With HR and recruiters spending so little time reviewing them, taking extra effort creating your resume will make the reward worth the effort. While none of the suggestions below are anything that hasn’t been covered before, it’s important to keep these at the top of your mind and ensure they are a major focus as you begin the writing process.
That is why you need to hone in on what you want out of your career – and focus your resume around your personal strengths and goals. After you have the resume writing basics locked down, use these four essential tips to keep your resume from being tossed in the trash.
Tailor Your Resume to the Job Requirements
Job seekers typically try to create a “one size fits all” version of their resume to send to any and every company. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and imagine you’re sifting through a stack of resumes for the best candidates. Do you think you’d consider a generic resume? (No. You wouldn’t…)
Before you begin to write your resume, read the description of the role to figure out what personality traits are essential – and what skills the company is looking for in a candidate. Once you fully understand the role, tailor your resume around these key strengths. This extra effort will put you ahead of other applicants simply blasting their resume to every posting they find.
Power Your Resume with Keywords
Many companies use applicant tracking software (ATS), which scans resumes for keywords relating to skills, experience, education, job-specific phrases and certifications. Make sure your resume gets through the electronic gatekeeper by using keywords and phrases that are related to the position’s desired qualifications. For the best results, use keywords from the job description and keywords specific to your industry.
Use Action Verbs
“Action verbs” should be used abundantly throughout your resume and cover letters to promote your achievements. They help make a strong impression and give your resume power and direction while showcasing your communication skills. Here’s a list of some action verbs you can use to make your resume more powerful.
Quantify Your Experience
Always include specific numbers and results that showcase your experience and highlight strengths. Whether it is results from a project or the specific number of people on the team, these numbers will help to quantify your previous experience and tell a better story of you as a candidate. The more specific you make the description in the resume, the better.
Compare the following two examples. If you are referencing a project you lead you might write:
- “Led a team on a project that resulted in increased cost savings.”
- “Managed 10 team members over a 6 month period to lead a (insert project name) that increased department cost savings by 15%.”
In the second example, using specific numbers in your examples and success stories helps recruiters better gauge your experience level and accomplishments.
Right now, take another look at your resume, using these four tips as a guide. You may have to edit parts of your current resume. While the resume writing process requires effort, taking some extra time to add key components will ensure your resume will stay out of the recruiter recycle bin.
About the Author: Kyle Henderick is a digital marketing specialist at Yesmail and a Managing Partner/Resume Consultant at Dream Resume LLC. Before diving into a career of digital marketing and professional resume writing, Kyle tested the waters for his career by having 3 internships ranging from healthcare to media sales to marketing technology. Gaining valuable insight from the experience he was finally able to find and pursue his true passion. He loves all things Chicago and is a diehard Bears, Bulls, White Sox & U of Illinois fan. Connect with him on Twitter.