow these seven tips:
- Sell, sell, sell. Your resume is a marketing tool. You should use it to show your value to a company and its open job opportunity. Be strategic in the information you share. You should summarize who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what you can do. It should be easy for a hiring manager to deduce what you can bring to a job. In your work experience, describe not just what you did, but what you accomplished—think about challenges met, problems solved, ideas developed, projects completed. And keep it brief and to the point. A hiring manager is often short on time and needs to quickly look and determine if you’re a good fit.
- Customize. Your resume is NOT one-size-fits-all. Instead, use it like a template and tailor to each job to which you apply. Spike out applicable skills—lead with them in your skill summary and work experience section. (Hint—review the required qualifications of a job application to determine exactly what a company is looking for, and structure your resume accordingly.) Think about your experience and accomplishments that make you the perfect candidate for the job.
- Lead with a skill summary. This makes it easy for the reader to understand what you offer without needing to scan any further. It helps to tailor the skills you list to those required for the open job.
- Skip the objective statement. These are outdated and have one major flaw—they say what YOU want, rather than how you can help. A hiring manager is more interested in what THEY want (hence they’re looking for a new candidate) so you can imagine how this now-archaic statement just clutters up your resume. Instead, keep your skills summary in place and go right into your work history.
- Keep your design clean. It’s a trend for websites and resumes alike. A clean resume has two benefits—it helps guide the reader’s eye to your key information, and it enables resume-scanning software (an Applicant Tracking System) to breeze through your document. Think organized sections, subheads and simple fonts (and no more than two). Cut out irrelevant information, such as work experience that doesn’t apply, and a hobbies section. You have a minute or less to make an impression, so make your resume easy to read!
- Pepper in keywords. Throughout your resume, use keywords in your content and descriptions. A recruiter will be searching through resumes with Applicant Tracking System, which uses keywords and phrases. If your resume has one or more—guess what? It will be more likely to make it through the review process. So, where do you find these keywords, you may ask? That’s easy! Just take a look at the job application, and descriptions of similar jobs, and look for words and phrases they have in common.
- Include your education at the end. This should fall after your work history. It’s important, but most employers will assume, based on your skills and experience, that some education took place. In most cases, they’re more concerned with what you’ve learned from the “school of hard knocks” (i.e., on-the-job). The only time your education has more weight is if you’ve recently graduated and have a functional resume that lists your skills (rather than a chronological one that lists your work experience). In the end, most places will be concerned that you have a degree, but not necessarily concerned from where (or when) you earned it.
Take it one piece at a time
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed at the thought of sprucing up your resume, break it down into steps you can handle. Take the above list one step at a time until: voila! Your resume is ready for prime time.