It's Memorial Day. And it's a day to celebrate those who have served. To our friends south of the border, May 28th also declares the unofficial start of summer, and a day where friends and family gather for grill-based good times.
And where there's fun being had, the food will flow, so how coincidental that National Hamburger Day also shares in the celebrations?
But grillers beware: Building the perfect, mouth-watering, taste-bud tingling, just-need-to-bite-into burger doesn't just happen. It's a strategic labour of love. Because when one is going for burger glory, an unseasoned patty hugged by a bun just simply won't suffice. It takes much, much more.
Like time, attention and detail.
Just like tailoring type of tempting resume that recruiters and hiring managers also just need to bite into.
Here are 7 steps to take into consideration when building a resume like a need-to-bite-into burg:
Step 1. The bun
The bun (bread preference need not apply here) is the foundation of what keeps your burger together; it’s the soul of the presentation and ensures what's filling it doesn't come off messy. Your resume’s formatting strives to achieve the same goal; its job is to hold the CV together.
The ATS 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 Applicant Tracking System. Keep your resume clean with no complex layouts.
Step 2. The condiments
AKA your keywords
Condiments aren't optional. Condiments separate the truly great from similarly stacked, yet tepid creations. And just like the ketchups, mustards, relishes and mayos of the world, keywords are essential to your resume. 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.”
Step 3. Seasonings & protein
AKA experience & skills
Whether you’re into beef, chicken, tofu, fish or the myriad of other burgalicious options, the fact remains that your protein, like your experience and skills, is what’s assuaging the appetite and what people are buying (the same still applies to veggie lovers too, by the way). It’s the “meat and potatoes” of your CV and should be listed in reverse chronological order to include:
- Company names
- Dates of employment (including the months against years)
- Quantifiable achievements
You wouldn’t just toss in any unseasoned ingredient into your burger, so you mustn’t simply list job descriptions on your resume. To really tempt, you must describe what you did during your employment and how you achieved the desired outcomes. Result-orientated resumes are what recruiters and hiring managers are concerned about. Don’t just include your technical skills in the summary of your resume; ensure they’re listed throughout the body as well.
Step 4. Cheese
Technically, adding cheese creates a cheese burger. But cheese is always essential. In general. Ergo...
Your cheese choice also may vary, but it’s still a staple in your burger. Just like how education is a requirement for the role you're applying for. And no one wants to skimp out on the cheese, so you mustn’t leave your education off your CV.
Unless you’re a new grad, leave high school in the past and focus on the highest level of education completed. Include:
- Full name of the post-secondary institute
- Years attended
- Degree completed
- Any other professional designations related to the role or industry.
Step 5. Lettuce
Lettuce is that crisp piece of the culinary puzzle that draws our eyes before we even get a taste of its full rawliciousness. And that’s just what your resume headline should do. You must craft a headline with a crisp and succinct statement that outlines who you are and what you can offer. Wilted lettuce doesn’t get anyone excited, so keep your headline like your lettuce—fresh! That way recruiters and hiring managers are tempted to get to the “meat and potatoes” beneath.
Step 6. Toppings
AKA spelling and grammar
Preparing and placing toppings on your hamburger is like checking your spelling: It's a necessity. When you take the time to properly top your burg, the process includes sprinkling finely chopped onions, tiny, diced tomatoes and other such delicious garnishes between the buns. And wielding that knife requires one to pay attention to detail, and attention to detail is a resume must. Check your document TWICE, and then share it with someone you trust for another once over.
Step 7. Bacon
AKA contact details
This is where we ignore the fact that adding bacon (and cheese) technically creates a bacon cheeseburger. But it's okay because bacon always belongs in the business of building a burger.
Bacon doesn't need to overpower, it just has to be there. Similar to when you want a recruiter or hiring manager to find your resume, your full contact details including your zip code or postal code has to be there. If you don’t include them, you won’t be found by the radial search engines used when looking for candidates.
Remember, your resume needs to tempt in order for a recruiter or hiring manager to get a taste of what you can add to the the organization. Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next great IT job?