It is the New Year, and thoughts naturally turn to a new job. The first step in the search for a new job is updating your resume by answering the question “How to get the job of your dreams with resume hucks”.
The majority of recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”) that sift resumes for keywords, automatically discarding all resumes that do not meet specified keyword criteria. They require a standard format like Word or PDF, or online entry to their database. Standing out from the crowd has just become that much more difficult so far. Remember that a resume is just a door opener to getting that interview.
Five suggestions to enhance your resume are set out below:
1. Don’t bother with a formal resume.
Most jobs go unadvertised and are filled by personal contact between the advertiser and applicant, often former colleagues or contacts. Shamelessly use your network of contacts to find out where there are unadvertised vacancies, plant “If you hear of anything, let me know” in their minds. Adapt your resume to be a list of your skills relevant to each of the jobs you are asked to apply for by your contacts.
If you don’t want your existing employer to know you are in the market, this may not be the best approach.
2. Refocus your formal resume
Most resumes are tedious to the point of being sleep inducing. Where I was educated and qualifications received, all the jobs I have ever done and my supervisor from 30 years ago. The recruiter usually makes a decision in about 10 seconds whether to keep reading your resume or not. So keep it down to one or two pages and make the first page a real standout.
What a recruiter wants to know is what you can do, and how you will benefit their organization. Focus your resume on your skills. If you are a real whizz at something, say so up front.
3. Check your stuff on Social Media
Recruiters will check out your social media profiles, even if you don’t include links in your resume. You can be found. Make sure that there is nothing evil that they can find. Saying “XYZ sucks” on Facebook when you are applying for a job with XYZ could well be a career limiter. Your resume and online stories must be the same.
As I mentioned above about making your resume short and standout:
· The Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”) will prefer a standard font like Arial or Helvetica. Don’t use Comic Sans.
· Align left to make it more easily skimmed.
· Use bullets, italics, bold and capitals to make important stuff stand out.
· Put all the important stuff relevant to the job application near the start in a short snappy summary.
· Use numbers and details where ever possible. “Increased sales by 15%” is far better than “Increased sales significantly”.
· Take keywords from the advert. This helps ATS software select your resume.
5. Check, check and check again.
· Use Grammarly or Language Tool to check your writing.
· Have a friend read your resume.