You keep hearing it, the job market is very competitive, there is always going to be someone who has the same or better experience, skills and connections as you.
While this is true, you still have a chance to stand out and get your resume noticed by recruiters.
So don’t get bummed out, because we will share with you all the secrets we know to help you stand out.
Make Sure Your Resume is ATS Friendly
In today’s digital era, businesses rely on powerful Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) to handle candidates.
You may be unaware that your bright, new, updated CV isn’t prepared for visibility within the application that does the initial pre-screen.
There is a fine line between making your resume stand out and ensuring that the information on your resume transfers when it is entered into the system.
Many people are unaware that when they submit their CV to an employer, it is frequently immediately placed into a database that extracts essential information and keywords.
If your resume is not formatted in a way that the program can understand it, your information may be lost, reducing your chances of receiving a follow-up contact.
A recruiter will be unable to contact you if vital information such as your name or contact information is missing.
There are a few things you can make to prevent your resume from becoming another “lost file”:
Step #1: Avoid adding in text as an “image.”
I’ve seen a lot of resumes with information or text placed in as images. I’ve also seen resumes copied as photos into MS Word or Google Docs (likely in an effort to reformat a PDF). Unfortunately, most ATSs only read text and will not recognize information displayed as an image.
Step #2: Follow the “chronological order” format.
There is a million ways to present your experience on a resume, but from the standpoint of a recruiter, the most successful method is to put your most recent experience first.
This is because it is almost always the most essential and relevant experience to emphasize.
The ATS should pull your most recent experience.
Step #3: Keep it simple!
Simple does not have to be dull. It does, however, imply that you should avoid layouts that force you to enter content into text boxes or employ color blocks and word art.
And the simplest method to guarantee your content transforms correctly is to provide all relevant and crucial information as text in the body of the page.
Be inventive. But don’t go overboard!
Tailor Your Resume for the Job You’re Applying For
It’s only common sense that recruiters are looking for candidates whose experience closely match the job description.
However, lots of resumes don’t get selected because the applicant fails to mention relevant experience and skills to the job they applied for.
Sometimes recruiters will consider a resume unqualified, but once they call the candidate and hear all about their relevant experience, they find the candidate quite qualified.
That’s why you have to change your resume based on the job you apply for, and here’s how to do it:
Step #1: Match your resume content with the job description
After your read the job description, try to make bullet points in your resume using both the responsibilities and requirements mentioned.
But don’t go crazy and mention everything in the job description, that won’t work.
Step #2: Provide compelling evidence
You must be specific with facts, statistics, stories, and examples. Something that demonstrates to the hiring staff that you can start this job right away and be productive in it.
Here’s an example on how to write a strong bullet point:
“Managed 5-6 simultaneous projects including all timelines, goals, and results. Frequently required to make scheduling adjustments as new projects were initiated.”
Step #3: Make a Strong First Impression
The perfect resume is 1-2 pages, but a recruiter might not make it past the top of the first page when they are quickly scanning through hundreds of applications.
That’s why the top half of your resume needs to be packed with relevant and impressive content.
“I would say the key element that will make you stand out among competition is to set the tone in the first top half of your resume with focusing on what makes you valuable and what you offer to the company.
Mention any accomplishments, key words and skills that relate to the new role.”
(Senior Recruitment Consultant )
Before You Send Your Resume
Check for typos. Resume errors matter: don’t underestimate the impression a spelling or grammatical error make.
Grammarly is a terrific tool for making sure that your resume and cover letters are perfect.
Give it a personalized name. Don’t name your resume “resume”—take a second or two to personalize the file name to FirstLastNameResume.doc—that way it’s clearly recognizable as your resume to recruiters and hiring managers.
Save it as a PDF. If you save your resume as a PDF, you won’t have to worry about the formatting changing or the recruiter seeing a garbled mess.
Unless the employer requires a different format, send a PDF so readers can view your resume exactly as you want it to look.