Does your resume stand out?
Did you know that during an initial job search, more job opportunities are lost because of a poor resume than any other single factor? Is your resume up to scratch? Find out below.
Does your resume get past the gatekeeper?
The majority of companies use applicant tracking systems to scan resumes, as they are looking for specific words and phrases that the company has identified as key to the position. If those key words are in your resume, you’ll get passed along to the next step – hopefully a real person. If those words are not in your resume, sometimes that can be it.
You can get these keywords by using the job description as your guide and reviewing want ads for comparable positions to see if they contain terms that you haven’t included in your resume.
Therefore, in order to penetrate the job market, your resume needs to be targeted and tailored to a specific role, while clearly highlighting your strengths and qualifications. Targeting the resume will increase the ranking that you receive through the ATS process against other candidates. The higher the ranking, the higher the chance of interview.
Does your resume pass the 10 second test?
With the number of job applicants today, recruiters and hiring managers are more time poor than ever before. Do you know how long they initially spend on your resume? About 10 seconds! Within those first 10 seconds they will know if your resume is worth their time. So, how do you entice them to keep reading? You need to sell yourself.
Today’s job market is complicated and there’s definitely a need to have a resume which communicates your true value. You need to highlight the areas of your experience and explain what is the value added proposition you have to offer – employers really want to know what value you can bring to their team. So give clear performance indications as to how your actions drove business / project(s) forward. This all needs to be delivered in a clear and concise way though.
Also, key information should to be showcased on the first page of your resume, preferably in the top 1/3 of your resume if you can. It is essential you use keywords specific to your professional goals and aspirations. Keywords are critical for communicating you have the ‘right stuff’ for the job.
Does your resume format and content position you as the best candidate?
A clean, easy-to-read layout with plenty of white space and logical organisation appeals to busy recruiters/potential employers who need to grasp the essential information and rapidly make a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ decision about the candidate.
If your resume is plain, a few formatting changes such as design elements, design headings, a bigger and better font style and better layout of information would improve it slightly.
You could try adding bold, italics and other type enhancements to draw visual attention to notable information. But be careful. Overuse of type enhancements will instantly devalue the visual presentation and cloud a prospective employer’s initial reaction.
Also, to keep the reader’s attention, it requires some impact information to sell YOUR value which can be done through design elements. For example, if you’re in sales, a great way to demonstrate your expertise in this area is by incorporating graphs into your resume. This approach can yield more impact than reading text copy alone, with the result being more interviews.
Will your resume secure you the job?
Getting the job will ultimately be up to you and how you perform in the interview. The objective of your resume is to secure an interview – after that, it’s up to you, so make sure you are prepared.
And lastly, every resume you submit should be specifically targeted to the position you are applying to. By developing a resume for multiple roles, you run the risk of having a resume which is too broad, resulting in recruiters overlooking you as they are unsure of where to place you.
The competition is fierce and in order to penetrate the market, your resume needs to be targeted and tailored to a specific role. Unfortunately there is no getting around this, as this is what your competition will be doing and a recruiter/potential employer will choose the candidates that meet the roles specific requirements.