From Lackluster to Blockbuster: 5 Ways to Make Your Resume Sexier

50 Shades of Grey50 Shades of Grey…

A 2015 blockbuster movie? Or 4 words that describe the blizzard of lackluster resumes submitted to hiring managers every day?

Getting your resume noticed by a recruiter these days is tough. To many, with the rise of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), a computer software used by over 90% of businesses to sort through and select the best candidates, the task can seem impossible.

So without resorting to gimmicks, how can you make your resume a bit sexier before submitting your next application? Here, we present the top ­five (no, not fifty—it really is that simple!) things your resume must have in order to hear: “Mr. Grey will see you now”…

1. Active Voice

Using active voice puts your strengths and achievements at the forefront and gives you much more credit for the activity in your resume. For example, simply stating “Was selected to supervisor 10-12 employees as Project Manager” is not as powerful as “Supervised 10 to 12 employees as Project Manager.”

Not only does active voice make sure your statements are clear and concise, they also help remove unnecessary words (such as, and, are, was, is). This is important, because on average, hiring managers spend only six seconds per resume.

2. Keywords

Applicant tracking systems use a resume parser to comb through the onslaught of resumes, which extracts relevant information (contact info, Education, years of experience and specific skills, for example) straight from the resumes themselves.

This allows the ATS to compare resumes, based on how many matching keyword/qualifications/skills line up to the keywords/qualifications/skills in the original job description, and rank which of the submitted resumes are the most qualified.

However, content that is not formatted correctly for an ATS will not be read or recognized.

Many highly qualified applicants are automatically rejected by ATS because their resumes were (unknowingly) not optimized for an ATS.

The most efficient way to go about this is to echo the exact wording of keyword and key phrases as in the job description. To some ATS, there is a huge difference between Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft PPT and even PPT. You can also take advantage of online resume tools such as Jobscan, which directly compares your resume to the job description and tells you which keywords/qualifications/skills are high priority.

 3. Evidenced Accomplishments

Once you determine which keywords/qualifications/skills will help your resume rank higher in an ATS, you will find yourself with a mix of hard and soft skills:

  • Hard skills are quantifiable achievements, such as certificates, degrees, titles, and years of experience
  • Soft skills are interpersonal skills, such as adaptability, communication, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence (social awareness and self-management)

Evidenced accomplishments of how you utilize these hard and soft skills (not just possess them) will show hiring managers how effective your skills are and how you will be able to apply them to the job.

“Utilized strong communication skills and B.A. in Marketing to maintain social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube”

  • Hard Skills: B.A. in Marketing and experience with social media outlets
  • Soft Skills: communication skills)

Each evidenced accomplishment should be no longer than a sentence, written in active voice and relevant to the job (always refer back to the original job posting).

4. Format

Stick to the basics.

When uploading your resume into a job posting, the best file types are either .doc, .docx, or .pdf. This will make sure your resume formats stay clean and concise (bulleted points will stay aligned, tables (if any, not advisable) will keep their shape and font (professional Arial or Times New Roman) will not distract).

5. Branding

Not only should every resume you submit be customized for a particular job, it should be tailored to you: what sets you apart from other candidates?

For example, if you are applying for a job in a small, family-owned business and you have experience working in small, family-owned businesses, then that should definitely be mentioned because it shows you can bring experience in a certain type of work environment.

In addition, the skills you highlight first and most should be relevant to that particular job at that particular company. When in doubt, always look back to the job description. After all, an employer may not care at all that you “supervised 10 to 12 employees” if the job available calls for no direct supervisory experience.

Don’t let your resume handcuff your chances of getting an interview!

A well-crafted resume shows hiring managers how much you want a job. And turning your baggy one-size-fits-all job summary into a sleek tailored resume is guaranteed to help you stand out from the many shades of grey.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at JobScan Blog…





This entry was posted in Resumes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.