Highlight Your Relevant Job Skills
Hiring managers are on the lookout for candidates who have relevant, job-specific skills. While listing a heap of skills on your resume doesnt actually prove youre skilled, incorporating your various skills into different sections will catch the eye of whoever is vetting your application.
For instance, you can showcase your hard and soft skills in your introduction and work experience section. And of course, you should also list your most valuable abilities in your resumes skills section.
Customize Your Resume For The Job
Generic resumes are the enemy of applicant tracking systems and will be the first documents screened out. Be sure to tailor your resume to each job you are targeting. Incorporate as many of the keywords and phrases that you have identified in the job description as possible, though make sure your writing still sounds natural and reads well.
Do Put Your Keywords In Context
Applicant tracking systems can recognize that a key skill or experience is present. But interpreting the strength and value of that experience is still for people to do. And humans want to see how you used your skills.
Its obvious to a recruiter when youve just worked in a keyword because it was in the posting, without tying it to a specific personal achievementand it doesnt win you any points. Instead of focusing on regurgitating a job description, focus on your accomplishments, Owens says.
Plus, remember that you wont be the only one adding those important keywords to your resume. If all using the same job descriptions and the same buzzwords, whats going to make you stand out from the crowd? Owens asks. Answer: your accomplishments, which are unique to you.
When describing your current and past positions, ensure your bullet points are actually achievements, and use numbers and metrics to highlight them, says Rohan Mahtani, Founder of Resume Worded. Instead of just telling recruiters and hiring managers that you have a skill, this will show them how youve used it and what the results were.
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Resume Summary Or Objective
Its not a secret for anyone that first impressions matter, whether theyre in your personal life, or your career.
If you leave a bad first impression, chances are, its there to stay. After all, its very hard to change someones opinion of you.
The same applies to your job search – the HR manager spends around 6 seconds scanning each resume. Yep, your carefully-worded, hand-crafted resume only gets 6 seconds of attention. Unless, of course, you manage to leave an amazing first impression.
The way you accomplish this is through either a good resume summary or objective. Both are placed at the top of your resume, right around the contact information section:
So, heres what you need to know about the two:
Show The Employer That You’re Qualified
Customize your resume. Dont send the same generic resume in for every job. Take the time to customize it by including the qualifications and skills the company is looking for so the employer knows you have the right stuff. As well as writing your resume to match the job, take a few minutes to update your job descriptions so they make the best impression.
Focus on your accomplishments. The employer wants to know what you accomplished, not just what you did. Focus your resume upon what you achieved in each job, not your job responsibilities. Review these tips for including accomplishments on a resume, and make sure you’ve included your most current achievements.
Include your most relevant skills. The screening system that employers use matches your resume to a designated set of qualifications. Include keywords on your resume that match the job-specific skills the employer is seeking.
Add a cover letter. A cover letter, even if its not required, is the best way to highlight the specific qualifications you have for the job. CareerBuilder reports that sending a cover letter is 40% more likely to get your resume noticed. You can use your cover letter to focus on the experience that best suits you for the job. Heres how to write a cover letter for a resume.
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List Your Professional History With Keywords
Write your professional history section in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job and provide a short description including the company name, time period in which you were employed, your job title and a few key achievements during your time at the company. You might also include relevant learnings or growth opportunities you experienced while employed there.
When listing your professional history, you should keep a few best practices in mind:
- Use numbers to measure your impact, when possible. Including specific numerical achievements can help employers understand your direct potential value to their company.
Example: Developed new process for requesting supplies, reducing fulfillment time by 10%.
- Use keywords from the job description. Similar to your skills section, you should also include information from the job description in your job history bullets. For example, if the job description mentions the importance of meeting sales quotas, you could include information about how youve met or exceeded quotas in past roles.
Example: Achieved goal of reaching 250% annual sales quota, winning sales MVP two quarters in a row.
Follow the same process for other work experiences. If you do not have extensive professional history, you should also include internships and volunteer opportunities following the same format.
Why Do You Need A Professional Resume Service
A professionally written resume is your best chance to get the attention of a potential employer during a job interview. Most career experts who are hiring only spend a few seconds looking at a resume. Your resume must stand out and immediately grab the interest of the job search expert, otherwise it could end up in the discard pile if you don’t get it right. This is where it’s highly advisable to find and use professional resume writing services only.
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Making Your Content Shine
What Is Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.Bernard Kelvin Clive
Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buyyou.
Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacyit is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.
I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a career meltdown, all because they have no personal brand.
A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.
Dont get me wrong, having a great CV and a is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.
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How To Ace Your Next Interview
Youve perfected both your resume & cover letter. Now, its time for the next step – the dreaded job interview.
Whether youre an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someones prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isnt the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep – all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and youll be an interview away from landing your dream job!
Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers.
Proofread Your Resume And Finish Strong
Once youve written your resume and cover letter, youre in pretty good shape to send out that first application. However, youre not quite done yet.
The most important step before sending out any resume is to read it over and make sure that there are no issues that could get your application discarded.
To help make that process easier, heres a checklist you can go through to make sure your resume is looking spotless:
The Resume Genius Resume Checklist
Is your contact information accurate?
Does your resume NOT include details like headshots or sensitive personal information?
Does your resume fit on one page ?
Is your information easy to read ?
Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position youre applying for?
Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?
Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?
Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?
Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?
Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?
Feel free to use our on-page checklist, or and begin reviewing your resume.
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Make Your Resume Private
If you found copies of your resume on the internet, you may be able to hide them without totally deleting them. With some job sites, especially those that have a networking component, you may want to leave your resume online, but limit who can see it. Check the privacy settings. You may be able to change your resume’s visibility from public to limited or private.
Add In Your Work Experience
This section will most likely be the bulk of your resume. Even if youre changing careers, employers still want to see where youve worked, what youve done, and the impact of that work to get a sense of your background and expertise.
Your Work Experience might be one entire category, or you might choose to break it up into Relevant Experience and Additional Experience to highlight the jobs that are most important for hiring managers to focus on. Either way, youll almost always want to have your most recent experience at the top and your older experience down below.
Within your work experience, youll want to include each official job title, the company , and the years you worked there. Below that, youll add in two to four bullet points explaining what you did in that job, the skills you built and exercised, the tools you used, and the results of what you did. If you accomplished a lot during your time there, focus on the responsibilities that made the most impact or youre the most proud of, as well as the ones that best align you with the job youre applying for . Its key here to list, if relevant, quantitative as well as qualitative accomplishments.
For example, you might write:
Associate Accountant, Finances and Co., Ann Arbor, MI
If you have a ton of experience and this category is starting to run long , consider kicking out your oldest jobs unless theyre super relevant to the job youre applying for, or extra impressive for your field.
But Keep A Master List Of All Jobs
Since youll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job youre applying to, keep a resume outline or master resume on your computer where you keep any information youve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when youre crafting each resume, its just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together. Think of this as your brag file.
Start By Choosing The Right Resume Format
A format is the style and order in which you display information on your resume. There are three commonly-used resume formats you can choose from depending on which is right for you: Chronological , functional or a combination.
A chronological resume format places the professional history section first and is a good option if you have a rich professional work history with no gaps in employment.
1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objective4. Educational history5. Skills and abilities
The functional resume format emphasizes the skills section and is a good option if you are switching industries or have some gaps in your work history.
1. Name and contact information2. Summary3. Skills grouped by theme4. Any relevant professional experience5. Education
The combinationresume format is a good option if you have some professional experience, where both skills and work history are equally important.
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Do Include The Right Keywords
At its core, what any applicant tracking system is programmed to do when it reads a resume is the same as what a person would do: Its scanning for key pieces of information to find out whether or not youre a match for a job opening. ATS algorithms arent that different from the human algorithms, were all kind of skimming for the same things, says Jon Shields, Marketing Manager at Jobscan. So when it comes to writing a resume that can make it past an ATS, you want to make sure that key information is there and that its easy to find.
One of the ways the ATS narrows an applicant pool is by searching for specific keywords. Its like a Google search on a much smaller scale.
The recruiter or hiring manager can decide which keywords to search forusually whatever skills, qualifications, experience, or qualities are most important for performing the job. For entry-level roles, that might mean certain majors, whereas for a tech position, it might be certain coding languages.
So if you want to make it past the ATS, youll need to include those important keywords on your resume. Hint: Look for the hard skills that come up more than once in a posting and are mentioned near the top of the requirements and job duties. Hard skills include types of software, methodologies, spoken languages, and other abilities that are easier to quantify.
Consider Adding Optional Sections
If you have significant white space on your resume, consider adding an achievements or interests section. This can help supplement a shorter resume, especially for those with limited work and educational experience. Makes sure that the achievements and interests you list support your career goals and are relevant to potential employers.
Showdont Tellyour Soft Skills
Describing soft skills on a resume often starts to sound like a list of meaningless buzzwords, fast. But being a strong leader or an effective communicator are important characteristics you want to get across. Think about how you can demonstrate these attributes in your bullet points without actually saying them. Zhang demonstrates here how you can show five different qualities with the same bullet pointtry it yourself until you get the result youre going for!
List Any Awards You’ve Won And When You Won Them
When you’ve been recognized by someone else, you should let potential employers know about it. But you shouldn’t worry if you haven’t received any awards just skip this section.
Richmond County National Essay Contest, Honorable Mention, May 2006.
Honor Roll, South Satchewan High School, Junior and Senior Years, 20082010.
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Choose The Most Suitable Format
Before you start writing anything, the first step is to decide on the right format for your resume. There are three basic resume formats used by job seekers today: reverse-chronological, functional, and combination. Each format has advantages and disadvantages based on how the resume sections are arranged:
What Are Employers Looking For In A Resume
Hiring managers look for three things on your resume, What did you do? Why did you do it? And what was the result? says Muse career coach , owner of Career Therapy. If you can answer all three of these questions in…your resume bullet points, youre going to be on the right track.
Clear, easy-to-understand language is key. The truth is that most resumes make no sense. They are stuffed with jargon, they are too technical, and they are filled with redundancies. Try to read a resume that isnt yours and you will quickly realize that it feels like an alien wrote it, McGovern adds. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter who has no idea how your role workshow can you make your resume accessible to them?
The hiring manager also cares about more than just you and you alonethey care about you in relation to them. Hiring managers want to see if a candidate matches the requirements of the role theyre hiring for, Yurovsky explains. Your resume should paint this picture so the hiring manager not only knows what day-to-day responsibilities you can handle, but why you, above other, bring value to their organization.
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