Whether you're a believer in betterment via change-based-deadlines, or subscribe to self-reflection 365 days of the year, the fact probably remains that if you want a contract in 2018, your resume could maybe use a bit of the same contemplation right now.
Because, according to Forbes, an Applicant Tracking System will reject up to 75% of QUALIFIED candidates solely because their CVs weren't recognized by it. And you don't want resume resolutions to be among the other 80% that fail by February, so keep these eight in mind to beat the bots:
1. Include complete contact details
Your resume could be stunning, but there's no advantage to gain if it lacks contact details. Recruiters use something called a radial search by postal codes when they’re scanning for candidates, and if yours isn’t listed, your stunning resume doesn't exist. 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.
2. Use keywords
Keywords provide a resume the access to getting passed the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These picky bots are wily and will scan a resume for vital terms and phrases. It's why you should always tailor yours to each job description.
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.
And pay attention to detail, please! Keywords must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly— to an ATS, there’s a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word” and “Word.”
3. Be consistent
Lies make recruiters cry. And every resume you send into an ATS is kept on file. 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 questions raised about your work history. Ana Algernon, a Technical Recruiter with Procom agrees, "Never extend previous jobs to make it look like you were with that Client or company during the time you were actually unemployed. During a reference check, we will find out the exact end date and this can cause problems during an offer stage."
4. Review 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, graphs or photos. Highlight your work experience in reverse chronological order to demonstrate your work progression.
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!
5. Keep proofing!
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. "Sixty per cent of surveyed recruiters will reject a candidate because of poor grammar or a spelling error on a CV– while managers and MSPs will especially decline you if the role is detail oriented-- even if you’re highly qualified," says Hilary Fisher, a Technical Recruiter with Procom.
6. Be 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, networks and everything else on the interweb, you can’t hide either. So, 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!
8. 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.
Any recruiter, staffing agency or hiring manager will agree that your resume should receive review each time you think about applying for a new opportunity. And, guess what? We can help you find one.