Author Image
Dean O'Reilly
Psychology student with keen interest in academic research. Currently exploring the world of marketing distribution and content creation with Enhancv to help people get closer to their dream job.
Article image
Resume Advice
How To Write Your First Job Resume

At some point we all must go through our first time – our first time creating a resume, that is. Your first resume will lead to your first job and the rest of your career. When creating your first resume, some of the anxieties surround its length, how you write a first resume, and what needs to be on it. It can be particularly difficult knowing how to write a resume with no experience, too.Fortunately, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with examples to show you why you need a resume, what a resume needs, how you put all of that together, and how you can have the best one out there (with or without experience). Looking for a quick reference? You can find our first resume FAQ at the end of this post, too.What will this guide do for me?Provide an understanding of what a resume isExplain what your resume can be used forProvide tips to overcome resume writer’s blockShow you how to set up a resumeDetail the major points that you need to include in your first job resumeHighlight successful examples that show these points in actionGive inspiration for how your first job resume can be createdAnswer frequently asked questions on resume buildingBUILD A JOB WINNING RESUMERelated resume guidesBank Teller Resume GuideBookkeeper Resume GuideCaregiver Resume GuideData Entry Resume GuideEntry Level Sales Resume GuideExecutive Assistant Resume GuideIllustrator Resume GuideIntern Resume GuideMarketing Intern Resume GuideMusician Resume GuideOffice Assistant Resume GuidePhotographer Resume GuideCovering the basicsWhat is a resume?Your resume is a formal record of your skills, attributes, interests, abilities, prior experience, and relevant expertise in any field. For many people, a resume is off-putting as they don’t think they have any relevant experience nor do they understand how to approach it. One of the hardest steps to overcome with your resume is getting started, so be sure to check out how to overcome that struggle below.Why do I need one?Your resume is your conversation starter with any future employer. No resume in the world will be able to speak for you as well as you could yourself, but the aim is to make your resume as comprehensive and concise as possible so the recruiter (the people that hire employees) will want to hear more and offer an interview.There are many ways that people find employment. However, if your personal network doesn’t give rise to finding a job, and you don’t have any friends that have jobs vacant, your resume is the first step. Think of it as the foundation from which you can build the empire of your career.Who looks at my resume?There are two main review systems used by employers. These are recruiter reviews and automated reviews (ATS). In some instances, an organization may run your resume through an automated system that scans for keywords and key details. After that initial screening, a recruiter will further analyze the details on your resume.As it is possible that your resume will pass through an automated service, it is important to use readable fonts and a format that makes sense.How to set up a resumeFirst things first, you need to set up your resume with the right resume format. There are a few options you can choose from: reverse chronological, functional, or a hybrid of the two.Here’s the difference between them.The reverse chronological resume layout emphasizes your work experience, listing them off from the most recent position first. This layout also shows off your qualifications, skills, and education, but work experience is the main focus.Since you’re just starting out in the workforce with little to no experience yet, this format may not be the best option for you.How about the functional resume layout?This one emphasizes your skills, putting less of the spotlight on your previous work experience. Your skillset takes up most of the page, with only a brief summary of your experience and education at the bottom.And finally, the hybrid resume layout is the perfect mix between the reverse chronological and functional formats. The hybrid resume equally focuses on your skills, work experience and educational background.For a first job resume, go for either the functional resume layout or the hybrid layout (if you have some experience to talk about).Enhancv has customizable resume templates for you to choose from to make writing your resume easy.Formatting tipsMaking your resume easy to read and scannable will go a long way in making a great first impression.Keep these tips in mind when writing your resume:Use a common font, like Times New Roman or ArialMake the font big enough to read (12pt or higher)Bold headings, subheadings, and job titlesUse bullet points to organize your points in descriptionsExport your resume as a PDF so it looks consistent across all devices and platformsOvercoming resume-writing-blockThere are a few sections that are required in a resume; no matter what position you’re going for. Some jobs have restrictions on the formatting, details, and fonts you may use (for example, an Academic Resume), but for the most part, you can start with a blank slate and add what you feel is necessary. The key to building your resume is thinking about three things:What is the job I’m applying for?What is required of me in that role?How do I convey that I fulfill those requirements?If you keep those three things in mind, you won’t get overwhelmed by what you think should be happening in your resume – instead, you’ll be excited to start working and showing your talents.Other tips you can use to overcome writer’s block when it comes to your resume are:Speak to your family on how they have written their resumes and what they think might belong to yoursSit down and think about moments you are most proud ofTalk to someone who has worked with you on some project or volunteeringBreaking down your first resumeWhile there is no one-size-fits-all way to create a resume, it’s helpful to see some examples of sections you can include. Some things are needed on all resumes no matter what they’re being used for. We’ll focus on those for now.1. NameThe first thing the recruiter should see is your name and who you are below it. They’re not going to remember who turned in the resume at the desk or submitted it online. Without your name on your resume, there’s nothing to distinguish your resume from another person’s. It’s reminding the recruiter who you are at a glance.2. Contact DetailsAlways include contact details on a resume. This can include your email, phone number, website, and/or LinkedIn. It is necessary to include at least two ways that a recruiter can get in contact with you – just in case one of them doesn’t work.Do’s and Don’ts: Do’s Don’ts Have multiple ways to contact you Don’t add your full address, with street number and name. Just add the city and region. Use a professional-looking email address Don’t include a photo of yourself if you’re in the U.S. Include your LinkedIn profile or portfolio website 3. Personal summaryChances are, you don’t have a lot of experience when writing your first job resume. This is okay – but you need to find a way to tell the recruiter more about you. A personal summary can be used to explain who you are and what you hope to accomplish from the role. Typically, 2-3 sentences just below your contact details are enough. It doesn’t have to take the form of a paragraph. You can use a Personal Philosophy Section or Most Proud Of (see: additional sections) section to convey more details.4. Skills SectionIn one form or another, you’ll have to mention your specific skills on your resume. This is to show the employer what you’re capable of and what you’ll bring to your role should you be hired.Some skills that you can mention in your first job resume (with working experience) are:Customer relations (solving customer issues)End of day processing (closing shop)Data processing (inputting stock on excel)Transaction maintenance (working on a checkout)Inventory control (managing stock)Some skills you can mention in your first job resume (without working experience) are:Proficiency in Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint)Conflict resolution (you’re able to find compromise)Human relations (communication)Innovative problem solving (you can find creative ways to solve problems)Time management (you can get things done on a deadline)It’s important to include a mix of soft skills and hard skills on your resume.Hard skills describe your technical or teachable abilities – the ones that are specific to the job.For example, if you’re applying for a restaurant server position, your hard skills would be things like:Inputting ordersUsing the POS systemsBasic mathOn top of your hard skills, employers want to hire people who will fit in with their company culture and deliver an amazing experience to their customers. They’re looking for job candidates who have soft skills too.Soft skills are more personality-based. While hard skills are teachable through training or education, soft skills have more to do with your personal character.Let’s go back to the restaurant server example. Restaurant managers want to hire servers who have both hard and soft skills to deliver great customer service. These soft skills can be things like:TeamworkSelf-motivatedPositive, helpful attitudeGreat verbal communicationAble to work under high pressureWhen writing your first job resume, include a mix of your hard and soft skills to show the hiring manager that you’re the well-rounded candidate they need for the job.Just be sure to give examples that show that you have these skills whenever possible.5. Previous experienceYour previous experience is a great way to show the recruiter that you can apply all of your skills to the real-world. Employers want to see you’re capable of making a difference in their organization and that you’ll be an important piece of the puzzle in achieving success.What do I put on my resume if I have no experience?Before you skim over this section and think you don’t have any previous experience, it doesn’t have to be in a working environment. If you’ve spent time volunteering, babysitting, coaching, leading people at Summer Camp, taking on extra-curricular activities at school, all of these things are previous experience.The important part of describing your previous experience is to go in-depth about what you accomplished more than what you were responsible for. See an example below for a Library Assistant and Equipment Manager. Make sure everything you mention is measured when possible.6. ReferencesReferences or Referees are people you include on your resume that will be able to speak about you. There are two types: character references and professional references.Character ReferenceA character reference is used when you do not have any professional experience (working in a job). Traditionally, you should include two character references that can speak to your abilities and who you are as a person. These should not be family members if you can avoid it. Ask one of your teachers, coaches, and so on. You should include their name, email, and phone number.Make sure to ask your referee (the person you include as reference) for their permission to do this and notify them when you are applying for jobs.Professional ReferenceProfessional references are those from people that you have worked with/for previously. Usually, this will be your supervisor or manager. As with character references, you’ll need to include contact details and name. Again, be sure to ask their permission to include this.Additional sectionsThere are some more sections that you can include on your first job resume depending on your personal preferences. These sections are more about showing your personality and interest and aren’t needed exactly, but they can help you stand out from the crowd. If you have little experience, these optional sections are a great way to show off your talents.1. Most Proud OfYour Most Proud Of Section gives insight into who you are as a person. It can be used to highlight some of your projects and personal achievements. This will help the potential employer understand how you fit in the company’s culture and the team.2. CertificationsCertifications show you’re willing to dedicate time to learning new skills. Being certified in First-Aid, Manual Lifting, Microsoft Excel and more are great to include on a CV as they show you’re proactive in your work.3. PassionsPassions are a way to quickly emphasize things that matter most to you. These can be personal causes or more business-focused. Some examples of personal passions are:Music ProductionCarpentryChoirKayakingHikingWater poloFighting homelessnessSome examples of business-focused passions are:Improving efficiencyGrowth and improvementDiversity & InclusionCollaborationTeam-work4. AwardsAwards are the pinnacle of measured achievement. Including awards shows the employer that external parties have recognized your ability and rewarded it in the past. If you’re still in high-school, high-school awards such as Student of The Year are appropriate. As you enter college, you should try to include awards and achievements from college instead.5. PhotoFor some industries, a photo is an excellent way of personalizing your resume and adding a human touch. However, in some countries, it’s forbidden or frowned upon to include a photograph. So, double-check. This can be as simple as emailing the HR department to ask or ask your guidance counselor for some help with this.Sample First Job ResumeWe have more resume examples for you to check out, specific to your job title.TRY ENHANCV RESUMESReviewing Your ResumeAfter completing your resume, reviewing your content is the last step you should take before sending it out to recruiters.1. Have you read the job description?The job description is typically posted alongside any job listing. It will give details on what the job will entail and the duties you’ll be given. Reading the job description will help tailor your resume to answer the question the recruiter will ask.For example, if the job description mentions accounting, you’ll know to include your math skills.Not all parts of the job description need to be satisfied, however. Meet as many expectations as possible. If it mentions “experience with customers” this doesn’t have to be direct experience working in customer service. It can be selling hot dogs at your local football game.2. How is your resume different?Looking at your resume, you should spot things that make it unique. Remember, you need to stand out from the pool of people that are applying for the same job you are. Including personalized sections (Most Proud Of etc.,) tells your unique resume story and typically satisfies this idea.3. Are your achievements measured?Look over achievements to see if they are all measured. Again, listing responsibilities will only do so much. Providing a measure shows the recruiter what impact you have made in the past and gives insight into the potential impact you’ll have in the future.4. Have you checked for typos?Typos are very common in resumes. Everything else may be perfect, but if there’s a typographical error (spelling mistake, grammar mistakes, and so on) it will dampen the good impression you’re trying to leave on the recruiter. You can utilize Enhancv’s content analyzer to spot common typos.5. Has a friend reviewed your resume?Getting a fresh pair-of-eyes to look at your resume will do wonders. Not only will it give you an idea of how your resume comes across to a neutral party, but they may also find mistakes that you’ve missed. They may even think of some achievement you forgot to include. Luckily, Enhancv’s built-in referral link allows you to do this with ease.Frequently Asked Questions1. How long should my first resume be?For your first resume, you should aim to keep your resume between 1-2 pages (1 is preferable). Extremely long resumes are often filled with fluff and aren’t tailored to one particular job.2. What font should I use?Font restrictions are not very common, but check out the job description/application guidelines just in case. In general, use a readable font with clean edges. Arial, Times New Roman, Rubik, and so on.3. How many resumes should I have?A good rule-of-thumb is to have a resume for every sector or industry you’re applying to. For example, a sales resume and a volunteer resume. For jobs that you really care about, you might even tailor your resume to that specific company.4. What needs to be on my first resume?Essential sections include:NameContact Details (Phone Number & Email)SkillsPrevious experience (not necessarily in the working world)Additional sections include:PassionsMost Proud OfAwardsAchievementsPersonal Summary (important for your first resume)PhotoCertifications5. Where can I find first resume examples?You can find real examples of people that have been successful with their resumes on Enhancv’s Resume Examples page.Writing your first job resumeWriting your first job resume can be difficult, but it’s manageable. Once you overcome writer’s block and start to think about the things you have done in your life, it will come naturally. To create a first job resume that resembles our sample resume and that satisfies all of our tips, be sure to check out Enhancv’s resume builder.

Dean O'Reilly
Sep 8, 2022 14 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
The Influence of Resume Paper in Getting a Job

Before printing your resume, there are certain aspects of paper quality we need to consider first. Believe it or not, the paper you choose can leave the recruiter thinking you’re professional or laxed, meticulous or unfocused, thorough or thoughtless. Resumes get noticed by impression – the paper you choose is another part of that impression mark. So, what paper do you need? Find out below. Why do I need to worry about resume paper? As with all stylistic choices for your resume (including resume length and resume color) the resume paper you use contribute to the impression you leave on the recruiter. Using high-quality and eye-catching paper can be the difference between getting selected from the applicant pool and not being selected. Recruiters report poor format and paper choices can cause lead to an automatic rejection of your resume. The reality is, most resume selection process comes with a degree of impression marking. If the recruiter doesn’t like the style choices you’ve made, this can lead to you ending up in the ‘No’ pile no matter what your content is. Especially for the organisations that receive countless resumes every day, you need to make the decision as easy as possible. This means appealing to the recruiter with everything you’ve gone – right down to your resume paper. When will I need a physical copy of my resume? Having a physical copy of your resume is important for those situations you come in personal contact with recruiters. Namely, careers fairs and your interview. Careers Fair A careers fair is the perfect opportunity to pass your resume to recruiters in a physical form. When Sam was making her career change from banking to Spotify, recruiters at a job fair told her “We don’t usually take resumes, but we’ll take this one”. Now, she works at Spotify in a career she loves. The same could be true for you. As we see from Sam’s story, even if recruiters don’t generally take resumes, you can craft one that leaves an impression that makes them change their mind. Your resume paper can similarly play into this impact. Tip: Send a follow-up email to the recruiter to seal the deal! Interview   Some recruiters may ask you to bring a copy of your resume to the interview. Even if they don’t ask you to, do it anyway! This can be used as a reference for them in the questions they ask you and so on. The four aspects to consider when choosing resume paper Paper Weight Paper weight has a number of practical considerations behind it. Think of the following situation: You’ve spent a number of days crafting the perfectly tailored resume for a new position. You’ve spent some time reviewing your resume and ensuring it has purpose. The time has come for you to put it into action and bring your resume to a careers fair. After printing, you notice the edges of your resume sections are blurred and when held up to light, you can see right through all of your content. What can help you avoid all of these problems? Picking the appropriate paper weight. In general, resume paper comes in three standardized weights: 20 lbs, 24 lbs, and 32 lbs. 20lbs paper is what your typical at-home printer will have. 24lbs is slightly heavier, thicker to-the-touch, and is more opaque. 32 lbs paper is the thickest paper you’ll find before you venture into card weights (which are really not needed). In general, I’d recommend using 24 lbs paper for printing your resume. It’s heavy enough to prevent leaking, and is different enough from everyday printer paper to leave an impression on the recruiter. This paper weight is also suitable for printing on both sides of the page if you’re looking to reduce the amount of pages you use. Keep in mind when printing on both sides of a page that you may need to include a resume header on both sides. Consider numbering your pages in this circumstance too. Paper Color The traditional paper color applicants use is, you guessed it, white. However, there are variations on paper color you may want to explore. Four color options to consider are: White Off-white (ivory) The color of your resume paper has ramifications for the content that is being printed on it. For example, if you’re using consistent black font with minimal graphics and white spacing, an off-white (ivory) paper color may set you apart from other applicants. This color is typical for printing booklets and flyers, and thus has a professional theme associated. White paper is best when your content uses many different colors and graphic styles. For example, Adam’s IT resume uses a yellow-and-blue font with a pie-chart graphic. This stands out best against a white background as ivory paper can appear yellow under certain lighting.   You may want to consider using pink or blue paper be more eye-catching. This is most appropriate when using a traditional resume layout with minimal design and a focus on simple text. In these, you can use the color of your resume paper to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Overall, the best choice to go with in my opinion is white. It gives you the most freedom, and is in-line with most recruiters expectations. Things to consider when picking your paper color are the color of your font, and and images you may be including. Tip: Want control over the color scheme of your resume? Try Enhancv’s resume builder to create a visual resume just like Adam’s. Paper Texture The texture of your resume paper will influence how it feels in the hands of the recruiter. This also affects how your printed content sits on the paper. In general, recruiters will expect plain resume paper textures (i.e., the paper texture you think of automatically). What you may want to look out for is the cotton content. The higher cotton content your resume paper has, the smoother it feels to touch. Other paper textures include parchment paper (which has an old-fashioned style), laid paper (which comes embossed) and granite paper (slightly darker). Paper Size In contrast to our previous three aspects, there’s little room for debate on the paper size you should use. There are few circumstances recruiters will look favorably on extraordinarily large resumes (or extraordinarily small resumes) as they are practically inconvenient. Stick to the typical 8.5 x 11in resume paper size to leave the best impression. What’s the gold standard of resume paper? The paper you print your resume on can influence the impression you leave on the recruiter. Poor quality, thin, and easily malleable paper can easily get ignored and tarnished. High-quality paper that acts as the perfect backdrop to your content can, on the other hand, project a professional image. Commonly, 32 lbs white paper with a high cotton content and plain resume texture is the way to go. There are other options to try for those nonconventional positions, too. No matter what paper you choose, you can use Enhancv’s builder to perfect your content and choose the most appropriate color palette, format, and visuals.

Dean O'Reilly
Sep 8, 2022 6 min read
Article image
Career Growth
How to Get a Job Referral

Acquiring a job referral can make all of the difference in getting hired. More than 60% of employees that were referred to an open position were hired by the employer. In comparison, those applying to jobs in general have only about a 2% chance of even getting an interview. Even if half of those interviewed are hired, this means getting referred correlated with a 60,000% increase in your chance of getting hired. The trouble comes in knowing who to ask, what to do if you have no connections, and how to draft the message to request a referral. Luckily, we’ve got all the answers for you. With our guide, you can get a job referral that will get you one step closer the job you want. The benefits of getting a job referral More fulfilling work The statistics are pretty overwhelming on the benefits: employees who get a job through referrals are more likely to enjoy their job and feel satisfied with their culture fit. This makes a lot of sense. Considering you’ll get referred from personal connections (or connections you’re soon to form), the company you get referred to is likely to share values with your friends, who are likely to share values with you. Get noticed by big firms As the size of a company increases, so does the percentage of jobs filled through referrals. This means you can leverage referrals to get noticed by large companies that may be bombarded with millions of resumes each year. Your referral is an effective side-step in the process that will push your resume further up the line, or lead straight to an interview. Tip: When Sam was making her career change, she submitted a resume to Spotify and also used her connections to get referred to her current position. It was a two-pronged approach. Impress the employer More than 50% of employers consider employees that have been referred to be a better fit for their organisation. This follows much of the same logic as feeling more fulfilled in your work, but the consequence of this is you’re more likely to impress your employer in jobs you’ve been referred to compared to those you’ve not been referred to. Who to ask for referrals First-connections Your first connections are those that you have direct contact with. These are people you’ve previously worked with, close friends, colleagues, and so on. Those who are in your first network are best to ask for referrals as rapport has already been built and they’re more likely to help you out. Tip: Where possible, ask for a referral from senior-level management as 91% of people referred by a director got hired compared to 53% referred by those at entry-level. Second-connections These are the people who you are connected to through a mutual acquaintance. While not preferable, second-connections are great for expanding your network. These connections tend to come in when researching positions on LinkedIn. It’s important to build a rapport with second-connections before requesting a job referral from them so this method can take a bit longer. Bonus: Student Connections Students have an alternative route to go down when it comes to referrals. Universities and schools come with an array of connections to companies, different universities, community organisations, and more. If you’re currently in school, you can ask your careers service if they have connections with anyone that may work in the company you’re looking to apply to or something similar. You can also contact professors, student clubs, and honor societies. Tip: Do you need to write a reference letter? Check out our best practices. What if I don’t have insider connections? Step 1: Select your contact The first thing you need to do with no insider connections is to pick someone that has influence in the organisation you’re applying to. For example, if you’re hoping to apply for the Regional Manager in a certain organisation, find someone who works as a Branch Manager, or the Managing Director. Learn more about finding connections later in this post. The key to this is finding someone whose opinion will have a plausible influence on the hiring practice of an opening position. Step 2: Set up an informational interview The next thing to do is reach out to this person (more on this later) an organise an informational interview. This is a quick meeting where you ask the person about their role, their time in the company, and so on. The idea here is to build a relationship with the person without introducing the idea of getting a referral straight away. If the organisation that interests you is scheduled to appear at a careers fair, ask this person if they intend on going. If so, that’s your in. If not, you can use this to setup the interview. “I was hoping to speak to you on [project they’re involved in] How does [meeting point] sound?” Step 3: Discern challenges Your objective in the informational interview is to identify challenges the company is facing at the moment. Of course, the person you’re speaking to won’t be able to divulge confidential information, but simply learn about obstacles they’re trying to overcome in their role, or even previous issues. Step 4: Offer solutions Once you’ve identified challenges (of which, something related to an open position is bound to come up), then you can take time to brainstorm how you can offer possible solutions. Follow-up with the person after your interview and mention how you think you can help. “I recall you mentioning [issue]. In my experience, [solution] could help this. I saw you have an opening for [open position], would you be comfortable referring me for [open position] and we can try put [solution] into action? Where to find your connections LinkedIn Before reading this post you must have thought of using LinkedIn for connections. The question is, how do you find people on LinkedIn who may provide a referral? You can utilise LinkedIn’s search feature. On desktop, click on “Jobs”. From there, you’ll see an option to filter jobs by “In Your Network” this will show you connections you have that work at organisations with job openings. You can also go through any LinkedIn groups you’re a member of to identify possible connections. Facebook Much like LinkedIn, you can easily search through Facebook Groups to find people who work in organisations of interest. It is also possible to search for people who work in an organisation directly in Facebook’s search bar. Simply search “People who work at [company of interest]” to identify these people. Reminder: Messages sent on Facebook without being friends end up in a message request filter. This can lower your chances of being noticed. Meetups Meetup is an app that allows you to host networking and mingling events with peers based on a mutual interest. Many professionals host meetups to network and get to know one another. These can be used to find people who work in your field / an organisation of interest. Careers Fair Also known as a job fair, a careers fair is an exciting opportunity to meet your dream company or a potential employer with casual conversation. While they’re mainly used to leave an impression on the recruiter with your resume, they can also be used to network and make connections. Check the social media of the organisation of interest to see if they’re going to be at an upcoming job fair. Recruitment agencies typically advertise these too. How to ask for a referral The key to asking a colleague (or recent connection) to refer you for a job lies in the language you use. You don’t want your request to come across as a demand, nor do you want to put the person in the position in which they feel they have to refer you. You want someone to be more than happy to do this, in fact, if you build rapport correctly, your connection should be motivated to do this on their own. See a sample below. Asking for a job referral (sample) Hi [Person’s Name], I hope you’re doing well. Following from our conversation on [challenge to business] I had some ideas on how I could [solution]. I’m excited by the [attribute of the business] and noticed there was a job opening for [open position]. Do you feel you know enough about me to write a referral letter for the position? I’d love to start working on [challenge to business] as soon as possible. For the role, I believe my skill in [3 skills relevant to the job opening / description] coupled with my experience in [prior experience linked to challenge to business] would bring a lot of value. Let me know what you think. [Your name] What makes this sample effective? Using this format, you lean on your previous rapport with the individual and provide them autonomy over their decision on referring you “Do you feel you know enough…”. You clearly outline your suitability for the open position to them (i.e., your value proposition) too. They’ve got all the information they need.   Getting your job referral Job referrals can hep you get noticed by the recruiter, find more fulfilling work, and leave a great impression. Using your existing network and those connected to you through mutual friends, as well as leveraging contacts made available to you through your work or study, can help you identify the best person to provide your referral. Even if you don’t have insider connections to your organisation of interest, it is possible to get a referral. When requesting a referral, reference previous conversations, outline your value proposition, and ask your connection whether or not they feel comfortable doing so. Tip: Utilizing Enhancv’s resume builder, you can benefit from our built-in referral system to send a link of your resume to your contact as a reference of your previous experience.

Dean O'Reilly
Sep 8, 2022 8 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
How to Properly Use Resume Buzzwords to Get An Interview

Resume buzzwords can secure an invitation for your next interview. There are loads of different factors to consider when it comes to building the perfect resume. But there’s one particular thing we can guarantee a reader will notice in the time they take to review your resume…No. Not your resume header, or the length of your resume. It’s not even your name or personal website.What recruiters notice no matter what is more simple than you’d think.It’s language. More specifically, your use of language.Recruiters are looking to see key competencies on your resume. The way you package this will influence both the recruiter’s perception of you as a worker and how you compare to others. Inevitably, this has an impact on whether you’re going to get called in for an interview.Now can you see why buzzwords are so important? Do you want to find out how you can properly use them to your advantage and get a new job? See below.Buzzwords to AvoidEveryone optimizes the buzzwords they include on their resume. But unfortunately, this has led to many words being misused and overused. More than 2,000 hiring managers indicated that overused buzzwords disengage them from the applicant’s resume.From their point of view, the reason behind the negative impression is actually quite clear: they’re fluff. They have no actionable meaning at all.Examples from the worst-offenders guilty of this include:‘Best of breed’‘Go-getter’“Think outside of the box”“Go-to person”“Results-driven”“Detail-orientated”“Team player”“Bottom-line”“Hard worker”“Strategic thinker”Using these descriptors without evidence to back them up is frivolous. And even if you did have proof, it’s not necessary to say you’re a “team player” as the evidence should speak for itself.You might be a “go-getter”, but what does that have to do for the business? What’s the meaning behind it? What have you done that shows your character and who you are?Merely describing oneself with a lack of evidence or verification is the fastest way to leave a poor impression on your reader.Recruiters have said it time and time again – be specific!Vague and Nonspecific LanguageTo be clear, I’m referring to words like:“detail-orientated”“best of breed”“go-getter”But we’ve all seen detail-orientated at some point in our career. Whether that’s been in your career guidance textbook in school or on your resume in the past, it’s up there with the most common phrases included on a resume.The logic is technically sound, but aren’t the recruiters already looking for people who pay attention to the details?While you’re not necessarily wrong, let’s consider the old saying:“The proof is in the pudding”.In this case, the proof of being detail-orientated should be apparent from your experiences (or your career pudding, so to speak). Rather than tell the hiring manager you’re detail orientated, show them that’s what you are.When it comes down to comparing someone who made this characteristic evident versus someone who made a vague statement about it, the former will get called for the interview.So, be detail-orientated and showcase the work that reflects that. There’s a good phrase that helps whenever you’re talking about yourself:“Show, don’t tell.”Instead of simply saying it, it’s more compelling if you could show it.(Tip: use fewer sentences with more impactful language! For example, rather than just saying “From my past role, I’m attentive to detail for business needs”, it’s better if you show that and not just tell it. Alternatively, you can do this by saying something like this instead: “I’m attentive to business needs and have reflected this by reducing costs by X%.)In this program manager resume, Tobias describes pitching revolutionary health technology to the Clintons.There’s no need to state that he’s detail-orientated in his resume in light of this. We clearly see and notice he’s meticulous in his work!Unnecessary LanguageThis time, I’m talking about the notorious word for all job recruiters – “team player”.Well, without collaboration businesses are quickly going to fail and become ineffective. Naturally, after that, they fall short of their goals and objectives.Recruiters look for people who will add to the dynamics of their employee environment and mesh well with the work style of others. While this is true, the hiring manager isn’t necessarily looking for a “team player”. Let’s start off with the first impression that term leaves on the recruiter.Team players generally avoid confrontation. They concede when facing an opposing opinion, they put others first, and they make sure everyone else is happy (on the surface). They rarely like to disrupt the status quo and shy away from being different…Does that sound like an employee you’d like to hire?The reality here is that: team players are followers, not growers.Recruiters are more interested in those that will make positive changes in their organization. After all, if there weren’t anything to change, there wouldn’t be a need to hire someone new.Again, the proof in the pudding argument is relevant here too.Don’t just describe yourself as a team player. Instead, include examples of where you have worked and performed well in a team. Perhaps you have experience working on a project team or something similar.This is where you let the experience shine…For example, in this real estate resume, they describe partnering with trustees to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.As shown above, with prior experience working on a team, that itself exceeded the criteria.Not only is it transparent to the recruiter, but they see how his traits can benefit their organization. So, take the extra time to implement credibility in your statements. It goes a long way with actually landing the new job you’re applying for.Obvious and GivensLast of all, you’ve probably seen the words “hard worker”. I don’t think there’s a single company in the world that’s looking for lazy workers…Describing yourself as a hard worker is up there with writing a “resume” on your resume header. Or it’s just as bad as closing your resume with “references upon request”.You’re literally just stating the obvious…And not only does it take up valuable spaces, but it’s adding white, polluted noise. The recruiter hopes you’re a hard worker, that’s a given. What they don’t know, and what your resume should be showing them, is how you’re a hard worker. What’s the influence and impact you have on their company?On Maximillian’s account manager resume, he effectively describes his work with AIESEC. He talks about implementing a digital sales system that increased sales by 100% for the organization.Because of this, recruiters at Amazon recognized his dedication to volunteering projects and committing towards success. This easily translates into the meaning of being a hard worker without actually having to use those words directly.Buzzwords You Should Try to IncludeSometimes, you’ll find yourself in a circumstance where you need to include a (common) buzzword on your resume. This is most likely to occur when applying to organisations that use an ATS (applicant tracking system).But now you’ve got a good idea of how you should use buzzwords properly, and you shouldn’t. Let’s have a look at a list of common buzzwords to consider.Also, remember to show. Don’t just tell.(See further below for more alternative and effective power words.)Value / ValuableCommit / DevoteLaunchedSpearheadedIncreasedDecreasedAcquisitionInspireDevelopedAdmissionsFosterEvaluateDelegateAdvocateEnhanceBuildPerformComposeCollaborateIllustrateModifyShowcaseTroubleshootCompleteExecuteImplementFormulateHandleAttainReachDeviseBetter Alternatives for Common Key PhrasesWhen organizations compile a huge list of applicants, they use these systems to scan for buzzwords on their resumes. The best strategy is to implement them directly from the job description and turn them into subsections.Here’s a good example from Paula. She included the characteristic of being ‘independent’ as one of her core strengths because this was something potential employers were looking for on her eCommerce resume.Using Action Words On Your ResumeAction words are used to describe the impact you’ve had in your previous roles. The typical action words people think of when putting their resume together are these two words: increased and decreased.These are everyone’s bread-and-butter. But that doesn’t mean to say there are better alternatives you could choose from too.Alternatives to IncreasedAugmentedBoostedImprovedStrengthenedDoubledWidened (profit margins)RaisedCultivated (new sales)MaximizeUpgradeExceedSurpassAlternatives to DecreasedReducedSlashedCutShrunkMinimizedCurbedHalvedSubsideUsing Buzz and Action Words EffectivelyFirst and foremost, your buzzwords and action words should be adding value. Prioritize that, instead of throwing down flashy words as an attempt to cover up shortcomings or a lack of experience.Buzzwords are the most relevant in your personal summary.However, action words come into play when describing your personal experiences. These words are used to enhance what you already have.Personal SummaryThe personal summary is where you introduce who you are to an employer (especially when making a career change or entering your first job).You can use the following formula to craft a personal summary that makes for a positive first impression:[Description of current status] with an interest in [Industry / Role you’re applying to] hoping to improve skills of [hard & soft skills]. A [personal attribute] worker motivated by [aspect of company culture].Buzzwords come in when describing your personal attribute.Check out the comparison of a well-used buzzword personal summary versus a poorly executed personal summary in the next section.Effective UsesHigh-school student with an interest in computer applications hoping to improve my skill in Python, JavaScript, and A/B Testing. A dedicated worker motivated by independent work and personal freedom (with guidance) in tasks.Ineffective UsesHigh-school student with an interest in computer applications hoping to improve my skill in Python, JavaScript, and A/B Testing. A worker motivated by independent work and personal freedom (with guidance) in tasks.As seen in the above examples, buzzwords are best when used to enhance your description rather than pad it out.Previous ExperienceAction words should be used to describe the manner you carried out your responsibilities and to enhance an achievement you’ve mentioned.Make sure you’re quantifying your past-achievements in conjunction with your action words too.Previous Experience Without Action WordsInvolved in a 5-person team responsible for quality assurance of sold products each day.Previous Experience Using Action WordsSpearheaded a 5-person team involved in quality assurance of sold products each day.Using resume buzzwords and actions words on your resumeRecruiters come across too many of the same buzzwords on applicants’ resumes. Sticking to the norm will likely cause them to distance themselves and overlook your resume for someone else.The best way to enhance your resume is to use the buzzwords sparingly, and match them to the job description. With action words, recruiters can get a better sense of your previous experiences while you can show your initiative at the same time.Whenever you feel confused with implementing some of the power words, you could always right-click and look for synonyms. But if you’re doing this, just ensure you choose an appropriate word that makes sense and fits with what you’re trying to say.Click here to see how the buzzword tactics discussed are successfully applied to resumes that got people hired at Spotify, Amazon, Verizon, and other large organizations.ConclusionBuzzwords are an effective way to upgrade your resume. It improves readability, as well as your chances of getting your foot in the front door for an interview. You can rest assured that your resume is more likely to get recognized and noticed if you follow the tips discussed.Are there any other buzzwords you like to use that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

Dean O'Reilly
Sep 8, 2022 9 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
Should You Include An Address on Your Resume?

How you include your address on your resume can influence the recruiter’s perception of you as a worker, your value proposition, and your job offer. With this in mind, there’s a lot to consider before you decide whether or not to put your address in your resume header. Some questions you may ask yourself are:Why would a recruiter want an address on your resume?Why would I consider not including my address on my resume?What are advantages and drawbacks of either including or not including my address on my resume?Are there any scenarios where I need to include my address on my resume?What should I do if I don’t want to include my address on my resume?What should I do if I’m relocating?Where should I put my address on my resume?What have others who have gotten hired done?All of these questions and more are answered in the following post.The Value of Your Address for the RecruiterThe Job OfferYour location can have ramifications for the specifics of your job offer. For example, if you’re located in different state or country, you may have language in your offer around remote working. Your commute time can affect when the employer expects you to start your working day, too. In general, including your address allows the recruiter to get a full-picture of what the working relationship may be.This can also affect the benefits the recruiter offers you. You may be offered a company car, fuel allowance, or public transport card based on your location as well.AvailabilityIn positions where you’ll need to be available on short notice, your proximity to your place of work is crucial to the job application process. Especially for the service industry and working in retail (i.e., those sectors that require shift work) there is greater value in an employee that can be in office in ten minutes, versus the employee that’ll be there in two hours. With this in mind, the recruiter will look for your address (and subsequent location) to determine who will be most available, and available on the shortest notice.Knowledge of the areaThere are some jobs that require in-depth knowledge of the locality. For example, if you’re applying for a delivery service, it would make sense for you to know about the area you’ll be delivering in. Recruiters may look for your address to assess your knowledge of the area for this reason. This also comes into play for sales, too. In door-to-door sales, it’s important to understand the dynamics of communities. A candidate that has grown up in an area and currently resides in the area will understand this better than someone from out-of-town.Cost of relocationThink of this scenario: you’ve gone through the interview process, the recruiter was impressed by your resume, and it comes to the job offer. You’re more than happy to come on-board, but you’ll need finance to move across state.This is the type of situation the recruiter is looking to avoid. Using your address, the recruiter can estimate whether or not you’ll be looking for relocation finance and whether or not this will need to be worked into the language of your contract of employment.Background checksSome positions involve handling personal information and sensitive content which require employers to run a background check on their employees (with your permission, of course!). For this process, the employer will need your address to look into potential criminal history and so on. In these circumstances, the recruiter will want to see your address on your resume to expedite the process.Tip: Not all background checks the recruiter carries out involves your address. Take our quiz to learn if you’re ready for an employer’s Google search!Method of communicationWhile most would expect recruiters to contact them via email or by phone to organise an interview, some will want to contact you with a formal letter. In order to do this, the recruiter needs an address to address the letter to. This isn’t the norm anymore (many do contacting through other mediums, including LinkedIn), but it still happens. Especially when sensitive information is involved, the recruiter may prefer using physical methods to contact you.Why You May Consider Not Including Your AddressSecurity concernsOne of the main reasons you may not want to include your address is any genuine security concern. This comes into play when there’s no clear instruction on how your data will be stored, used, or even how long it will be catalogued. For many, there is a fear of identity theft as resumes come with a lot of personal information including your name, prior workplaces, passions, and more. If you’re applying to organisations that have significant data breaches, you may want to veer away from including such sensitive information on your resume.Third-party application systemsThere’s an argument to be made around whether you should or should not apply for jobs through third party systems (for example, job boards). In these circumstances, the information you’re providing passes through two funnels: the third party, and then later the organisation you’ve applied to. Essentially, the risk of your data being mishandled or mismanaged doubles.Tip: If you’ve discovered a job posting on a third-party application, go directly to the organisation’s website and apply directly to reduce the handling of your data.Temporary workYou may not want to include your address when applying for positions you do not tend to stay in for very long. If you don’t expect to build a lasting relationship with the organisation beyond your temporary work span, you may not want to provide them with sensitive information without being asked for it first. Essentially, unless there’s a clear need for it, why should you include it?Are There Any Advantages of Including Your Address?As we’ve seen above, there are many reasons why recruiters are looking for your address on your resume. There are also many reasons why you may wish to omit your address on your resume. While all of these points remain true, there are advantages for both you and the recruiter when including your address on your resume.Personal Advantage: Database SearchesData that is provided to the recruiter typically will pass through an ATS (automated tracking system) of which will record key pieces of information and allow for a data profile to be created of all applicants. This can become of benefit for you down the line if you haven’t been offered a job straight away. Recruiters will use this database to search for previous applicants with key traits that may be suitable for a different job. In this way, it keeps the conversation between you and the recruiter open indefinitely.Recruiter Advantage: Time WastingAs mentioned, there are some jobs that lend themselves to local workers. Recruiters don’t want to have to go through scheduling an interview and having you come in to figure out whether or not you’ll be suitable. Including your address therefore improved efficiency and in many cases,will save the recruiter resources.Are There Any Disadvantages of Including Your Address?ProfilingRecruiters may use your address to determine the typical expenses of your area to inform the salary offered to you. For example, offering a lower salary because the cost of living where your address is situated is low.Situations Where Your Address Is RequiredFederal positionsFederal positions (i.e., jobs within the federal government) require a permanent home address before submitting your application in the US.“Must live in X”While not necessarily ‘required’, it makes the most sense to include your address in applications for jobs that specify applicants “must live in X” location. For these, the recruiter may likely filter out those that do not include their address or that have an address outside of the desired location.Are There Any Alternatives to Providing Your Address?GeneraliseIf concerned about providing your address, the first alternative to consider is to provide a general location instead of your full address. For example, instead of providing your home address, note your location as “City, State”. This should satisfy most recruiters as they can begin estimating your commute, proximity, knowledge of the area, and so on from this description.You can further generalise by removing your city and simply providing your state, or country.Temporary PO BoxAn unconventional option you can avail of is opening a temporary postal box when applying for jobs. This way, you can provide a full address and you can filter what offers comes back to the postal box. For example, applying only to tech positions with this address. Note: These services will come at a cost.What If I’m Relocating?When applying to jobs out-of-state or in a different country, it’s best to confront this directly. While many have applied for jobs and lied about their current location, I wouldn’t recommend doing so. Simply state in your resume header that you are planning to relocate to “X” location.For example, if applying to a job in Ohio from California, your resume header should state “Planning to relocate to Ohio”. This provides the recruiter with all the information they need to make an informed decision on whether or not to pursue your application.What Have Others Done?Case Study: Ramsey’s Product Manager ResumeWhen applying for his role at American Express, Ramsey included his a semi-general location in his resume header. This allowed recruiters to identify his general proximity and availability to work, but saved him from revealing sensitive personal information (i.e., his full address).Case Study: Mia’s Research Assistant ResumeApplying for postdoctoral research, Mia included the address of her research department in the University of York. There was no need to include her personal address as her research department was most relevant to further opportunities.Case Study: Adam’s IT ResumeMoving into sales in IT, Adam included a general location when applying to Software AG. This showed the recruiter he was within vicinity of their offices and that his commute would be minimal; much like in Ramsey’s case.With the Enhancv resume builder, you can craft a resume that blows all other applicants out of the water. From design options to bullet and section suggestions and content writing tips, we’re here to help you land your dream job!The reality of including your address on your resumeFor the most part, recruiters do not need your full address on your resume. When using address information, the recruiter likely will only need to know your general area to be able to assess you as a potential candidate. While certain circumstances will call for a permanent home address, this is the exception to the rule. If you want to keep your personal information safe while providing the recruiter everything they need, include your location in your resume header just like others have using Enhancv.-

Dean O'Reilly
Sep 8, 2022 9 min read
Article image
Resume Advice
Influencing the Recruiter with a Resume Website

In today’s hiring landscape, your resume is often not enough to get you hired. Resumes are designed to be the icebreaker with the hiring manager, not the entire conversation. One way to catch the recruiter’s attention and provide more detail is building a resume website. In it, you can describe who you are, the experience you have, and the type of work you’re drawn to. Below, see the benefits of resume websites, how to use them effectively, and the sections you’ll benefit from having. What a resume website will do for you Personal Brand Top companies all have their own brand – but building a brand shouldn’t be limited to organisations. Using your website, you can highlight your individualism and unique story to ‘sell’ yourself to employers. Developing a brand allows the recruiter to assess how you approach work and the energy you’ll bring to the firm; it’s essential for culture fit.   In Gal’s business development resume, he includes the link to his resume website that describes him as a “growth driven product entrepreneur”. He later goes on to explain his value proposition to potential employers. Creative work examples For applicants involved in creative fields such as photography, creative design, and film, a portfolio is often needed in a job application. Including a resume website in your application will show recruiters to tangible evidence of your creative ability. Let’s face it – no one’s going to hire a creative without seeing examples of their work. You’ll also not have to worry about the length of your resume. When Jamie was applying to Video Elephant after finishing his degree in Photography, he knew he’d have to show examples of his work. He attached a link in his resume to his online portfolio to do this. Control what the recruiter sees The vast majority of recruiters search candidates online to review their social media and online presence. More than half of recruiters have decided not to hire an employee based on their social media presence. With these practices in mind, it’s important to curate your online image. Optimizing a resume website can ensure it’s the first thing that pops up when recruiters search your name. Moreover, directing employers to your website where you show snippets of your social media can decrease the likelihood of them digging further. Tip: Unsure if you would pass an employer’s google search? Take our quiz to find out! Going further in-depth One of the issues people struggle with when applying for a new job is resume length. This is especially true when it comes to those with decades of experience. They can feel there’s never enough room to discuss all of their skills. Building a resume website provides another space to discuss projects in detail. This can allow you to be more concise and tailored in your resume and keep from writing pages and pages of text the recruiter may likely ignore.  Updating your experience Sometimes, we apply for jobs and hear nothing for a few weeks, months, or even years. One issue with the traditional resume submission is it does not allow for real-time updates. While you can continue to update your resume in your own time, you can’t continually submit new resumes to organisations. On the other hand, a resume website is easily updated at any point. This means if a recruiter comes across a resume submitted from four months ago, you can rest assured when they check your resume website that they get the most up-to-date information. How to make your resume website effective SEO Optimise SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to strategies used to influence the ranking of content on major search engines like Google based on targeted keywords. Essentially, using SEO allows you to increase the likelihood your resume website is found when people look for specific search terms in their search engine. For those new to this concept, think of it like ensuring your poster is given the most space on the poster board. Recruiters won’t know you by name if they’ve never met you – but they may know your skills. Optimising your resume website to rank for keywords related to your field that the manager will look for (e.g., marketing resume, coding, etc.,) can help you find a job in a way previously inaccessible. But at the very least, you want your website to show up when someone searches your name. Sleek not extravagant We can all get carried away when it comes to designing new websites. Much like with resume design, there’s a certain lined to be walked between being original and being convoluted. It’s best to air on the side of caution. Use simple graphics and minimise the amount of variation between pages, font types, font sizes, and photographs. In Ramsey’s product manager resume, he links to his resume website that has a clean design. There’s enough creative design to attract attention, but not too much to cause distraction from the information. Suitable Photographs A benefit of hosting your own resume website is that you can curate the images recruiters come across. Pick photographs that show you in your typical working presentation. For example, in clothes that you would wear to work, at business events, and so on. Coupled with optimizing your website, this can help curate the images recruiters find when they google you. Complement not regurgitate One of the mistakes you can make when developing your resume website is to mimic everything included on your resume. Your resume website should add value, not mirror value. As mentioned before, use your website to go into further detail, to provide content that cannot be put on a resume (e.g., video content), and to be as up-to-date as possible. What sections do I need to include? Personal Bio Remember: not everyone who comes across your resume website will have seen your resume. This is especially true when it comes to hiring managers that come across you using search engines, you’ll benefit from including a personal bio on your website. This should be succinct. Introduce who you are, the type of work you are looking for, what motivates you, and the experience that relates to that work in 2-3 sentences. Contact Details A hiring manager has come across your resume website and they’re impressed – but they can’t find any details to get in contact with you. Right in that moment, you missed an opportunity. Fortunately, the solution is simple: in your resume website, include a “Contact Me” section. You may want to limit the contact information you provide, however. Not everyone that will see your website will be a recruiter. To avoid spam, consider linking to your LinkedIn account or providing just your email. You can also set up a contact form. Previous Experience No one gets hired without showing what they’re capable of. The recruiter will be looking to see your previous experience in the first few seconds after coming across your website. Dedicating a section to providing this information is a given. In Gal’s business development resume website, he includes a section that details the projects he has worked on in the past. Your resume For those that have come across your website through a search engine, including your resume is a great way to break the ice. When doing this, make sure the upload date of the resume is visible so the recruiter knows how up-to-date it is. Best practice would be to update your resume and resume website in tandem so there is no disconnect. Updating your website regularly can also help with SEO. Additional sections to stand out Testimonials Including testimonials from people you’ve worked with can add powerful validation to your resume website. Everyone can makes claims about their abilities, but how do we know these are true claims? Short quotes from colleagues and people of note within your industry shows the recruiter you’re able to build relationships with others and leave a lasting impact. It’s a built in reference network. Motivated By Many of us have made career moves that we couldn’t have imagined before they happened. People make career changes all of the time. More often than not, the industry may change and the focus of your career may change, but your motivators tend to stay constant. Including a “Motivated By” section can be used to tell the hiring manager what it is that drives you to work. This can help recruiters identify whether or not you’ll be suitable for a job that lies just outside of your usual area of interest. Building a resume website A resume website is the perfect match to your resume if used correctly. With Enhancv’s resume builder, you can easily add your resume website’s link to your resume header. The best strategy to use when building your resume website is to think of the limitations of your resume (length, type of content, and so on) and to account for these in your website. Used effectively, a resume website can sway the recruiter to calling you for an interview.

Dean O'Reilly
Sep 8, 2022 7 min read