Hi guys! Hope you enjoy today’s guest post from my friend Sara! Let us know what you think!
When it comes to applying for jobs, your resume is the thing you rely on the most as it’s the first thing that the hiring manager will see. If your resume’s weak, you won’t even reach the interview stage, so here are a few tips to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Include Keywords In Your Resume
Before your resume will even reach the hiring manager, there’s a high chance that the company that you are applying for is using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). For this reason, it’s a good idea to keyword optimize your resume.
Where do you find the right keywords to use? Read the job description to understand what the company is looking for exactly. Particularly pay attention to the duties and required experience and include keywords from those sections. Make sure that you meet at least 50% of the criteria. If you don’t, then maybe this position isn’t the best fit for you, unless they’re looking to train new candidates.
Tailor Your Resume for Each Position
It’s important to customize your resume for each position that you’re applying for. Focus on what makes you qualified and emphasize different points, keywords and skills.
When a company sends out a job listing, most of the time they’ll receive hundreds of replies and they’ll have to go through hundreds of resumes. With self-branding in mind when editing your resume, add some flavor to it; for example, you could use some color, use a unique sign-off, or maybe even add in a small logo. Whatever it may be, make sure the employer remembers you and your application.
Think About the Reader
Even though you want your resume to be memorable you also want it to be clear and easy to read as well. All the important information should be easily found from your resume. The key information the hiring manager is looking for at first glance are:
- current title and company
- current position start and end date
- previous position title & company
- previous position start & end dates
So when creating your resume, make sure to bold those key details. On top of that, you’ll want to present your skills and accomplishments briefly with measurable results.
Hiring managers know the duties in your field, so instead of telling them what they already know, tell them what you’ve accomplished in your previous jobs. List your accomplishments with bullet points under each work experience and include real numbers and the benefit to your employer of each of those accomplishments.
Proofread Your Resume or Better Yet, Have a Friend Do It
Proofreading your resume is one of the most important thing to do before you start applying to jobs. And when it comes to proofreading, it’s best to ask someone else to do it because since you’re the one who wrote it. Have somebody else check it for you and they’ll notice mistakes that you won’t.
Show How You’ve Kept Current – Hide Resume Gaps
If you have employment gaps, don’t just leave the gaps in your resume. Instead, add in any qualifications or volunteering gigs you’ve been doing in the meantime. This shows that you’ve been active and are developing and enhancing your skill set. You want to list any unpaid, voluntary and freelance work under your work history as regular positions and describe them the same way as the rest of your work history. That stuff counts.
Try a Different Resume Format
The most popular way of formatting a resume has been to put things in chronological order, but this doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, you should avoid this format if you have a number of extensive gaps in employment. Instead, use a combination resume format which is also great for career changers, students and recent grads.
So how do you lay things out on combination resume? In this resume format the focus is on the skills and qualifications rather than work experience or education. Begin by adding a summary of qualifications and list skills that are related to the job you’re applying for.
These tips will help you stand out, pass ATS and include all the necessary information employers need to know, so remember to utilize them in your next resume!
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