Anyone who has applied for a job knows that having a rock-solid resume that contains all the relevant components is vital to landing that dream job. What has become even harder in today’s technology-laden landscape is crafting a resume that will not only attract the eyes of HR managers but that of software bots that are doing their upfront work. There are many tips out there, and most tend to be sound advice when combined with particular wording that will help the resume past those pesky software screens. Others will suggest getting some professional help to get that extra edge (which is not at all a bad idea!). We are here to help in this process with a quick must-do guide to get you on your way to a resume that really stands out.
Format and Style Highlight Your Strengths.
Before you begin your work, review various resume examples that tailor to various employment situations. Then choose a style and format that you feel best highlights your achievement and strenght and reflects your strongest assets.
Use a Template
Using a pre-designed template is a good idea if you want to create a resume that looks highly professional. You can personalize it, of course, and still have that super-slick look that will make it stand out. You can use Microsoft Word templates or a myriad of online services to help you get that professional look.
Choose a Simple Font
When you are formatting your resume, it’s best to select a font that is simple and easy to read for both applicant management systems and hiring managers. Also, Google favors simple over complex. Choose a font that is clear, easy on the eyes and yet retains an individual style.
Here is a separate topic on fonts to help you in your choice!
Clarity is key, so using numbers in your resume to quantify your accomplishments makes it easier for employers to grasp what you have accomplished thus far quickly. Of course, not all of your achievements will be quantifiable; however, adding data and statistics for those that are can serve as a powerful salary negotiation tool down the line.
Needless to say, your resume should include basic contact information so that employers can get in touch with you. This should include your full name, your street address, phone number, and email address. It’s also useful to include your website or LinkedIn profile (if you have them).
Add a Resume Profile
Adding a resume profile – essentially a summary of who you are, your most impressive qualities/achievements, and what you are looking for – helps facilitate the reading and selection process. Just remember to tailor the profile to the job you are applying for. The more specific you are in your profile, the better the chances of you being considered for the job.
Bring the Most Important/Relevant Accomplishment to the Front
Your most important accomplishments, and those that are most relevant to the position you are applying for, go to the front of the line. First impressions are vital, so describe your key accomplishments at the top of each position you list, quantifying them when possible.
Mimic Keywords from the Job Description
It’s a good idea to include the same keywords in your resume that appear in the job description. You should also include them in your cover letter. This should not only help your chances of being shortlisted but should also help appease the screening bots if they are being used.
Getting Past the Bots
As mentioned earlier, these days, resumes are often first screened by a machine before finally making their way into the hands of a human. Here are a few quick tips to help you get past the software. Research other resumes in your industry available online. Chances are they will already be optimized for software crawling. Look for resumes that are above your pay grade (upper-management, executive, etc.). These would be a good resource on which to base your own resume.
Create a Custom Resume for Each Job
Writing a custom resume each time you apply for a job certainly takes much more effort, but it can pay off big time, especially when you are applying to those jobs that perfectly match your experience and set of skills. This extra time spent writing a custom resume is paid back in the form of interviews and job offers!
Follow the Guidelines for Submission
Be sure to properly follow the employer’s instructions on how to submit your CV. Sometimes the employer asks that the resume be attached to your email; other times, they may specify a particular format (PDF, Word document, etc.). Make sure to follow those instructions down to a t.