Having an updated resume will allow you to respond to a new career opportunity quickly. And the effort that you put into updating your CV could help position yourself better for the job you are applying for.

By now you should already know that you’ll need an eye-catching and compelling resume to grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers to secure a life-changing job interview. But do you know what employers and recruiters are looking for in your CV?

What you seek in your career and future employer might have changed because of your experience with the pandemic over the past two years. You might have changed perspectives because of a significant change in your life, or perhaps you’ve just started a new family or moved out to live alone. Regardless of what the reason is, you’re now motivated to look for a new job.

tips to improve your resume from recruiters
tips to improve your resume from recruiters

So how do you write a resume that will get you hired? Follow these easy resume writing tips shared by our recruitment experts to update your CV and create an effective resume.

effective ways on how to improve your resume

1. make your resume easy to read

If you are curious about how long do employers typically take to look at your resume? It’s quite true that recruiters usually spend a very short amount of time reading your resume.

It is commonly estimated that employers spend about 6 seconds for resume scanning before they decide if you are a good fit for the job role. This 6-second window is crucial and it is when your resume should stand out and meet the recruiters' expectations.

The reason why recruiters spend so little time on your resume is because recruitment specialists receive thousands of applications on a daily basis, particularly for roles with attractive employers. It can be very time consuming to read every applicant’s resume in detail.

By creating a relevant and easy to read resume, you are more likely to leave a strong impression and the recruiter might want to take a bit longer to review your application. It helps hiring managers spot your credentials quickly and evaluate if you have the skills that clients are looking for.

To prepare your CV for easy reading, you can format your particulars and use bullet points to list your credentials and other relevant information. This way you can easily summarise and also emphasise the details that matter most.

Here are some tips on how to list your bullet points effectively:

  • Use brief but concise sentences. Just like this!
  • Include only relevant information such as your skills and achievements.
  • Bold relevant headers and underline important keywords to draw our attention.

You are advised not to write longer than one line for each bullet point, unless it is necessary. Exceeding more than one line can make it harder to read as it will start to come across as a full paragraph.

2. include remote and hybrid work capabilities in your resume

If you’re wondering whether you should put what you’ve accomplished from working from home for, the answer is yes!

With the rise of remote work as a result of the pandemic, more employers will be offering remote work or hybrid work arrangements to help employees live a more balanced and productive life.

To appeal to more companies, you can include the skills and experience that you’ve acquired working remotely. For example, new programs or technology that you’ve learnt to use when working remotely or communications skills that you’ve picked up attending or hosting virtual meetings. This will also show your potential employers that you are able to adapt very well to new changes in the workplace.

3. tailor your resume to the specific job

Have you been asked to fill in a digital form when applying for a job through a website? Those are likely applicant tracking systems (ATS) - an HR technology that companies use to consolidate job applicants’ data, store digital CVs as well as manage the job interview process.

ATS helps speed up the candidate screening process by scanning for keywords from digital CVs to identify and shortlist job applicants who are suitable for the role.

This is why you should always tailor your resume for every specific job that you’re applying to. Using one generic resume and mass applying to hundreds of jobs could do you more harm than good, as your CV may not have the keywords that these ATS systems are looking for. Recruiters and hiring managers also appreciate job applicants who take the extra time and effort to customise their CVs for the job.

There are 3 types of resume you can create - chronological, functional and combination. You should always create your resume based on the type that best showcases your worth effectively.

A chronological resume is good if you have many years of experience in a specific career path. When you highlight your accomplishments in each role, it can help detail how quickly and how much you’ve progressed over your career.

The functional resume is more suitable for job seekers who are looking for a new career and who might have gaps within their employment history. In a functional resume, you should group your work experience as skills categories instead of by job titles to showcase your professional skills.

You should decide on what type of resume you should prepare depending on the role that you’re applying for and the stage in your career. Hence, it's always important to do your research and identify whether the recruiters might be more interested in specific skills or relevant working experience. This is one way you can tailor your resume to the job description of the specific job.

Apart from choosing the best type of resume, another effective way to tailor your resume to a specific job is to include important keywords and phrases that the employer is looking for in the screening process. If you are not sure what the keywords are, you could probably find them in the job description. If you possess most of the skills that they are looking for and take the opportunity to highlight them in your resume, you will likely land yourself a job interview

Just make sure that you have the right skills and qualifications for the role, and never oversell your capabilities! The last thing we want is for you to bite off more than you can chew, so always make sure that you are qualified for the role before you apply.

4. include an executive summary

If you are still writing objective statements in your CV, we would recommend replacing them with an executive summary or a personal branding statement instead.

An executive summary is a short paragraph introduction that summarises your core skills, experience, accomplishments and expertise. It should be summarised to two to five sentences that are placed at the top of your CV and they serve as your professional sales pitch. This is important and adds impact on resume especially for high-level positions as it helps the employer determine what type of leader you are.

With so many other applicants that you’re competing with, it’s critical to stand out from the crowd by letting the recruiters know what you can bring to the table. Having an executive summary is also a great way for you to include more keywords that matter to the employer.

Here are some examples of executive summaries for a resume:

  • A highly-driven Sales Manager with a track record of closing deals worth up to $3m in a record year.
  • IT specialist with 5+ years' experience in developing award-winning mobile applications for consumer SaaS businesses.

This does not mean that your career objectives are no longer relevant! The executive summary or  personal branding statement is an important part of your resume to start a conversation with your recruiter so that you can share more about your career dreams and ask about how the company is able to help you achieve them.

5. show off your accomplishments

Saying what you can do is one thing, but your work accomplishments and contributions say a lot more.

It’s crucial to use data and numbers to give more context about what you’re able to achieve. That way, the accomplishments in your resume can be used as evidence to support your merits and showcase the impact you made in your previous companies.

If you’re a fresh graduate or a mom who is returning to work, you may find it a little more challenging to articulate any recent accomplishments that will appeal to the recruiter. Don’t worry - you can still include relevant references such as your school projects, volunteering work or side gigs in your resume as well. You can also include new certifications or completion of courses in your resume to demonstrate your accomplishments and willingness to learn or stay up to date.

ready with your new resume?

Your resume is a dynamic document. The types of skills, experience, and qualifications employers are seeking has shifted, and your resume should reflect those changes to keep you ahead of the competition. And make sure to always check your resume for grammar and spelling!

Are you ready to transform your old resume into a newly refined one?

You should always update your resume from time to time as you acquire new skills and experience in your career. Make a resume worthy of your dream job. Adjust it to match the current job market requirements and always be on the lookout for greater opportunities that might be open for you. That way, your enhanced resume will be able to appeal to employers who are looking for top candidates.

Last but not least, it will be a good idea to keep your linkedin profile updated. Take advantage of digital platforms and don’t forget to look out for online opportunities too.

work with randstad

We hope that this article and the above tips have helped you on how to strengthen your resume.

If you are ready with your revised resume, connect with us. We are here to guide you towards your next amazing new job opportunity! You can also speak with our specialised recruiters, who have in-depth knowledge about the job market, specialised industries and employers insights to better consult you on your career search. Alternatively, you can visit our latest jobs and apply for jobs directly via our website.

related content:

explore our career advice hub.

tips and resources

ready for a change?

apply for a job