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How to Improve your Resume in Less than an Hour

Your resume is the first impression that a recruiter or scanning software has of you. To make it stand out, you need to demonstrate why you would be a good candidate as quickly as possible. Here are some tips on how to improve your resume in less than an hour. 

Impact Words

A resume is essentially a sales pitch for yourself and your skills. Using strong, descriptive words to describe your competencies is a quick way to elevate your resume with little effort.  

A competency is a specific skill or behavior that is necessary for success at a company. Some common examples are customer focus, adaptability, and problem solving. 

You can find the competencies that a company is seeking on their website or on websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, or GeeksForGeeks.  

Some online tools, like Rezi, will scan your resume and the job description to tell you how much your resume fulfils the job description. You can use this information to choose impact words that highlight the competencies that the company is seeking. 

Writing notes in a notebook on a table

Let’s look at a use case – to demonstrate critical thinking and engineering skills, try using words like engineered, investigated, analysed, pioneered, crafted, and innovated. In practice, instead of saying that you “Fixed bugs”, you can say that you “Investigated logging data and engineered a solution to fix app errors, reducing product crashes by X percentage”. 

XYZ Method

The XYZ method is a format recommended by Google recruiters to help you share your experience in the most effective and efficient way by focusing on the, ideally quantitative, results and impact. It is described as “Accomplished X as measured by Y, by doing Z” or otherwise known as XYZ.  

Instead of saying that you “Helped run events for the computer science university club”, you can say that you “Enhanced leadership and teamwork skills through creating successful events, such as career lectures, hackathons, and social gatherings, and driving toward short and long-term visions in the computer science club, receiving recognition by club members and advisors.” 

Or, instead of saying that you “won 2nd place in a hackathon”, you can say that you “won the 2nd place out of 100 teams by ideating and collaborating on a project to use data to track ocean plastics for removal”. 

To find out more about improving your resume, head to SheCanCode for the full article!

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