As a job-seeker or a candidate for a promotion, you want a recipe for making your resume interview-winning, don’t you? I bet you’ve learned lots of resume writing rules and figured out the perfect length for your resume. However, this isn’t always enough.
Making the resume accurate, up-to-date and error-free is critical to help it pass the initial screening stage. Nevertheless, it doesn’t always make the cut and secure you with an interview call.
So, what truly makes the difference? Our team of resume writers NYC has collected the answers from people directly responsible for the hiring process – recruiters and hiring managers. Today, we are going to reveal what recruiters look for in resumes in the first place and what serves as a decisive factor when picking a candidate for an interview.
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9 resume writing tips from recruiters
A few weeks ago, we’ve written about what employers look at when screening your resume (read the entire post here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/what-employers-look-for-in-your-professionally-done-resume).
Every day, year after year, professionals in recruitment review dozens and hundreds of applicants’ resumes. For this reason, nobody knows the secrets of an effective resume better than the recruiters do. And today we are going to share the insights about the resumes that go to ‘Maybe’ pile or win an interview call immediately.
- Read the job description with attention
This advice looks obvious, but for this very reason, it’s often overlooked. Read the job posting carefully to ensure that you meet qualifications minimum (this may include a specific degree, years of experience, security clearance, and expertise with the specific type of projects). Don’t apply for jobs you’re not qualified for – your resume will be tossed during the first screening.
Read the job posting carefully for the application instruction. Some employers might ask you to use a keyword, apply via their website or complete a test task. If you fail to follow these instructions, your application won’t be considered.
- Make it easy to skim through
A modern resume should be easy to skim through. Gone are the days of plain resumes with dense blocks of text and plain formatting. Often, recruiters admit tossing resumes which are difficult to read or those with excessively bright, ‘funny’ formatting.
So, what should you do to make a resume ‘skimmable’? Use the font which is big enough for comfortable reading. Create shorter sentences and format the lists using bullet points. Finally, save enough blank space on the page (try keeping the word count to less than 400 per page). Resumes which look easy to read absorb the hiring managers, whereas those with poor formatting turn them off.
- Write your resume with the golden triangle rule in mind
This rule is one of the most common resume tips from HR. Multiple studies reveal that the recruiters read resumes across the top and then go down to the left side. This is where your juiciest career information should be placed. Put your notable accomplishment or a prestigious industry award on the second page, and nobody is ever going to get down to them. However, place it at the top of the first page – and it can become a game-changing factor that will secure you an interview.
- Downplay or explain the gaps in employment
Employers don’t like career gaps. Among the two equally qualified candidates, the recruiter is likely to interview the one with progressive experience and currently employed than someone who hasn’t worked for 6 months and more.
Career gaps can be downplayed by including years of employment instead of months and years. If you had taken a career gap to travel or raise kids, prepare to explain this in a cover letter. And also mention how you kept your qualifications actual during this period.
- Networking increases your chances dramatically
A great resume can secure you an interview in seconds, that’s true. However, the best positions continue to fill through networking. If someone from the company passes their friend’s resume to a hiring manager, chances are they’ll bypass you.
Pro tip: don’t neglect the quality of your resume, but take care of your connections as well. Try finding a connection within the company and asking them to drop a word about you to the hiring person directly.
- Be an ‘achiever’, not a ‘doer’
A ‘doer’ is a job-seeker whose resume is all about what they did in the course of their career. They highlight skills and daily responsibilities (for example, managed project milestones, negotiated with vendors, motivated a team). An ‘achiever’ is a professional who writes about their accomplishments and deliverables (such as completed the project 6 days before a deadline, led a team of 14, reduced travel costs by 11%). Hiring managers love the second resume type – they allow them to see and predict the candidate’s performance. If your resume is packed with a number of selling accomplishments, you can devote the rest of your time to studying the secret of perfect interview handshake and ironing your best suit.
- Mirror the job posting
As we’ve mentioned above, recruiters don’t read resumes as they see them for the first time. They skim it through. And their eye is focused on finding specific words and phrases that mean you’re qualified for the job. The best way to convince them that you are is to use the language used in a job ad.
Using the exact names of skills and qualifications will catch the recruiters attention and help your resume stand out. Also, if the company uses the software for screening resumes (who doesn’t these days?), this will help you pass the computer selection as well. And this automated selection is imperative for getting a further consideration with some companies: they will toss your resume unless you reach a certain score.
- Quality writing means more than you think
Clear, concise, persuasive writing in your resume is a must if you want to retain the reader’s attention. Quality writing which is free from mistakes shows you are interested enough in a role and have put in an extra effort into resume writing. If your copywriting skills leave much to be desired, check out our guide to avoid boring writing.
Grammar and spelling mistakes can cost you an interview. It will do you a lot of good to hire an expert editor to correct your flaws in writing. The editing professionals of our online service will improve not only grammar and writing style, but also the design and formatting of your CV.
- What is the most popular custom resume advice for college students USA?
As a rule, recruiters’ expectations from student resumes are lower than those of experienced candidates. They assume the lack of experience and seek academic success, enthusiasm and willingness to learn in the first place. However, the common advice recruiters often give to fresh graduates is to use a professional email address. Such email as ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ don’t create the right impression and can really become a reason for rejecting a resume.
Take care of your online presence and use LinkedIn resume advices from writers
Upon the review of your resume, recruiters will head to Google to find out what the web knows about you. Ideally, they should discover a professionally completed LinkedIn profile and appropriate social media pages.
If there’s something controversial or inappropriate left in your account since the student days, clean it up. And if your LinkedIn profile is half-empty with 45 connections, take care of it as well. Here’s a bit of LinkedIn advice reserved for job-seekers: http://resumeperk.com/blog/12-linkedin-profile-tips-for-job-seekers. LinkedIn is widely used by recruiters to source and hire talented employees, so it can literally land you an interview without any effort from your side.
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