How to Create a Strong Resume
Resumes can seem like a daunting task at first, especially when it’s your first time doing one. With the right approach, you can create a well-crafted resume that effectively highlights your skills, experience, and achievements. We will share resume advice from the LAA’s Economic Empowerment experts that can help you, regardless if it’s your first resume or you’re updating one so you can land your dream job. It’s always important to be up to date on business trends to stay ahead of the curve.
The Latin American Association hosts quarterly Job Fairs that help build a bridge between Latinos and employers that are actively looking to hire. The LAA has also hosted four Resume Days a year since 2016. Our goal for the Resume Day events is to prepare Latinos for upcoming job fairs which are usually held two weeks ahead. In addition to this, we make sure to upload the client’s updated resume in our Job Bank to ensure they have the most opportunities possible and get the most out of this experience.
Throughout the years, the LAA has helped hundreds of Latinos start their career off with the right foot forward by helping them create or improve their resumes. We understand that first impressions can make a lasting impact, so we encourage you to make the most of it. With that in mind, here is some resume advice to help you create a winning resume that highlights your skills, experience, and accomplishments the right way.
Keep it Simple
Highlight your best work.
Recruiters take 7-8 seconds on average to screen a resume according to a well-known study done by Ladders, Inc., this means you do not want to saturate your resume. Make sure you highlight your most important accomplishments. If you have sufficient experience and are looking at several employers in different industries, you should have a couple of different resume templates tailored to the industry you are applying to by choosing your relevant skills and background.
Quantify your Achievements
Make it simple. Make it measurable.
Besides highlighting the most important work, you want to make sure, when possible, to describe the tasks performed or goals accomplished in a simple way yet measurable way. Include KPIs that show how the company improved because of the work you performed. Be specific when describing your KPIs. Include figures, percentages, or other details that precisely convey your accomplishments.
Use Action Verbs
Effective words empower your skills and experience.
Start each bullet point with a strong action verb that demonstrates your abilities and accomplishments. A good action verb is descriptive of your work and clearly displays a positive attribute. Action verbs also help recruiters quickly determine the kinds of roles and responsibilities you have under your belt. Make sure you are using different action verbs to keep the recruiter engaged and to showcase different kinds of experience and goals accomplished.
Here’s a before-and-after example that applies the action verbs and quantifiable achievements.
“Responsible for overseeing 10 employees that helped increase sales from the previous year.”
“Directed a sales team of 10 which generated an increase of annual revenue of 15% by implementing automations.”
This example, provides a strong action verb that is both positive and descriptive of your experience, while also demonstrating the success you brought to the table with clear and quantifiable evidence.
Optimize the format for ATS
Improve your structure
As more employers adopt Applicant Tracking Systems to manage their recruitment processes, it’s crucial to ensure that your resume is ATS-friendly. According to Forbes, “90% of large employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) where job candidates submit their resumes online when applying for positions.”
To optimize your resume, you will need to use the right layout, fonts, and keywords. There are several resume layouts that are widely used, like chronological, functional, and hybrid formats. We recommend the chronological format, since it lists your experience in reverse chronological order, meaning it starts with your most recent job. Organize your resume with distinct headings for each section, such as Professional Summary, Work Experience, Education, and Skills.
Make your resume ATS-friendly, use a clean layout with clear headings and standard fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid tables, columns, or graphics that can disrupt ATS parsing. Save your resume in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf format for optimal compatibility with ATS.
By incorporating relevant keywords from the job description, you align your resume with the employer’s requirements, increasing the likelihood of being flagged as a strong candidate. With proper wording, your resume not only becomes ATS-friendly but also effectively communicates your value to potential employers, boosting your chances of securing an interview.
Creating a powerful resume can go a long way so make sure you put enough thought into it. These are just a few expert resume advice, so make sure you do not miss out on the opportunity to stand out to employers. Join us at our upcoming Resume Day to continue to build an effective resume and get expert advice from professionals in the field, and mark your calendar for the next Job Fair, where you will have the chance to connect with top employers in several industries.