Your resume is the first impression you make on a recruiter. These professionals read resumes for a living, so if yours doesn’t make an impact, you won’t land an interview.
The last thing you want is to miss out on a great job opportunity because your resume is lacking. Here are a few tips to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
Turning your resume into an infographic or adding other elaborate design elements will certainly make it stand out, but it may never get to the recruiter’s desk. Many companies use software programs that scan resumes for keywords relevant to the job. It’s unlikely the software system will be able to scan these intricate design elements, which could automatically disqualify your resume.
During their initial review of resumes, recruiters typically only spend a few seconds scanning each one. Therefore, if the information on your resume isn’t carefully organized, they might miss key details that could secure your spot on their interview list.
The two most common ways to organize a resume are the reverse-chronological and functional formats. A reverse-chronological resume lists your employment history in order, starting with your current job. This is typically recommended if you’re looking for a job in your current field. A functional resume can be a better idea if you have employment gaps or are trying to change careers.
Numbers don’t lie. Therefore, quantifying your accomplishments is important because it highlights your achievements — and subsequent fit for the job. For example, saying you’re a fast typist is nice, but specifically noting your ability to type 75 words per minute makes your skillset clear.
Vague statements don’t tell a recruiter much about your skills and experience. They might look good on paper, but buzzwords like “self-starter,” “creative,” and “team player” don’t actually tell the recruiter anything about your fit for the job. Instead of filling your resume with surface-level descriptors, share specific examples — i.e., highlight a successful collaboration with your colleagues — that allows the reader to come to these conclusions on their own.
Recruiters expect your resume to be flawless. From their perspective, a candidate who truly wants the job will make every effort to submit a dazzling resume, free of spelling and grammatical errors. Always use spellcheck as a starting point, but don’t stop there. Review the resume yourself several times, then ask at least one person you trust to proofread it as well. Sometimes an extra set of eyes is needed to catch every mistake.
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