You’ve been searching LinkedIn for weeks for the perfect role to take you to the next level of your career, and you finally find it, posted 30 minutes ago. Now it’s time to get your branding tools into shape so you can really make your application stand out. First order of business: the resume. How can you ensure the eyes of the hiring manager land on your resume and that you get that invitation to speak further over the phone?
For the majority of roles you submit an application for, your resume will be run through ATS or Applicant Tracking Software. You’ve probably heard of Taleo, Workday, and Greenhouse - these systems scan your resume for the basic job requirements, keywords, and experience, so it’s important that your resume is in a format that these systems can read. To ensure compliance, make sure your resume is written in a standard font (we love Arial!), free of tables or any other non-standard formatting, and saved in a .DOCX or .PDF format.
Fill the Page (or 2!)
Somewhere in your past, you’ve probably had someone tell you that it’s necessary to keep your resume to one page. While this may be true for some, depending on the length of your professional history, you can and should fill up a second page, too. We want to make sure we can fit the relevant information onto your resume so that when the hiring manager is scanning your resume and searching for the buzzwords or primary skills utilized in the role you’re applying for, your resume pops up as a top match. Limit your content to relevant experience and information, but fill up those pages! We also want to make sure there’s not too much white or blank space on your document - make sure the document is visually appealing by adjusting margins, spacing, and font size (but try to keep it under 11 point font).
Formatting is of key importance because it’s the first thing the hiring manager will see when they glance at your resume. We want to make sure it’s streamlined, in chronological order, and that the sections of your resume are clearly defined with headers indicating the topic to follow. The hiring manager will know exactly where to look if they’re searching for a specific requirement or experience, and the ATS will know how to splice your document when it runs through the system.
A Strong Headline and Objective
Located at the top of your resume, this is likely the first thing the hiring manager or recruiter will read. It needs to tell them who you are and why you’re special, what you’re bringing to the table at a high level. If you don’t grab their attention with this section, they probably won’t give too much time to the rest of your document. This is how you stand out!
Language Pulled from the Job Description
Everyone should have a strong base resume that they always have to pull from their back pocket if contacted by a recruiter or if they’re in a pinch, but we always recommend making a few tweaks to the content depending on the role you’re applying for. When you feature language pulled from the specific job description, not only does it show the hiring manager that you’ve done your research, paid attention to the details, and that you have a level of care for the role, but you’re also lessening the work that the hiring manager or recruiter has to do to visualize you in the role you’re applying for.
It may seem like common sense to include accomplishments on your resume, but don’t forget to quantify them too! Without the quantitative aspect, an accomplishment can be viewed as just a line item in your job description - the measurability helps the hiring manager understand the impact of the accomplishment and the value you add to a team.
Interested in giving your resume the professional treatment it deserves? Contact us to schedule a free Resume Consultation and get started refreshing your resume today!