The place to start on any job seeking journey is with your resume. But writing one can be daunting, from knowing what it should include and any best practices for catching that all-important attention of the reader within the first few seconds of opening it. So how does one write the perfect resume, specifically in this case for the competitive manufacturing sector? Have a read of our top tips below.
1. Keep the design sleek and simple but eye-catching
A perfect resume starts with a design, so choose a professional template. Use the same font in no more than two sizes throughout the document (one for body text and one for headings). There’s no harm in adding a pop of colour to catch the eye and highlight key headings or points (think a bright underline or title), but certainly keep it neutral and professional throughout.
Try to steer clear of graphs or tables in the formatting of your resume; whilst they seem like a clear way to portray information, they can sometimes be detrimental to performance when it comes to navigating applicant tracking systems, which many businesses use in their recruitment process. Instead, use a sleek design which showcases your experience and creates a professional profile: a strong header for aesthetics followed by two pages of text (maximum!).
2. Include your accomplishments, not just duties
Whilst explaining what the day to day of your past positions looked like is important, what employers really want to see is what you actually achieved whilst carrying them out. Listing the responsibilities you held doesn’t demonstrate that you performed them in any momentous way; instead, explain how and where you added value and what your achievements were whilst in each role. This can be done either in the first few bullet points of each position, or you could include a separate section altogether outlining achievements and accomplishments. A perfect resume quantifies how successful you have been, not just the skills and experience you possess!
3. Work soft skills into the body of text instead of just listing them
Soft skills are non-quantifiable skills, such as communication and leadership; they’re extremely important to career success, but not necessarily something we can gain accreditation in. We could all reel off many amazing soft skills we consider ourselves to have – but that doesn’t make them true.
Instead of just adding a long list (and using up precious space in doing so), try to work each skill into the roles you’ve undertaken. Examples of this could be, “Demonstrating strong communication skills by holding daily briefings with team to delegate tasks”, or “Utilizing problem-solving capabilities to overcome technical challenges in a pressurized environment”. Mix some of these core capabilities in with your day-to-day responsibilities to really prove those skills, and make them more tangible within a working environment.
4. Don’t be shy when it comes to education and qualifications – showcase them front and centre!
In the manufacturing industry, certifications can be a crucial point in the selection of applicants – particularly if an employer wishes to save time and/or money in training new employees on certain basics. So, make sure that you showcase every qualification, certification and piece of education you’ve undertaken – from technical knowledge to health and safety training, academic learning and vocational understanding – so that employers and recruiters know what level you’re at from the off.
All this is not to mention, the ability to learn is highly sought after – so show them you’re able!
Helping jobseekers showcase the talent, skills and experience they have with a perfect resume is just one part of what we do here at NLG; that, along with getting said resume in front of the right people. Check out the live positions we’re currently recruiting for on behalf of our awesome clients, and don’t hesitate to get in touch for more job seeking advice and tips like these!