It’s a few weeks before Christmas
and all over the boards,
Not a job seeker was silent
Resumes were flying in hoards.
Recruiters hung job descriptions on all bulletins with care –
Hoping top talent would soon apply there….
And applying they were… Because job searches don’t stop when the holidays start.
And if all you want for Christmas is a contract, you’ve got to stuff your resume like Santa stuffs his stockings: With all the little things that matter big time.
Here’s what to include in your resume if you want to cross a contract off your wish list.
Proper formatting is the foundation of your resume. It's what keeps your presentation concise and will also demonstrate your organizational skills. The Applicant Tracking System recruiters use to find your resume prefers conformity over creativity, so trying to impress with fancy fonts, logos, pictures, symbols, tables and graphics will complicate the flavor and confuse the ATS. Keep it simple with no complex layouts.
An attention grabbing headline
Your headline is like the shiny bow on the top of the gift that just screams, "pay attention to me!" - and that's what your headline should do on the top of your resume. Candidates need to craft a headline with a succinct statement that outlines who you are and what you can offer. That way recruiters and hiring managers are tempted to discover whats underneath.
Experience and skills (with numbers, dates and percentages)
Just like the requests on your wish list, the skills and experience on your resume are what a potential employer is buying. And you need to showcase yourself by listing your work history in reverse chronological order to include:
- Company names
- Dates of employment (including the months against years)
- Quantifiable achievements
To really tempt like a Christmas treat, you must demonstrate how you achieved the desired goals. Result-orientated resumes are what recruiters and hiring managers are concerned about, so remember to always use numbers and percentages.
Santa has his secrets, and so does an Applicant Tracking System. A staffing agency will use an ATS to find and track resumes, and if yours doesn't list the keywords from the job description, you won't be found.
Keywords are the skills and qualifications used in the original job description that should be included in a resume, and they must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly. To an ATS, there’s a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word” and “Word.”
An ATS doesn't have Santa's radar, so you won't be found if you don't have your full contact details, including your postal code on your resume. Recruiters use something called a Radial Search to locate candidates closest to job sites, so always make sure your full address is written on each page of your resume.
Now, whether you're stuffing a Christmas stocking or your resume, one fact will also always remain: The good stuff gets opened first.