If you’ve been applying for jobs and not getting any callbacks, it might be time to take a closer look at your resume.
Chances are it’s in need of a refresh. In this blog post, we will give you the first six tips to help get your resume noticed by potential employers.
With the right mix of the latest trends and tried-and-true best practices, follow along and watch your job prospects soar!
1. Tailor-made, just for you
Even though a variety of job roles could be in the same industry, there are various skills, experiences, and expertise that individual employers are seeking. Having these included in your resume will single you out from all the other job applications that the company is already receiving.
So how do you cater to all this whilst keeping your resume concise? The answer is cross-comparison!
Checking the job description for the relevant skills and experience will detail to you what the employer is looking for. This isn’t to say you should be dishonest with the skills you possess as all of those components will be tried and tested by the employer.
2. Including keywords
Employers often use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) as a first line of filtering through resumes. These tracking systems screen resumes based on the following criteria: education, experience, skills, and relevant job titles.
Using keywords will help you get past the ATS so that a hiring manager can see your resume with their own eyes. Resumes that do not have appropriate keywords will likely be skipped over, making it of utmost importance that you conduct thorough research of the job description in order to assess which keywords should be included in your resume.
Resumes with quality content are highly favored by an ATS, as it can read through the resumes quicker!
3. Formatting for readability
When a recruiter is looking through resumes, they are likely going to be spending no more than 30 seconds on each one. With this in mind, it’s important that your resume can be scanned and understood within that time frame.
Using headings, subheadings, and bullet points is a great way to keep your resume information concise and easily scanned. For instance, when describing your past roles and responsibilities, you could use the following formats:
- Heading: Job Title, Company Name
- Subheading: Years of employment (Year – Year)
- Bullet points listing responsibilities and achievements.
While the job role you are seeking may require a resume that is more than one page long, it’s best to keep resumes as short as possible. Resumes that exceed two pages are likely to be skimmed over and not given the attention they deserve.
4. Keeping Up-To-Date
Having to update your resume from a year ago, once you have gained more skills and experience, can be a lengthy process. Due to this, we recommend that you update your resume as soon as you gain those particular skills or experiences. That way, it won’t be such a daunting task when the time comes to update it for a job application.
It is crucial that you make sure that both your contact information and references are up-to-date and viable. Your resume could be discredited if the references aren’t usable and, if it wasn’t discredited, how would the employer be able to contact you if the email/phone number you’ve provided isn’t functioning?
5. Finding Your Tone
The tone, language, and style of your resume should reflect that of the company you are applying for.
If you are applying for a role that is senior or manager-level, your resume should reflect this maturity and showcase the professional skills that you have. Resumes that do not reflect the tone of the job description will likely be overlooked by hiring managers as it would be an automatic indicator of a mismatch between candidate and job role.
6. Eliminate what you don’t need
As mentioned previously, your resume should be as concise as possible which means cutting out what doesn’t promote you to the employer.
Avoid listing hobbies and interests unless they relate to the job role or demonstrate your skills and capabilities. Resumes that are too generic are boring and likely to end up at the bottom of the pile.
You should also remove any irrelevant experience, outdated information, and skills that are not applicable to the job role in question. Resumes that include irrelevant information will likely be seen as cluttered by hiring managers.
Including irrelevant items will only draw the hiring managers’ attention away from what they should be looking at – your skills, experience, and qualifications that cater to the job role – and, instead, makes them question if you have read through the job description at all.
Stay tuned for part two where we discuss using action words, including quantifiable objectives, the importance of proofreading, and more!