We all have one and we all use it for the same purpose. We send it to possibly hundreds of people a week when we are utilizing it to its full potential. I’m not talking about text messaging here, I’m talking about resumes. Scanning resumes is a way for companies to quickly size up job seekers before they decide they are good enough to call into an interview. Of course, the resume isn’t the end all-be all of job searching, but it’s one of the first things companies will see as a representation of you and your work.
That said, how can you ensure that when you send your resume along to a company that the intended recipient will actually see it? With one company receiving thousands of resumes for a single position, it’s hard to guarantee anything. However, there are certain steps you can make to spruce up your resume and make sure that the intended viewer will see it. Some of you may want to revamp your entire resume while others will just have to make a few simple changes. Either way, there is always room for improvement to make on your resume. Follow these tips to spruce up your resume and get it into the hands of employers today.
First and foremost, your resume should not have any typos at all. If you have sent your resume to dozens of companies and haven’t heard back from one, you can easily suspect that your resume has one, or a couple, typos. It may seem a bit petty and nit-picky, but this is the easiest way for companies to weed out a good chunk of applicants and I can’t really blame them. Especially with the current state of the job market, a company will receive many resumes for one job posting. Can they honestly give each resume the chance they deserve? No. That’s why some may automatically throw away the resumes that have even just one typo. Think of it this way: If you didn’t take ample time to make sure your resume was near-perfect and void of errors, why would you spend time perfecting your work at their company? Make sure your resume has no typos and have another set of eyes look too.
Use SEO Techniques
You don’t have to be an SEO copywriter or expert to utilize the skills search engine optimization writers employ. At its core, SEO makes use of keywords in order to optimize articles, documents or advertisements. You can use this same strategy in your resume. Take a look at the job description and take note of the words they use. If they use the word “supervise” and you use the word “manage” change all instances to supervise. CNN reported that 51 percent of resumes are processed by a tracking system that searches through resumes by keyword. Optimizing your resume to fit the job description’s language will place your resume closer to the top.
A lot of resume tips or sites will say that placing an objective statement in your resume is necessary. However, it’s already known that your objective is to get a job. That’s why you’re applying for this position, isn’t it? The objective statement is tired and outdated. Instead, write a personal statement that points out why you are better than other candidates or why you are qualified for this position. You can also talk about some areas of your industry or field that you excel at or what aspect of your field you really enjoy. This gives the reader a better idea of what you’re about and lets them see some of your personality- something that is hard to see in a resume.
Cut Out Irrelevant Work
Work experience is great and is certainly necessary when applying for jobs. However, you do not have to list every job you have had in the past to prove that you have extensive job experience. If you are applying for a Copywriter position, you should list all experiences in relation to that position. This is a tip I can personally attest to. I was applying for a Content Writer position and I had already had a couple previous writing positions under my belt. In addition to those positions I worked as a server for two years when I couldn’t find any other work. When applying to jobs though I wouldn’t add it to my work experience because it wasn’t relevant to the position I was looking for. If you’re hesitant to omit it because there would be a significant time gap between positions, you can always discuss that in the interview. With the job market being as rough as it is, the chances of a company passing you by because of a time gap in your resume is very unlikely.
Avoid Cliché Vocabulary
Here’s a list of some of the top ten clichéd words and phrases from a study conducted on resumes: dynamic, results-oriented, fast-paced, motivated, innovative, extensive experience, team player, proven track record, problem solver and entrepreneurial.
These words are boring and overused. Instead, search for synonyms and make your resume more interesting and unique.
If you want your resume to stand out and be different, then you should format and style it in a different way. There are a lot of different styles out there for resumes and you don’t necessarily have to stick to the same, traditional one. This may not work if you are looking for a financial or corporate position, but jobs that require creativity should have creative resumes. Take a look at some resume styles online and come up with a unique style for your own. Of course, you don’t want it to be crazy or distracting, but having a fresh, different look to your resume will likely leave an impression on an employer.
Enhance it with Video
If you’re looking to get ahead of the competition, it’s important you showcase all of your skills. Unfortunately, some job seekers’ best skills cannot be displayed on a static resume. For instance, how do you show off your communication skills? It’s very easy to add a bullet point about how well you communicate, but there are ways to actually prove it. Creating a video resume is an excellent start. With a video resume, employers are now able to associate your personality and communication skills with the qualifications on your resume. According to many employers, the ability to communicate is one of the most important skills for a candidate to possess. Recording a video to couple with your resume is now easy with Spark Hire offering a free video platform for job seekers. On Spark Hire, job seekers can record a 60 second Profile Video to share with employers. It is the ultimate way to separate oneself from the competition.
So…take today to evaluate your resume and see how you can implement some of the tips listed in this post to spruce it up!