If you’re applying for a job that is likely to have hundreds of applicants, remember that the first person to read your resume won’t be a person at all, but a machine.
Here are some tips you can apply to impress your potential employers and their recruitment software.
Keep it Simple
You need to make your resume as easy as possible to process. This means a simple, clean Microsoft word or PDF document that consists of one or, maximum two fonts. Make sure you’re contact information like your full name, address, phone number and email are at the top of the first page of the resume.
Sometimes spelling and grammar errors will mean automatic exclusion. Proofread every word three times.
Using natural language is also more powerful than ‘management speak.’ It’s easier for the automated resume reader to understand, and better for the person going through a pile of 100 resumes too.
Instead of saying that you ‘leveraged social media presence to augment customer engagement,’ consider saying that you ‘added relevant keywords in the company Facebook video and increased followers by 300%.’
Use Appropriate Keywords
Your resume should contain keywords and key phrases that align your skills with the job. This does not mean regurgitating the text from the job description. Analyze it for the skills that doing the job requires.
Highlight Your Relevant Skills
Skills are often considered more important than experience, so make sure they are clearly mentioned and illustrated in your text and do not abbreviate, preferably using statistics. Don’t overlook soft skills – they are also vital.
A one-page resume is best, and it should never be longer than two pages. The only skills and experience that the employer is interested in are those that are directly relevant to the job itself. You don’t need to mention obvious skills either, such as knowing how to use Microsoft Word.
If you speak five languages, don’t mention them unless the job requires language skills. This also means you’ll have something new and impressive to tell them at the interview. The same goes for hobbies, especially if your hobby is not unusual.
Keep your language positive. Saying that you ‘redesigned the way sales teams were structured to increase revenue by 95%’ is better than saying you ‘broke up a failing sales team and brought in new people.’
Too much implied criticism of your previous workplace will have a negative influence on how HR or recruiters perceive you.
Don’t try to cover up gaps in your resume. The cover-up will probably stand out more than the gap.
A brilliant summary statement at the top of a resume will probably do more to convince a recruiter they want to interview you than anything else.
Include Contact Details
Keep confidential data like marital status, political affiliation or religion out of your resume, but don’t forget to include your up-to-date contact details and website. Too many people do this.
Follow these tips and you will be able to sharpen up your resume to maximize your chances of success.