The primary goal of a resume is to secure you an interview. However, with the abundance of applications hiring managers receive these days, this task gets more and more complicated. It’s not enough to list your job duties, hard and soft skills to catch the attention of a busy hiring person.
Corporate hiring managers only choose between 4 and 6 resumes for an interview among the 250 applications. To get your foot in the door, you need to pass the applicant tracking software and then impress the hiring manager. So, what to do if you aren’t getting quality interview calls? Our today’s guide will explain how to write a resume to get shortlisted.
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Using the same version of a resume to apply for many jobs is a losing strategy. Firstly, a non-optimized resume is likely to be trashed by the screening software. Secondly, such a resume doesn’t make it clear what makes you a great candidate for a particular company. And finally, recruiters can spot a generic resume at a glance and come to a conclusion that you aren’t interested in the job enough.
Targeting your resume means only including the information which is relevant to the position and customizing your career background. To learn more about customizing your resume, read our guide to creating a custom resume.
Listing the job duties is expected, but don’t make it your main strategy. Your resume should be primarily focused on achievements – the results of your actions as an employee that brought specific results to an employer. Increasing sales, generating leads, cutting expenses, fixing major bugs, and training people are examples of accomplishments. Use figures and percentages to quantify your value. “Led a $3M project, supervised 15 employees and ensured timely delivery” is better than “Delivered project on time”. Also, the most important bullet should go first in the list – it ensures that your most notable contribution gets noticed.
Reading a job posting is not enough to fully understand the company’s expectations and culture. To make your application a success, go to their website, learn more about the culture, processes, and employees. The information you’ve obtained during the research can be used to speak to their needs more effectively. For instance, if the company is famous for its collaborative corporate culture and encourages creativity, mention these attributes in your resume.
If you are an ambitious professional who wants to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, check out our guide to achieving work success.
Over 90% of big companies use applicant tracking software to screen incoming resumes. Thus, if your resume doesn’t have specific keywords this software searches for, it will be marked as irrelevant and tossed. To optimize the resume for ATS, use the skill names and qualifications required in the job posting. Search for commonly used keywords in your industry and add them as well. Avoid keyword stuffing – use them naturally and sparingly in the resume text. Finally, concentrate the keywords at the top third of your resume as they are ranked by the software higher.
To please both resume robots and human recruiter, use the same language that the job advertisement uses. If the job posting specifically requires the candidate to “Run online marketing campaigns”, use the exact phrase when listing your previous responsibilities. It allows you to kill two birds with one stone – the software will see your application as relevant to the position, and the hiring manager will see you as a culture fit as you use the same language as they do. Researching the company as mentioned above will help you mirror the company language more efficiently.
Sophisticated formatting and graphic resumes are attractive, however, they don’t have a wide area of application. On the contrary, simply good and consistent formatting always sends the right message. It shows that you are organized, attentive to detail and was ready to go to an extra mile to show your interest in the position. Opt for limited use of color to highlight the most important details, capitalize and boldface the key information consistently. Shorter sentences and enough white space will also help to keep the attention of the reader.
In addition to following the common resume rules, try to show your personality either in a resume or a cover letter. After all, people make hiring decisions based 40% on likeability. The best way to show your personality in a resume is by including the Hobbies section at the end. Avoid generic hobbies everyone else is including, such as jogging, cycling, cooking or music. Be specific. Say that you run marathons, paint portraits, or enjoy the 60s old school rock music. These specific interests might help you find the common ground with an interviewer.
Considering stretching the truth to get ahead? Check out the pros and cons of resume exaggerations.
If you follow the above tips carefully, your chances to receive an interview invitation will increase. Many companies now conduct the first interview via phone or Skype to evaluate if the candidate is a potentially good hire. To prepare for an online interview and pass it with brilliance, read about the peculiarities of remote interviews: http://resumeperk.com/blog/personal-or-online-interview-choose-wisely.
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