Revising your résumé can be stressful — after all, you know that you need to make a great first impression on paper before landing an interview. But there are some tips to ensure you have the best résumé format that will capture the attention of hiring managers.
TIME Money recently published a helpful guide to revamping your résumé for 2019. Here are a few key takeaways to ensure your résumé best reflects your unique skills and experiences.
1. Stick with a clean layout
Don’t overcomplicate the design. Go with an F-pattern or E-pattern, which work well for résumés because the structure is similar to a webpage. It’s eye-catching and easy for the reader to follow. Choose one font and stick to it — common sans serif fonts like Calibri look professional.
2. Little details stand out
A pop of color on your résumé could help you get a second look, especially if you’re applying for a creative position, but don’t overdo it. Pick a single color that adds a subtle, personal touch to your résumé. Consider how it will look both on screen and on paper.
3. Include a skills section
Your soft skills will come into play during the interview, but when you’re writing yourrésumé, be specific with your measurable talents. Employers aren’t just wondering who you’ve worked for in the past or where you got your degree — they want to know exactly what you can do, and your skills section is your opportunity to directly show what you’ve learned through your work experiences.
4. Highlight your impact
How have you solved problems for your past employers? What statistics can you include that illustrate exactly how you helped a previous company grow and improve? Include your most meaningful contributions at your previous jobs. Think about special projects you managed or times when you went above and beyond to handle extra responsibilities.
5. Be selective
You don’t need to list every job that you’ve ever had on your current résumé — don’t include a job from several years ago just to take up space if it wasn’t important to your overall career path. Leave off salary requirements and social media handles, unless they are relevant to the position or you use social media for business purposes.
6. Incorporate the right keywords
Most résumés today are not read by hiring managers right away — first, they are scanned by applicant tracking systems to reduce the number of candidates and to find the most qualified applicants. Make sure to include keywords from the job posting on your résumé to ensure that the software won’t weed yours out. It will take a few extra minutes, but it’s worth the effort.