Having a well-crafted resume that hits all the right points is a critical component in landing your next position. Unfortunately, these days, it’s not just about getting noticed by the hiring managers, it’s also about including keywords that will get picked up by software bots.
Showcasing your unique talent and skills is the primary purpose of a resume, but sometimes it’s not enough to get past the algorithmic firewall. When you combine the right points with wording, you’ll have a better chance of getting past that first hurdle and landing in front of the right set of eyes.
Here are our top tips for writing an effective resume:
1) Chose the Optimum Format or Use a Resume Template
Templates are a good starting point as it is just waiting for your customization. Choose a basic template for more generalized job openings. If you have a more diverse CV, you might choose a template that is more targeted to your industry. The format you go with should accommodate your skillsets, education, and work experience.
2) Keep the Formatting Simple
Choose a basic font, like Arial, Times, or Calibri. This will help both for readability and optimization. Google favors simple over complex, so choosing web-friendly fonts is recommended.
3) State Numbers, Where Applicable
If you can quantify your accomplishments with hard numbers, it can help you with negotiating your salary when the time comes. Not every achievement is quantifiable this way. However, if you are in sales, marketing, or have done anything that has had a positive impact on the bottom line, don’t hesitate to include it.
4) Talk About Your Most Relevant Accomplishments First
When listing your experience, first describe all the achievements that are relevant to that position and then quantify them with numbers.
5) Include Common Keywords
If you are applying for a specific position, include keywords that also appear in the job description. This way, you will have a better chance of getting your resume past a software screening. Also include these keywords in your cover letter because your correspondence will likely be screened for relevance as well.
6) Customize Every Resume
Your resume and cover letter should be directed to the hiring manager directly. Research the company and mention specific things about it in your cover letter. The extra time you spend will pay off in more interviews.
7) Research Your Industry Keywords
These days, resumes and cover letters are often read by bots before they ever reach a human. Research profiles related to the position you are applying for and the industry you are active in. Professional examples will provide a useful resource on how best to present yourself.
8) Send Your Resume to the Right Person
If your resume ends up in the wrong inbox, your chances of getting interviewed—much less being hired—is significantly diminished. Double-check your target emails, and names, and be sure you are sending the right attachments.
Your resume is one of the most important tools you have when looking for a job, so making sure it is written as well as possible can make or break your efforts. Be sure to be concise, impactful, and truthful, making your resume stand out from the rest.