Whether you are searching for your first job or hoping to take the next step in your career, a polished resume is an important tool to market yourself. When applying for a new role (at EF Education First or elsewhere), your resume is a hiring manager's first impression of you. Reviewing your resume and making small improvements can better capture the reader’s attention and help you stand out from other applicants.
With the help of EF’s Recruitment and Employee Development team (we call them RED), here are some tips and tricks for improving your resume.
1. Use reverse-chronological order
Putting your most recent experience at the top of your resume will help your experience stand out. Always prioritize your most recent roles by putting them at the top of your resume. It will be easier for hiring managers to determine how your current experiences and qualifications apply to the job.
2. Avoid multiple typefaces
Using multiple fonts can distract your reader. Instead, limit yourself to two typefaces: one for the name and heading and one for the body text.
3. Use keywords from the job description
Find words that are frequently used in the job description, as these indicate the soft and hard skills the hiring manager is looking for. If any of them apply to your skills or experience, try incorporating them into your resume.
“This lets the company know that you have done your research, and you will stand out faster when the team receives your resume. You want it to be accurate and honest, of course, but by doing your prep work and being thoughtful, you could stand out!” - Amy, EF Educational Tours
4. Show specific strengths
When deciding whether you are a good fit for a role, hiring managers want to see clear communication skills, attention to detail, and adaptability.
“I like to look for specific strengths vs. specific experiences. We evaluate candidates mainly on skills and strengths over experience because we feel it is more equitable and more inclusive!” - Isabella, EF Go Ahead Tours
5. Provide examples of experience
Doing this keeps your skills and abilities connected to the job you are applying for. For example, working in retail, at a restaurant, or for a political campaign are all transferable experiences to a customer service or sales role. What is most important is how you connect your experiences to how you will be successful in the position.
“I think of experiences related to problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, adaptability, and more.” - Rebecca, EF Educational Tours
6. Discuss leadership positions
There is not one way to be a leader. Leaders take many forms and can be loud and outspoken, quiet and strong, or anything in between. Regardless of the position, hiring managers look for your ability to initiate, work well with others, and carry out a project.
“If you are a recent college graduate with little to no work experience, include a time where you demonstrated leadership amongst your peers.” - Alex, EF Go Ahead Tours
7. Quantify your achievements
Provide quantitative examples of success in previous roles. For example, provide the number of calls you made daily, the percentage of goals you reached, and how many awards you received.
8. Keep your resume concise
Ensure everything you include is essential information and promotes you as a candidate. Keep your resume to one page, and remove repetitive words, graphics, or elements that do not add value.
“Let your resume lay the foundation for the building blocks you'd like to share in an interview. That allows you to personalize your resume for the role and then expand more about those pieces in person.” - Sara, EF Education First
9. Check spelling and formatting
Having an error-free resume shows your professionalism and attention to detail. Double-check before you submit or ask a peer to review it for you!
10. Create multiple versions of your resume
Tailor each resume to the job you are applying for. This will allow you to highlight different skills and projects that may be relevant to those positions.
“Make a few versions that highlight skills and projects that may be relevant to the different jobs you’re applying to, especially if you’re just starting out and casting a wide net!” - Michael, EF Go Ahead Tours