It’s that time of year again! Time to make sure that your resume is up to date and effective. Those of us who update our resumes regularly still may be missing some key things and it’s good to review those at least once a year.
So many people forget that a resume is really more of a marketing document. That being said, you have to make sure that every word is in the right place and is effective at getting the recruiters attention.
There are some basic things that your resume should contain to accomplish this and I’ll go through them here.
Grab the Right Attention
The first you need to do is get their attention. When a recruiter opens your resume they are looking for a reason to pass on your resume.
That may sound counterproductive, but they may have hundreds of resumes to get through. Their goal is to get that stack of resumes down to a manageable level. The next step after the initial reduction in resumes is to follow up with the candidates by phone.
That is a much longer process so the fewer phone calls they have to make, the better. Your first goal as a job seeker is to get the resume into the hands of the recruiter. One way is to give your resume the right keywords to make it through the ATS (Applicant Tracking System).
The second and most effective way is to have a referral who can pass your resume directly to the recruiter. This way you don’t have to rely on the settings of the ATS to work in your favor. Also, recruiters and companies are going to consider a referral more favorably over a non-referral.
Now that you have their attention, you need to show that you are who they are looking for. The first thing a recruiter is going to look for is someone who looks like they fit the job description. They will look at your job titles to determine that.
What that means is you need to make sure your job titles fit with what they would be looking for. If your company uses job titles that don’t align with what the industry uses, change them to match.
This is not an excuse to inflate or mislead in your job title, just to make it align.
Secondly, they are going to be looking for evidence of your success within these roles and the skills you’ll need for the new job. These will come in the form of accomplishment bullets.
Under each job you need to demonstrate how you have accomplished something above and beyond the minimum requirements. You get bonus points if you can show that you accomplished this while using one of the skills the job requires.
Don’t worry if you cannot place your skills within your accomplishments. Those are the skills that need to be in the skills section. Your skill section will be right at the top of your resume where the recruiter can easily see them.
Demonstrate Your Qualifications
Lastly, you need to show that you meet the minimum requirements. Now that you have wowed the recruiter with all that you have accomplished in your prior jobs, make sure they know that you also meet the qualifications.
The easiest way to do that is to clearly write it out within the skills section. For example, if you need 3 years of leadership experience, write “3+ Years of experience managing teams across multiple locations”.
This is a surefire way the recruiter does not pass on your resume within the first few seconds of looking at it. It lets them know that they may have the right person for this job and gets them to continue reading.
Your education may also be a requirement for this role, but recruiters will know to look at the bottom of your resume for the Education section.
Now if you need additional help and details on putting all of this together, check out my Resume Intellect Course here.
There is well over an hour of video that will take your through everything in much more detail. And it will teach you have to EASILY write and update your own resume.
Grab their attention
Show them you’re a superstar
Make sure they know you’re qualified
You have to really begin to think like a marketer and keep your audience’s (the recruiter) attention with your resume. Keep that in mind as you’re going through this process.