Saturday, March 2, 2019

7 Resume Tips from a Corporate Recruiter

Do you ever wonder what happens to your resume after you have submitted it through a company's website?

Most companies use an ATS (applicant tracking system) which sorts applications and resumes based on the relevancy of the keywords used. 

Once a resume is in front of a recruiter, it typically takes the person just seconds to determine whether your resume is passed along in the process. 

1. Spelling and Grammar Review

This sounds like such a no-brainer; however, I have seen so many folks get rejected for a role due to spelling and grammar errors on their resume.

There is normally a large pool of job applicants for employers to choose from, so even just one error on your resume can be an easy way for hiring managers to weed you out as a candidate. 

2. Stand Out from the Crowd

Please get rid of any standard resume templates. Be creative and make your resume stand out from the crowd. Now, I am not saying to use tons of crazy bright colors on your resume, if you are applying for a management role, however you should make your resume look visually pleasing to the eye. 

Hiring managers and recruiters sift through so many resumes each a day. Most resumes begin to simply blend together.  So, when we see a well written and creative looking resume, we pay more attention to it which leads to us spending more time considering the candidate. This works in the favor of those that may not have the exact experience that is preferred. One site, My Perfect Resume, can help you generate something professional and nice. 

3. Most Relevant Information Should Be First 

Add your most relevant information to the top of your resume. For example, if a job ad calls for someone with a degree in accounting, place your education at the top of your resume, not at the bottom. Easy enough right? You just won’t believe how often people look over doing this. When a person needs to look for information, they are more likely to miss it.


4. Keywords!

I mentioned the use of keywords from a system perspective, however recruiters also scan resumes looking for keywords and phrases as well.

In your resume, you should use specific keywords that reflect the job you are applying to. For example, if a job description calls for someone with skills in computer programming, use the word ‘programming’ instead of ‘developing’ or ‘building’, when describing your computer skills. Yes, we know they are synonymous, but this makes it very easy for the person reviewing the resume. The easier it is for them to find the needed skills, the better your chances of being considered for an interview. 

I have seen examples of resumes being placed at the end of a list of candidates due to a lack of relevant keywords. If you are using different keywords than the job posting, you can be at a real disadvantage. 

5. Have Someone Else Review

Make sure that your resume is clearly written so that someone in another profession can understand it. This is very important because if a recruiter or hiring manager is unable to clearly understand your experience from reading your resume, they are less likely to consider you for a role.

Keep in mind that the person reviewing your resume could be from a different industry than what you are applying to. Having someone else review your resume is also another chance to check for any mistakes you might have missed. The more you can have your resume proofed, the better. The resume is your first impression to an employer, so make sure it is as close to perfect as possible. 

6. Save, Save, Save

Be sure to have your resume saved in both PDF and Word formats. Sometimes an ATS may only accept in one format and other times you may need to copy and paste the content of your resume to an application.

If you have your resume saved in multiple formats it will be easier to ensure it is ready to go no matter what is required. 

7. Keep it Current

I know, I know! Who has the time to constantly update their resume? However, if you are actively looking, this is very important.

You will want to capture any changes in your title, responsibilities, skills, etc. Sometimes even small additions can make a big difference in how an employer views your experience.

You may have a skill that wasn’t mentioned in the job ad but is a preference for the hiring team. The role may also evolve with different needs that may slightly change what the employer is looking for.  As you learn more about the role you apply to, you may find more skills and knowledge is preferred that was not listed in the job ad. Be sure to update your resume with any relevant information that matches.  

I hope these tips are helpful in your job search! 

For more resume tips and job hunting advice, leave me a comment below.

Happy Hunting!
Your Pretty Little Career Guide (Jess)

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