You just finished re-reading your cover letter and incorporating the resume tips your professor or colleague provided to send your job application. You check for everything to makes sense and hit the submit button.
Whether that’s your dream job or just one of the many job applications you’ve been working on lately, it probably took you about half an hour to submit just that one job application.
Well, for recruiters… it’ll take less than ten seconds to review your candidacy. Those 5 or 7 seconds will determine whether you’ll be called in for an interview or… with your resume being tossed into the trash.
Is that fair? Probably not, but it’s definitely a reality today. Getting your resume seen and noticed is getting harder and harder. Especially now as the economy is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are countless people either currently looking for jobs or their next career move. Recruiters have never been busier. There’s only one way you can capture their attention and be considered for an interview: by standing out of the crowd.
Whether every company has its own particular way of navigating the recruiting process, we’ve compiled the strongest resume tips to get your job application noticed.
Resume Tips That’ll Boost Your Job Application
Getting your resume seen is the first step in the job application process. It’s what will get you your foot at the door. If not done correctly, then you’ll lose your chance of being called for the initial interview and, even worse, get that dream job you’ve been working so hard for.
Therefore, getting your resume seen is perhaps the most important step when applying to jobs. According to Forbes, the average job opening receives between 200 and 270 job applicants. That’s a whole pile of resumes that recruiters have to navigate! Making yours stand out is key.
1. Less is More
Having fewer things in your resume does not necessarily mean decreasing the number of words in your resume. It simply means making every word count.
Eliminate the fluff and unnecessary sentences. What recruiters genuinely want to see is how your experience and your skills can impact your ability to thrive in their organization. Therefore, focus on how each sentence is sending that message.
Prioritizing quality over quantity is vital. Remember, recruiters receive a ton of applications to review. It’s not a question of whether you can have one or two pages worth of experience and skills. It’s a question of how you can catch their attention the fastest.
A great way to do so is by including strong action words. Make sure each word you use has something positive to say about the value you can bring to their organization. Words that emphasize taking the initiative, learning from feedback, having strong communication, being result-oriented, and having a solid work ethic can go a long way.
2. Lead With the Numbers, Follow Up With the Strategy
A great way to hook recruiters’ attention is by displaying your achievements in numbers. By doing so, you will stand out through your accomplishments. But more importantly, you’ll give the impression to recruiters that your past achievements can fuel your capacity to exceed expectations for future challenges.
One of the best resume tips you can incorporate is stating your bullets in the following way: lead with the numbers and follow up with the how. Let me give an example of this.
It’s one thing for your resume to say, “Consistently increased the company’s website conversions through SEO strategies.”
It’s an entirely different statement when it’s mentioned this way, “Boosted website’s conversion rate by 12% month-over-month leading to 25% increase in revenues through SEO and keyword building strategies.”
The second example sounds way stronger, doesn’t it? It’s because we led with the numbers and followed up with the how.
Mentioning hard facts is always an effective way to get your foot in the door. The beautiful thing about facts and numbers is that there’s no way around them. No one can argue with them. A statistic is a statistic.
Make sure your resume’s bullet points are leading with the numbers. Follow up explaining the strategy behind it. It will make you shine!
3. Leadership Rules
Recruiters are always looking for people with an innate drive to take the initiative, develop new ideas or strategies, and be comfortable leading a team. They are looking for people that will not only fill the organization’s immediate need. But also for candidates that will continue growing their career in the company.
Having a separate section in your resume detailing your leadership experience is always a plus. Sharing your involvement outside work such as volunteer experiences, being a part of another organization, or individual projects of your own that you are working on always add value.
Don’t sell yourself short by not including them. Simple things such as being a leader at your church or a volunteer program can help you further differentiate yourself from the crowd.
4. Outsmart Algorithms by Using The Job Posting’s Keywords
Personally, I truly dislike companies using artificial intelligence when it comes to recruiting. It might save the HR department time. But it just doesn’t feel right to have an algorithm decide whether you are a good candidate or not.
Here’s the thing with using AI when it comes to recruiting (Forbes’ analysis backs points):
Finding Talent. Talent can never truly be identified through AI. Instead, AI identifies those that navigate technology the best. Those that work their way around the system.
SEO is for websites and social media, not resumes. Imagine what the future recruitment process would look like if AI decided upon keywords which candidates are the strongest. We all had that friend who recommended that we incorporate keywords in ‘white’ in our resumes to catch AI’s eye but not the recruiters’, right?
Identifying people skills. Job candidates often make an effort to let their personalities shine through their resumes. And it’s not a hidden fact that recruiters often prioritize soft skills such as emotional intelligence over hard ones. How on Earth will AI be able to identify them?
Identifying cultural contribution. When HR is considering candidates, it’s not just about being the right candidate for the job. It’s also about being a good fit for the company’s culture. Again, how on Earth would AI be able to tell if a candidate makes a good cultural fit?
That’s why companies such as Salesforce avoid using AI when reviewing job applicants. Yet, the reality is that some companies are starting to use it more and more to make their recruiting process more “effective.”
To avoid losing a chance of getting your dream job to AI, make sure you incorporate keywords specific to the job description. For instance, if you are sending your resume for the post of a web developer and you saw C++ and Java in the requirements, these must be there (assuming you know how to use them).
5. Have Something to Show
Having a visual display of your work can tremendously boost your candidacy. A great strategy is to have a personal portfolio of projects you are proud of.
Whether that’s an article you’ve published, an academic project, an internship project, a personal blog, or a volunteer initiative, recruiters would love to see it! Having proof of the quality of your work can reassure recruiters that you’re a strong candidate.
A Strong Resume Goes a Long Way
Incorporating the mentioned resume tips will enable you to open many doors. Enhancing your resume’s value will empower you to hook recruiters’ attention and land you the jobs you’ve always imagined having.
In summary, make sure your resume stands out by:
- Capitalizing upon your key points of differentiation.
- Showcasing your skills, achievements, and future performance potential by leading with the numbers and following up with the strategy.
- Detailing your leadership potential.
- Having the job posting’s keywords in case an algorithm is used to review job applications.
A well-crafted resume can open many professional opportunities in life. Make sure you are not missing out on any!