What differentiates your resume from every other resume? If your resume was placed in a pile and in that same stack of resumes there was a bunch of resumes placed there by other applicants with similar experience, do you have an edge or do you think your resume would be one that would be passed over. IN my time as a recruiter I have seen thousands of resumes and I can tell you that there is a big difference between a well put together resume a resume that could use some work. When I talk to candidates, its often the opinion that a resume doesn’t matter if you have the right competencies for the role. And while in some instances, like if the skillset is rare enough, that could very well be true, in most cases competition is stiff. I don’t know about the rest of you but I have come in second place in an interview process and I have also applied to roles and never hear back. With a coveted role at a good company, there will likely be many qualified applicants. If you are applying for a position that has many qualified applicants, unless you happen to know someone on the inside, its going to come down to your resume. Does it have enough searchable terms so that its highlighted in an applicant tracking system? Does it clearly and adequately detail your past experience and how its applicable to the role you have applied for? Does it put you at an advantage or a disadvantage? Everyone would like to have an advantage and get the call to do an interview but obviously its not always the case. The following are a few quick, easy tips to make your resume a little more recruiter and applicant tracking system friendly.
1.)Ditch the Objective!!!
I have looked at thousands of resumes and I have never said, “oh, thank god they have an objective, otherwise I wouldn’t know which roles they are qualified for” but I have said “well their objective looks like it was for a different role” or “according to their objective this is a type of role they wouldn’t be interested in”, PASS!!
2. Quantify your results!!!
if you have made an impact at past organizations make sure to not only include that information but quantify it. Lets see which looks better: “Made improvements to help company save money” OR “Lead Kiazan Project that reduced downtime 20% and saved the company $250,000 in he first 18 months following implementation”. Clearly the second example is much stronger and both hiring managers and recruiters alike love when they see it on a resume.
3. No Spelling errors!!!
Spelling errors say that you lack detail orientation or that you don’t care enough to proofread your work.
4. Don’t take Aesthetic ricks
I have seen people add their pictures, have pink resumes and use all kinds of crazy fonts as a ploy to get noticed. Skip that! Its not necessary and frankly is more likely to get your resume tossed aside as opposed to noticed.
5. Use bullets!
This goes along with quantifying your results. When I see a resume full of paragraphs explaining duties at a previous job I almost immediately get a headache or the desire to skip to the next resume. Use bullets to detail the work you have done, tools you have used and the impacts you have made in past roles.
6. Fill your resume with searchable terms
Most applicant tracking systems will com equipped with an algorithm that matches resumes to the job description or a resume search/filter function. In either case its important that your resume and the job you applied for have a lot in common. One of these easy ways to do this is to make sure you include searchable terms. For example if you are a computer programmer, make sure you have a section detailing the languages you are proficient with as well as including them as you used them by job. Although this may seems redundant, in many applicant tracking systems it will make you appear to be a more solid match.
These tips alone should make a big impact on your resume but if you feel like you could use a little extra help there are many professional resume and career coaching services you can utilize. Many companies specialize in writing resumes, career coaching and even LinkedIn optimization (a topic for another day). If you are looking to check out a company that does this type of work check out the following link Service Offerings. While not for everyone, companies like this can provide real guidance and they specialize in helping. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks!