It’s February. And it’s cold. Or it seems like everyone has a cold. The sun persists in playing a sneaky game of hide-and-seek; and it’s the same kind of game that the January gym goers are tempted to tag along with. Do I stay or do I go?
Because here’s the thing: 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So if finding a contract was on your radar in the New Year, these are some resume resolutions we hope you kept.
- COMPLETE CONTACT DETAILS
It sounds like an obvious, but a lack of contact details is something recruiters see more often than not. You always want to include your full address, email and mobile number on each page of your resume, specifically ensuring your postal code is listed. Recruiters use something called a radial search by postal codes when they’re scanning for candidates, and if yours isn’t listed, you don’t exist.
- KEY WORDS
Never use a blanket approach when it comes to your resume and applying to positions. Instead, take the time to tailor your application to each company you apply to.
Ensuring a resume is keyword-rich and addresses the specific needs of each job posting will help increase the chance of yours getting passed Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the recruiter or hiring manager’s hands. Resume keywords are the skills and qualifications used in the original job description, and the more times each pops out on your resume, the more likely you are to have in-depth knowledge of the technology or skill in the eye of a perspective employer.
However, simply using any form of these keywords will not win the robot war. 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.” When it comes to your job description, a “marketing coordinator” will find his or her way into an interview room before a “branding ninja” will even be noticed by the resume robots.
There's only one you, and here’s a secret, every resume you send to a recruiter is kept on file. For-ev-er. So if you’re sending in multiple CVs with different dates, companies and titles – and they don’t match your LinkedIn profile or other resumes, there’s probably going to be a perceived honesty issue.
- THE 3 Cs
Keep your resume clean, clear and concise.
You may work hard, but you want your resume to be easy to read, so leave enough white space in between each position and remove any logos or photos. Highlight your work experience in reverse chronological order to demonstrate your work progression, and keep the length to 4-6 pages max!
Determining resume relevancy is best left up to the robots and recruiters, so don’t attempt to stand out by bolding irrelevant words that will only negatively distract the eye—the same goes for different fonts and colours. Keep formatting simple!
Your resume is your professional first impression—and a direct reflection on your attention to detail and written communication skills. Use spell check! And after you’ve done that, check it again yourself. And after that, send it to someone you trust for another pair of fresh eyes.
- BEING QUANTIFIABLE
In other words—the numbers. When you’re trying to show the value you can bring to a future employer, recruiters want to see what you’ve produced for the previous ones. List any stats that highlight revenue generated or the results of a project you supported. Remember though, figures don’t always have to be monetary to prove their worth. Make sure to include any percentages of achieved targets or time taken to deliver a piece of work or project.
7… AND VERIFIABLE
In this day and age, you can’t run. And with social media, references and everything else on the interweb, you can’t hide things that really aren’t there either. Don’t put on your resume that you’re PMP certified if you've let your PMP lapse or include a magical undergrad degree that you never quite finished. Lying isn’t conducive to employment!
- AVOID ASSUMPTIONS
Last but not least, remember: If it isn’t on your resume, it doesn’t exist! Don’t assume that because you’re a Business Analyst that recruiters and hiring managers will automatically know you’re involved in UAT and have written BRD’s. If you don’t say it on your resume, people won’t assume that you have it.
In order to win the resume war, you need to first battle the bots, and an ATS will automatically eliminate over 70% of resumes before a recruiter or hiring manager will ever lay a human hand on one. Use these tips to ensure yours sees the light of day.