By Eileen Ramos
One single page is supposed to fit your entire career and higher education. Sounds scary right? Well it doesn’t have to be as long as you follow and remember these steps.
The first thing to remember is that when you upload your resume to a job listing, the first set of eyes that will be looking at it are usually ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and not a human pair. This electronic software will scan your resume to see if there are any matches to the job description. Unfortunately the computer can’t tell that presentation and keynote are the same thing, so remember to use the exact wording from the job description in your resume. Don’t feel bad about it (it isn’t plagiarism); this is the only way your resume will get noticed.
You don’t have to craft a different resume each and every time you apply for a job. Here’s the trick: Look at 5-10 different job postings that you want to apply for and look for the common language. If you have a focus and know the kind of job you want, the common language will be there—use it! Your resume won’t have to vary at all once you insert those keywords into your resume. Try these internet job search sites if you’re on the search for keywords: Indeed, Simply Hired, and Linkup.
Hiring managers look at a resume on an average 15-30 seconds before making the decision to interview or trash, so the first half of your resume is vital. You need to sell your skills, experience, and “personal brand” quickly. Use a strong title and a solid introductory paragraph that highlights what you have to offer. A bullet list of 9-15 hard skills you possess will also go a long way!
Make your accomplishments known and separate them from everyday tasks you had to do. What have you accomplished that benefitted your former company? Did you save money, make a greater profit, improve processes? Highlight the challenges you faced, what actions you took to rectify it, and then the positive results. This will make you stand out from the cookie cutter pack. Most resumes usually just list the job titles and tasks, but not how the candidate went above and beyond the routine.
Forget the objective statement and “references available upon request” statement. They’re old news, clichéd and take up valuable space. That’s what your cover letter is for—to indicate why you’re applying for the job and you can include a nod to references there.
Don’t forget to bold and “small CAP” your name while using a large 18-22 size font. It’s important to stand out in whatever way you can and with these tips, you surely will be the highlight of the pile!
Eileen Ramos is an enthusiastic introvert who has a fervor for words. She loves collecting them and seeing how they fit in, and expand, her world. She’s a writer by day, sleeper by night (well, sort of) and she can’t wait to see what title she earns next. For more information or to link with Eileen, check out her LinkedIn profile.