Your resume is the most important thing when applying for a job. It is the first contact you have with recruiters and the first impression you will make on them. However, having qualifying skills won’t necessarily get you an interview. On average, 250 resumes are submitted per job posting, but only 5 are selected to move on to the interview stage. That’s a 2% chance!!! So how do you separate yourself from the 249 other candidates and be put in the top 2% pile? Here are 7 steps that will increase your chances.
When recruiters have over 200 applications to look through, they are most likely not going to read every single word candidates write. In fact, on average, recruiters spend no more than 6 seconds per resume. They will be skimming through and picking out keywords or facts that are essential to the job. However, if your resume is full of clutter and not well organized, recruiters may not even take that 6 seconds to skim over your resume. Therefore, you must improve your resume’s readability and efficiently organize your skills and experiences on your resume. One of the best ways to do so is by avoiding paragraphs.
2. Avoid Paragraphs
Paragraphs may hold a lot of information and may seem like a good idea because they allow a better flow of the information you are trying to convey. However, paragraphs are also long, bulky, and intimidating. Instead, you should opt-out for a point-form format on your resume. Point-form will allow you to get your message across neatly and effectively. It will also make it a lot easier for recruiters to pinpoint your skills and accomplishments without having to look through an entire paragraph of text.
3. Relevant Experience
When choosing the experiences to include on your resume, make sure they’re relevant to the job(s) you are applying for. Remember, your resume should not solely be about your past; instead, it should say what you can do in the future. Try to include not only technical skills but also transferable skills when describing your past experiences. You should also include your most recent experiences instead of having your entire work history on your resume. Keep your resume under two pages.
4. Include Numbers
Words are great, especially for describing your past experiences. But when it comes to displaying the impact you have made at your previous work experiences, nothing can beat quantitative numbers. Numbers don’t lie. When you can present an absolute number or percentage in your results, recruiters will feel more confident in your skills because there’s solid backing to the words you write. Recruiters will know that the skills on your resume are not just fluff; they are indeed tangible and applicable.
5. Use Keywords to Showcase Your Technical and Transferable Skills
When describing and explaining your technical and transferable skills, make sure to use keywords, especially words that are included in the job description. Choosing the wrong keywords can be detrimental to your selection for the next step of the process. Therefore, selecting and optimizing the right keywords is crucial. It would make you stand out to recruiters and your resume more impressionable than the other 249.
6. Ditch Your Objectives
You do not need to include a paragraph of your objective for applying for a job. Recruiters know what your objective is – anyone would know: it’s to get hired. Therefore, scrap the objective section on your resume and put that extra space into better use. For example, go into further detail with your experiences, list some of your key technical skills, or include a hobby and extracurricular section.
7. Proof-Read and Edit
Lastly, and probably the most obvious: Proof-read. Often when we are writing, our minds fill in the gaps for us, causing us to misspell or misplace words. Therefore, it is always important to proof-read and make additional edits to make your sentences flow better or select more apt words. A great way to do this is to come back to your resume a few hours or a day after you have finished your original draft; this would allow you to edit with a fresh mind.
For more tricks and tips on improving your resume and shortening your job hunt, contact Alba Inc.