Before we get to the good stuff, allow me to share with you the reason for writing this article in the first place. As a recruiter, I see hundreds of resumes every week and I believe that if the candidates follow a few simple steps, they can dramatically improve their chances of getting the job of their dreams. As a recruiter, I know for a fact that there are many talented people out there who have not been discovered yet.
The internet is full of contradictory tips and tricks. However, I’m convinced that the below tips provide the highest return on investment with one goal in mind: getting noticed and getting the interview*. And unlike other resume tip articles you read, these will be universal around the globe – not just for one specific region.
Before we begin, a small request: Be empathic – for your benefit.
You are probably already aware that recruiters, as well as hiring managers, handle a high number of applications every day and since they tend to be very busy, you don’t have a lot of time to impress them. While this can be really frustrating, by knowing this, you can use this fact to your advantage by helping recruiters find the information they are looking for – quickly and effectively. In doing so, you’ll be differentiating yourself from the majority of candidates out there and will be more likely to be rewarded with a job interview.
Let’s get to the tips!
1) Tailor your resume to the specific position you’re applying for
A “universal one-size-fits-all resume” is a bad thing. Universal resumes make it impossible for a recruiter to recognize/discover your talent because you end up with a resume filled with irrelevant information because the scope is too broad for any particular job.
If you want to be successful, tune your resume to the role you are applying for. Read the job description and think about what experiences and skills make you a great candidate for this role. Then make sure that they are highlighted in your resume and are easy to find at a first glance.
To increase your chances, use the right keywords. This will make it easier for the recruiter to assess your resume or find it in the internal database, as well as in Social Media Portals for professionals.
2) Include a short summary / Technical Summary
“Key Skills” or, “Core Competencies” should include 3-5 lines or bullet points at the top of a resume and be a summary of skills and experiences relevant to the specific position. It allows the recruiter to quickly scan the resume and get a basic understanding of the candidate’s capabilities.
For IT roles, technical summaries are very helpful. Listing technologies relevant to the specific role in such summaries may help you get the attention of a recruiter who is screening resumes for key words. If the listed relevant technologies are a good fit, then the recruiter or hiring manager will be more apt to spend more time on your resume and look at your experience, education and other skills.
Remember to make it understandable and clear. The first person reading your resume is in most cases a recruiter and not everyone in Intel is an engineer ;-)
3) Focus on relevant experiences
The goal of a resume is getting the attention of a recruiter and a hiring manager. Their attention will result in an invitation for a job interview. Describing every single experience that you had in detail may distract the reader from the experiences that are most relevant for this particular role.
4) Get Feedback!
Ask your colleague(s) to read your resume and ask what has drawn their attention. It will help you understand whether you reached your goal of customizing your resume to the job. Make adjustments if needed!
5) Never, never, never give up! (W. Churchill)
Rejection hurts but remember that there is a good chance that your rejection was not about you but the way you presented yourself. Think about how to improve it and try again! Sometimes there are many candidates for one open position and most of the time, the small details can be the difference between getting the job or not.
Thank you very much for reading and I am looking forward to reading your great resumes…
*All the recommendations/tips above are my subjective view on how you can improve quality of your resume.