Everyone knows first impressions are very important. That makes your resume critically important since it creates your first impression on a job recruiter. It’s what will help that recruiter decide whether or not you get an interview.
Research shows recruiters typically spend about six seconds looking at a resume before moving on to the next one. So how do you make sure your resume doesn’t get tossed aside? Our talent acquisition team is here to help with resume tips that will ensure that you make the best impression possible and your resume makes it through those first six seconds. 1. Tailor Your Resume to Each Job
Customizing your resume can be a lot of work, so you don’t have to completely rewrite it for each job. Rather, just tweak it to align with a particular job description.
Here’s how to do this:
- Place the job description and your resume side by side (either on your monitor or on paper).
- Highlight keywords and skills listed in the job description
- Check to see that as many as possible are specifically mentioned in your resume.
You may find some skills in the job description that you have but didn’t consider including on your resume.
Most people tend to have more information than necessary on a resume, so pick and choose what you include in a particular version of your resume based on what that job description outlines.
The good news is, after you have applied for several different positions, you will be begin to have a collection of several different types of resumes that you can use as starting points for similar jobs.
2. Why Customize Your Resume?
Tailoring your resume to a particular job description shows the recruiter that you are a great fit for the position. It also can make you a recruiter’s favorite because it makes it easier for him to quickly interpret the relevance of your experience. Recruiters don’t have time, nor do they want to read through irrelevant points in a resume to dig for the skills and experience they want.
It’s much easier for the recruiters to just move on to the next candidate whose resume clearly highlights applicable skill sets and relevant accomplishments. Make the recruiting process easier on yourself and the recruiter by doing your homework on the position before you apply and tailoring your resume to the job description.
3. Keep Your Resume Succinct Yet Specific
Again, recruiters don’t have much time to spend on one resume so keep it at one page — or two at the most. Keep your resume to the point and avoid bogging it down with flowery language and unnecessary modifiers. But don’t be too cryptic — you want recruiters to find what they need, so don’t scrimp on words so much that recruiters have to guess at your meaning.
Be specific. For instance, instead of saying “went above and beyond to meet and exceed sales goals,” write “exceeded sales goals by X percent in 2015.” Quantifiable data and accomplishments can be very impressive, can lend credibility to your accomplishments, and can demonstrate that you take success measurements seriously. It goes without saying — don’t lie or stretch the truth if you really don’t know the specific numerical results of your efforts.
4. Resume Tips for Writing and Layout
When creating your resume, use a standard san serif font, such as Arial, Verdana, or Calibri, that is easy to read. And don’t go smaller than 11 points in size. If you’re trying to save space by shrinking the font, you may need to sacrifice some content for legibility. What good is the information if no one can actually read it?
Avoid minimizing margins as well, because a lack of margins could lead to important information getting cut off if the recruiter prints your resume. Generally, keep at least one-inch margins on all sides.
To keep your resume organized and easily digestible for the recruiter, use bullet points for descriptions, and divide the information under headers such as experience, education, awards and community service.
Proofread! Does this really need to be said? And, have someone else proofread it too before you send it to a recruiter or potential employer. A fresh set of eyes may find mistakes you overlooked because you’re familiar with the content and you know what it’s actually supposed to say.
With many recruiters, spelling and grammatical errors can be the kiss of death for your resume. Also keep in mind as you’re creating your resume that many companies will send your information through an applicant tracking system. This system is designed to detect keywords relating to job descriptions, and it may also eliminate your resume if it isn’t formatted correctly. For most filtering systems, you should adhere to standard layout tips:
- Keep margins to one inch and eliminate any border
- Put contact information in the body of the resume, not the header or footer
- Do not include tables, images or logos
- Avoid using lines that span the whole resume from left to right margin
5. Discover ProTech Talent Acquisition Resources
These resume tips will help you understand both the importance of a strong resume and how to make your own resume one to which recruiters will pay attention. When your new and improved resume lands you a job interview, our interview tips in our job seeker resource center will help you continue the successful experience.
If you’re still searching for jobs, we encourage you to visit our job openings page and join our talent network to get updates whenever new positions are listed. To learn more about our approach to recruiting and job placement, please contact our talent acquisition team today.