Job hunting isn’t what it used to be. To be noticed by recruiters and HR managers, you’ll have to stand out. No longer is it enough to jot down your previous work experience and expect to clarify everything in the interview process. Just getting to the interview is already an undertaking in and out of itself. So, how can you make sure your resume is the one that catches the employer’s attention? Here are five simple tips to improve your chances of landing that dream job.
The visual elements of a resume have become more important than ever in recent years. The reverse-chronological resume format is very familiar to potential employers. It can very well land you a job, but it may seem empty if you’re new to the job market and don’t have much experience. That’s why we recommend putting your skills in the forefront, and instead of using a list template, take advantage of columns.
This resume layout can benefit newbies by allowing the recruiters to focus on your skills rather than experience.
Optimize the length
While it can seem appealing to put everything you’ve ever done in your resume to show you’re a hardworking individual, overcrowding a resume is more harmful than leaving some jobs out of it. Suppose you worked in retail at university but have had two other jobs in the interim that are more related to the role you’re applying for. In that case, you can either minimize the description of the retail job (to ensure there’s no gap) or, if you’ve worked two part-time jobs simultaneously, leave it out altogether.
It’s usually recommended to keep your resume on one page if you’ve had under 5 five years of work experience. Bump it to two pages for five or more years of related work experience.
Focus on what the employer is looking for
We all know that cover letters are where you’re supposed to convince a recruiter to grant you an interview. But the harsh reality is that you can’t have one resume, just like you can have one cover letter that you tweak. You will create a new cover letter for each position you apply for, but your resume must also reflect more relevant skills and experience. So, before submitting your application read the job listing thoroughly and see if there are any keywords or valuable skills they’re looking for you could make more prominent.
Forget about the objective statement
This is old news and is telling recruiters what they already know. Instead of the tired old objective statement, try opting out for writing an executive summary. The executive summary should be placed directly under the contact information and outline what makes you the perfect candidate for this position. Most recruiters don’t even read all of the resumes they’ve been sent unless they capture their interest in some way. So, regardless if they read the whole resume, they will at least skim through the executive summary.
Accomplishments over tasks
Instead of telling employers what you had to do, show them what you’ve accomplished. It’s a much better way to stand out and get hired. Rather than copying and pasting your job description, show them the value you provided to your previous employer. Also, remember that recruiters like to see concrete numbers and not vague descriptors.
Don’t: Managed a team of freelance writers.
Do: Reduced employee turnover by 10% and managed a team of 15 freelancers over a period of 3 years.