A resume is one of the most important tools in your job-search kit. In fact, it’s arguably the most important tool. A good resume wins you an interview; an interview can get you a job offer. A bad resume, on the other hand, can get tossed out by an applicant tracking system (ATS) before a human ever sees it. You won’t even be in the running for an interview if that happens.
So what’s the kind of resume that will ultimately win you an interview and the job? Here’s 4 tips.
Avoid careless mistakes that will get your resume tossed out.
Your resume’s first task is to avoid getting tossed out! You need to worry about the ATS. You also need to worry equally about the human reviewing resumes after the ATS is through. The average reviewer spends just 6 seconds looking at your resume. That’s how long you have to clinch the deal.
So, for the ATS – match terms used in the job description, especially those about capabilities and skills needed. If the job posting calls for a social media position with experiencing in Google analytics, you need to mention “social media” and “Google analytics.” If you don’t, the ATS doesn’t see a match – and it will ruthlessly eliminate your resume.
For human reviewers – avoid anything that gives an immediate bad impression of your performance. That means careless spelling and grammar mistakes or unprofessional email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quantify your results.
Now, we’re on to the main draw of your resume – what your experience and background shows human reviewers. Remember, the chief question in reviewers’ heads is simple: “What can you do for the hiring managers and for the company?”
They base the answer on what your resume shows you have done in the past. Show them results in numbers. Why? Because every company needs to make money to survive. They want to know how you contributed to sales or earnings.
“Contributed to a sales increase of 16% year over year” is much better than “assisted sales team in qualifying leads,” for example. “Developed a social media campaign that drove leads 22% higher” is much better than “developed a social media campaign.”
Link to your LinkedIn profile.
Successful job applicants need a LinkedIn profile. In fact, applicants have a 71% better chance of hearing back if they provide a link to that profile than applicants who don’t.
LinkedIn is a go-to for human resources departments because it allows a much fuller picture of you than the standard resume.
Use a standard resume format.
Use a standard resume format. First, use a standard font, just as Arial or Times New Roman. Second, never use pictures.
Unless you have decades of experience, keep your resume to one page in length. The best format is a chronological listing of your experience after the contact information. Reviewers may hesitate or reject you if you use a different format.
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