It’s no secret – writing your own resume is hard!
In only a few seconds, you need to engage and intrigue the hiring staff, and prove you’re worth an interview. But how can you do that?
If you feel like you’re in a resume writing rut you may be too close to the trees to find the forest. Check out these five essentials for writing a resume and get back on track:
1. Customize it for each position.
Today, it’s crucial to customize your resume to each job/company to which you apply. Statistics show that 75% of large companies are using digital software called ATS (applicant tracking systems) to review and rank resumes before recruiters even see them. If your resume doesn’t have the right keywords for the position, it’s not going to make it past the ATS.
To increase your chances of making through the ATS, study the specific job description carefully and incorporate the keywords into your resume. (Don’t lie about your qualifications, though! )
2. Format it correctly.
Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to read something and the text is too small, there are too many bolded phrases, and the paragraphs go on for days?
Yeah, the hiring staff feels the same way.
Make sure your resume is formatted correctly and easy to read – not only for the hiring team, but also for that pesky ATS we talked about earlier. If you have too much formatting, it could the software might not read it correctly and reject your resume.
3. Write a powerful summary.
The days of writing a boring and obvious objective statement are over. The hiring staff already knows your objective: to get the job. They want to see something else – why you’re qualified and how you stand out against other job candidates.
Recruiters only spend a few seconds reading your resume. If they aren’t engaged or intrigued by your qualifications, they will throw your resume in the garbage can without a second thought. Your goal is to grab them at the very beginning of your resume.
Instead, provide one or two sentences describing your qualifications and accomplishments. Use relevant keywords you’ve already peppered in throughout the body of your resume, quantify your major accomplishments (use numbers), and be brief.
4. Use numbers to reflect your results.
People – especially employers – like to see results. Often, job seekers confuse concrete results with subjective statements. The best way to emphasize your accomplishments is by tying them to numbers.
For example, instead of saying: “Spearheaded a successful content campaign,” you could say: “Spearheaded content campaign featuring 35 contributors that resulted in 4,500 new subscribers within 30 days.”
As you can see, instead of throwing in the empty blanket term “successful” into the statement, we tied the campaign to specific numbers that PROVE it was a successful campaign.
5. Have an editor go over it.
Even the best of us need a fresh set of eyes sometimes. After staring at your resume all day long, rewriting, deleting, adding, and changing things, it can be easy to miss little errors like misspelled words or poor grammar.
If you’re really serious about a position, you should consider having an editor review your resume before you submit it. There’s no worse feeling than sending a resume to your dream employer only to find a careless error after the fact. Don’t risk it!