Top Resume Building Tips for 2021

Quick Breakdown of Resume Building Tips

  • Don’t feel like you have to do a complete overhaul when considering these resume building tips for 2020
  • Confirm you’re using the right format and make it a goal to get it to one page.
  • Remove the fluff and focus on keywords.
  • Go light on personal information and double-check social media accounts.

60+ Resume Building Tips for 2020

Reduce Your Resume to One Page

When considering these resume building tips, one of the top priorities to consider is to reduce it to one page.  A single-page resume is a widely held preference for most recruiters and HR leaders.  Back in the day, we used to think of a long resume as proof of professionalism. That’s no longer true.  You can still include all the bright moments of your career, and many the different homebuilding jobs you progressed through. Just try not to elaborate too much and be concise.

job seeker utilizing tips to build their resumeChristina Madsen at FindSpark suggests the following 17 ways to make your resume fit on one page.

  1. Only include relevant experience.
  2. Cut repetitive bullets.
  3. Leave out “references available upon request.”
  4. Make your name smaller.
  5. Get rid of your objective.
  6. Leave out your high school.
  7. Put information about each position on one line.
  8. Format relevant leadership experience under work experience.
  9. Adjust your spacing.
  10. Put your contact information on one line.
  11. Use a smaller font.
  12. Don’t feel pressure to put three bullets.
  13. Use bullet points that make you stand out.
  14. Only mention self-explanatory awards.
  15. Leave off irrelevant experience (yes, again!).
  16. Submit it as a PDF unless otherwise specified.

Utilize the Correct Format

The timeline of your career isn’t as important as what you learned along the way.  When updating your homebuilding resume, for example, state the milestones of your professional and project management journey, and explain how it added to your skillset.

Generally speaking, there are four types of resume formats.

  1. Chronological
  2. Functional
  3. Combination
  4. Targeted

ResumeOK suggests the following when choosing a resume format.

An effective resume isn’t just about submitting one which uses the appropriate font, correct margins, and doesn’t have grammatical errors and misspelled words. While those are important factors, they are not enough to get you to the next stage, which is the job interview.

Because recruiters spend only a few seconds on every resume that lands on their desk, you need to craft yours in such a way that the most vital pieces of information are front and center. To do this, you must choose the right format for your resume.

Keep the Good Stuff, Remove the Fluff

An average human nowadays has an attention span a little less than a Goldfish. The short attention span suggests that a three-page resume would seem overwhelmingly long. A busy employer will quickly move on to a briefer document and may miss out on your excellent qualifications.  The ‘good stuff’ is everything that you, and subsequently your employer, can monetize.

Jeffy Foss, at career strategist at The Muse, recommends removing the following seven fluff items ASAP.

  1. An Objective
  2. Weird or Potentially Polarizing Interests
  3. Third-Person Voice
  4. An Email Address From Your Current Employer
  5. Unnecessarily Big Words
  6. Tiny, Unimportant Jobs From 15+ Years Ago
  7. Lies

Double Check the Page Format

Browse online resume formats for inspiration and choose a clear and more concise outline than your outdated homebuilding resume.  The aesthetics should please you first and foremost.  But, it should also be straightforward to read without exuberance.  Choose a theme that’ll fit the image of the homebuilding industry and a potential employer.

Below are a few resume formatting tips that may help you improve your current version from Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Career Expert from Zety.

  1. Set one-inch margins on all four sides.
  2. Pick an 11 or 12pt resume font and stick to it.
  3. Create a proper resume header format for your contact details.
  4. Divide your resume into distinct resume sections: Contact Information, Resume Summary, Work Experience, Education, Skills.
  5. Use bullet points to talk about past jobs.
  6. Be consistent with your resume formatting (e.g., stick to the same date format: for example 11–2018, or November 2018.)
  7. Use single or 1.15 line spacing.
  8. Add an extra space before and after each section heading.
  9. Make your resume as long as it needs to be.
  10. Don’t use photos on your resume.  Unless the job description specifically asks for them. You’re looking for a job, not a date!

Sift Through the Dated Jargon and Unnecessary Words

Resume space is vital, and utilizing unnecessary words and “verbose language” can backfire.  Glassdoor suggests removing the following 21 terms to never include on a resume.

  1. Unemployed
  2. Hardworking or Hard Worker
  3. Ambicious – watch for misspelled words
  4. Microsoft Office
  5. Objective
  6. Synergy
  7. Reference Available Upon Request
  8. I, She, He, Him, Her
  9. Rockstar
  10. Dabbled
  11. On-Time
  12. Expert
  13. Can’t or Won’t
  14. Unnecessary personal information
  15. I know HTML, Photoshop
  16. Hobbies
  17. Generalizations
  18. Accomplished
  19. Stay-at-home Mom
  20. Responsible for
  21. Results-oriented

Show-Off Your Hard and Soft Skills When Building Your Resume

Describe your current and previous work in a way that frames your best traits. If you’re an expert in your field, write that before anything else.  Leadership, conflict resolution, successful negotiation, and effective communication are among the most needed soft skills. Don’t just say that you have these skills, give examples that shed light on your best traits.

If you missed it, check out our post on soft skills that employers are looking for in the residential construction industry.

Are you learning a new skill while searching for a new job? Make sure to add it when building your resume.

Go Light on the Personal and Social Info

There was a time when marital status and number of kids had to appear on the resume. Familial status is no longer the case, and recruiters, in general, steer clear from asking about these details.  That said, go light on personal information, including non-relevant hobbies, and only present relevant social media handles.

Lastly, this is an excellent time to remind you to scrub your social media accounts if necessary.  The Muse has a great article about 8 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Social Media before your job search.

The reality is that hiring managers are looking at your social media just as thoroughly as your resume or cover letter. 45% of hiring managers use social media to learn more about potential candidates. Which means you want it to be just as pristine.

  1. Make your accounts private
  2. Hide or delete any inappropriate posts
  3. Deactivate old accounts
  4. Add the right photos
  5. Add a professional bio
  6. Edit your handles and URLs
  7. Post-industry-related news, quotes, or articles

Tailor Your Credentials to the Job Requirements and Industry

job seeker tailoring their credentials to the job openingLastly, as you consider these resume building tips, do your best to tailor your credentials to the requirements of the job.  We recommend that you update your resume for each job, if different, as necessary.

Focus on Keywords and Notable Topics to Your Industry

Similar to the points above, keywords are words or short phrases that can relate to specific requirements for the job. They are the skills, abilities, credentials, and qualities that a prospective hiring manager might look for in a candidate.

Allison Doyle, with The Balance Careers, describes how an ATS can help recruiters search for specific topics.

When a hiring manager looks through a pile of resumes, he or she scans each resume to find these keywords. Many companies even use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS), also known as talent management systems, to screen candidates for job openings.

One way ATS works is to eliminate resumes that are missing specific keywords. If the software or the hiring manager does not detect any of the keywords in your resume or cover letter, your application might get thrown out. By embedding keywords in your resume or cover letter, you will demonstrate, at a glance, that you fit the requirements of the position.

That said, it’s essential, when updating your homebuilding resume, that you have many of the crucial keywords specific to your background and the job you are applying to in your resume.  We advise referencing the job description for many of the most relevant keywords.

Video of Additional Resume Building Tips for 2020

Need more resume tips?  Check out this video tutorial on updating your resume here.

At Matchbuilt, in addition to helping you build a resume, we pride ourselves in supporting our candidates during the interview process.  We’re jam-packed with tips regarding evidence-based recruiting practices, preparing for a Skype or Zoom interview, and tips for your LinkedIn profile.  Getting ready to resign your current position? Try to leave without burning bridges.

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