Did you know?
An average recruiter spends around 8 seconds to evaluate your profile.
Just 8 seconds.
If we put this into perspective this means that you have just 8 seconds to put forward a strong first impression in front of the recruiters and make sure that they understand your profile as well as the elements that differentiate you.
Your work resume is the first document your potential employer is going to look at before deciding whether or not to call you in for an interview. Considering its one of the major components of a job application, it has to be crafted perfectly.
Add to this the fact that recruiters are usually flooded with resumes, and 80% of the submitted resumes do not even make the first cut, the importance of having a good resume becomes very evident.
Hence having a well-formatted resume with optimized content (action words, data quantification, well formulated bullets) is a necessity if you want to stand out among your peers.
Below you will find an infographic highlighting the essential points to make sure that your resume is optimized for recruiters
Further, to help you, we have created a 12-step guide to help you transform your current resume into a Perfect Work Resume aimed towards making your presence felt in front of the recruiters
Check them out below
1. Make sure you have a good resume Format
With just 8 seconds to form an impression, it is vital to have a clear format with proper sub sections dealing with Work experience, Education and Skills. Further, having bullet points makes sure that the text is easy to read.
All this ensures that your resume is easily scannable for the employers and helps them understand the highlights of your profile in a short span of time.
2. Use standard Fonts
As tempting as new fonts can get, it is best to stick to standard fonts such as Calibri, Garamond, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, and Helvetica.
These fonts have been around for some time, read well both on digital media and print, and are regarded as formal.
So, can be safe choices.
3. Highlight only relevant contact details
Always make it easy for the employers to contact you.
Clearly add the Name, email, phone number and address.
Using the Headers and Footers to showcase contact info, can help you save precious space here.
4. Customize for the Target Job
A common resume for all job applications is definitely not ideal. You need to customize your resume content as per the job you are applying to.
Focus on mentioning and highlighting recent and relevant work, you may want to skip parts of your work profile that are too old or not relevant, for example you can skip your internship doing programming, if your current job requires a Sales profile. Rather the marketing experience you gained last year would be a much better fit here.
5. Optimize Bullet points
Bullet points are optimal to present the work done in an engaging light.
Nobody likes reading blocks of text, hence keep your bullet points concise, no longer than 2 lines per bullet, and bold important keywords to make it easy for the recruiters to scan.
You should also make sure that the content is properly structured, with action words and due quantification (more on this on the following points)
6. Quantification is Essential
Numbers help in explaining the impact you caused and the results you obtained.
Quantifying your value addition to a company will not only portray your capabilities better, but also will help your potential employer understand your due contributions.
For example, compare
Statement 1: Responsible for creating a strategic launch plan for a new product and successfully launching it.
Statement 2: Developed a strategic marketing plan to introduce product into international and domestic markets, launch exceeded forecasts by 13%.
As you can see, the impact created by the latter point is much more than the earlier example. This is because the number clearly paints a picture of your contribution.
Another tip would be constantly asking yourself “So What” while coming up with sentence structure, this would help you streamline the sentence structure until it showcases what you have done. Will also help you avoid generic sounding lines.
7. Use Action Key Words to create an impact
Action words are keywords which showcase your managerial abilities adding more value to your resume. Using words such as “Managed, Spearheaded and Created, as opposed to “Was, Did, and Made”, will showcase your work in a better light and be more descriptive in nature.
In addition, these days Applicant Tracking Systems are used to filter resumes as per the need of the recruiters. A lot of companies use ATS which specifically look for Action words. Therefore, it is essential you include relevant ones in your resume.
8. Make sure to simplify Jargon
You should always aim to ensure that your resume is Jargon free and is easily understandable by almost anyone.
For example, if you use too much industry jargon, the HR might just not belong to your field of work and thus may fail to understand your work experiences. This could harm your chances even if you are the best application of the lot.
Hence the best way to avoid such pitfalls, is by keeping your resume jargon free.
In technical oriented job, this could be a little difficult, but giving relevant context and avoiding lesser known abbreviations can go a long way to make your resume more understandable.
9. Highlight Educational achievements
Mentioning your degree adds value to your profile, especially if you are applying for a job which requires some specialized skills.
In addition, if you graduated from a well-known college and have a relevant degree (E.g. MBA, MSc.), this would add more weightage.
Lastly, highlighting awards received, showcases drive and an achievement driven profile, which is appreciated by recruiters.
10. Add only Relevant Skills
You do not need to include all the skills which you have developed over the years, rather just one ones which are relevant to the job.
The company you are interviewing with is looking for a specific skill set, therefore make sure you read the job description carefully and concentrate on the specific skills that they are looking for.
You can also highlight any tools that you have learnt which are relevant to the work. It helps recruiter understand how much prepared you’re for your new role.
11. Interests, Awards and recognition
You can add an extra dimension of personalization to your resume by making sure the interests section is aligned with your job profile section.
If your job requires you to be an outgoing and good team player, mentioning that you were engaged in Soccer at State-level, and enjoy travelling is a good option, while Watching sitcoms, playing chess etc. can take a back seat.
Also, be sure to add any Volunteering activities, NGO Associations or Awards (Workplace or otherwise), if any, in your resume. Most companies favor employees who contribute to their society in a positive way.
12. Make sure spelling and grammar are perfect!
Spelling mistakes are a big no-no. It’s the worst impression you can make via your resume.
Sloppy Grammar and frequent spelling mistakes would paint a very irresponsible picture of yourself.
Hence, make sure you run your resume through spell checkers such as Grammarly, and take help from your friend to proof read your resume.
You will be surprised how many errors you may have missed out.
In today’s competitive era, just having a good profile and strong experiences is not enough.
You need to do everything you can to get an edge over the competition.
A good, well written resume can be a strong ally here. A well written, well-formatted resume, with proper action words, and quantification can help take you a long way.
So, follow the above 12 steps and we are sure that your resume will be at least 2 times better and would significantly increase your chances of clinching that dream job.
Looking for more tips to take the profile from good to great?
Check out this blog on 23 actionable tips towards creating a great resume.
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