How to Craft a Compelling Resume
How long do you think a recruiter spends looking at each resume? Five minutes? One minute? Would it surprise you to know that they only spend an average of six to seven seconds viewing each resume? That is why you must communicate your background and skills clearly and concisely.
Following these essential guidelines will enable you to create a compelling resume to grab the recruiter’s attention, land an interview, and increase the odds of nabbing your dream job.
1. Use Keywords
Today, 90 percent of companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS). An ATS is a software program that uses algorithms to sort applications, scan for keywords, and weed out the resumes that don’t have them. Essentially, an ATS, not a recruiter, may decide whether you move on to the next phase of the hiring process. However, a recent study found that only a little more than half of resumes include relevant keywords. Before you launch your application, carefully review the job description and include language from it on your resume.
2. Include Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is an essential part of any savvy job seeker’s toolbox. A thoughtful LinkedIn profile provides more context to your experience and allows recruiters to see endorsements so they know others have confidence in your work ethic, skills, and abilities.
It also enables you to build your professional brand with a profile that shows your strengths and personality. Unlike your resume, LinkedIn provides infinite space to tell your story. Take advantage of the space and use it to create a comprehensive account of your professional achievements. Lastly, to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, keep it updated, use a custom URL, and a professional photo.
3. Customize Your Resume
The days when you could use a generic resume for every job you apply for are long gone. Sixty-three percent of recruiters say the biggest mistake that job seekers make is not tailoring their resume to the specific job they are applying for. In addition to incorporating wording to match the job description, emphasize how specific projects have taught you skills that will help you succeed in your targeted position. Consider citing the job you are applying for: “Objective: Seeking a XX position at XX.” That will capture recruiters’ attention and help you get past the ATS.
4. Be Specific
Quantifying your experience shows a potential employer how you can help their company achieve its goals. Anyone can say they are good at their job, but demonstrating it is much more impactful. Use numbers and percentages to show your accomplishments and your work’s impact. Detail the problem or challenges you addressed, your actions, and the results of your efforts.
5. Format Carefully
Content is king, but the format of your resume is also important. A hiring manager might pass over it if it’s difficult to read or appears unprofessional, even if you’re highly qualified. Keep the format crisp and avoid intricate designs. Organize it with clear headers, such as “skills” and “experience” and don’t be wordy. Use classic fonts (Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and Georgia are a few good choices) in a size that is easy to read. There’s no need to cram it all on one page! Lastly, proofread and edit. Mistakes make you look amateurish and careless.
Epic Placements Can Help!
Our expert recruiters are committed to helping you land an amazing job and follow a custom career path. Contact us so we can help you find the perfect fit. We can help you find great team members as well. Contact us to discuss your hiring needs.