Imagine your resume crossing a recruiter’s desk, one in an endless parade of resumes they’ll briefly scan while searching for potential candidates.
Take appropriate steps to ensure your resume stands out. Use these four steps to grab a recruiter’s attention and get a shot at your next career opportunity.
Start with Formatting
Before you worry about the content of your resume, make sure you have solid formatting. If you don’t have a clear, approachable format, a recruiter isn’t likely to spend much time trying to decipher it. They will likely give it a quick glance and move on.
Remember: Resume expectations evolve over time. Simultaneously, your career focus and the relative value of your experiences change. Attempting to shoehorn new information into an old format might bury some of your most attractive features.
Each time you start looking for a new position, research the current resume standard. Start from scratch if you have to. The more organized and reader-friendly the document, the higher the probability it will earn a deeper read.
Work the System
Remember, recruiters running job searches receive overwhelming amounts of applications, often more than can be reasonably handled by hand. For this reason, a first “read” often takes place with software.
Programs use algorithms to find appropriate qualifications and match keywords. Make sure your resume passes the software test. Identify the key terms used for your industry and your ideal position. Pepper these phrases throughout your resume.
Quantify Your Achievements
Resumes are full of vague overstatements, inflated position titles, expanded responsibilities, or misleading job descriptions. It’s enough to make any recruiter cynical. Therefore, the best way to break through this skepticism is with numbers.
Emphasize your best qualities by using data to show how you outperformed your peers and provided concrete value to previous employers. Don’t say you “consistently beat sales targets.” Report that you “exceeded sales expectations by more than 25% for eight quarters in a row.” The clarity and specificity will help you stand out.
Adapt for Each Position
No two positions are exactly alike. Even within the same industry, different companies will emphasize different skills, so tailoring your resume to the opportunity is critical. Update your resume each time you submit it. Highlight specific topics that fit the situation to emphasize experiences that best suit the opportunity.
Getting an experienced outside opinion can help optimize your resume. One of the benefits of working with United Personnel is that you will work with one of our recruiting specialists to help you showcase your talent to employers, including free resume reviews, documentation of key skills, and even free training.
Contact United Personnel today to find out more.