Hiring managers spend all of about six seconds looking at any given resume in today’s job market. Employment rates are rising every day, which means more competition for today’s job seekers. This makes it of the highest importance that your resume stands out from the rest.
Today, there’s a higher chance than ever that a computer will reject your resume before a real-life hiring manager even sets eyes on it. That’s how important it is that your resume is concise, tailored, and utilizes keywords.
Here’s how to land that interview in 2016:
1. Make Your Resume “User-Friendly
Since hiring managers are bogged down by the sheer number of applicants in their inbox, it makes sense that they go for the easiest reply. By hyperlinking your email in your resume, it makes the decision so much easier for the hiring manager to reply to your application over others.
You may also want to include any professional social media pages you utilize, such as LinkedIn, to give your resume that added flair. Hyperlink the profiles you mention on your resume.
Be careful about adding your full mailing address, as this, may lead to higher chances of identity theft. Never include your street address, and only include your city, state, and zip code.
2. Add Some Spice (But Appeal to Your Audience)
If you’re applying to an accountant or another less design-centric employer, by all means, keep your resume’s style as clean and crisp as possible. However, if you’re sending your resume over for a graphic design position, this is a perfect opportunity to show off your skills!
Color spices up the look of your resume, too. I recommend making the section headers one color while leaving the remaining text black. You can also try replacing the old Times New Roman font with something like Cambria, Calibri, or Georgia.
These standard fonts are more desirable due to their novelty and also their compatibility between other systems. Hiring managers and Recruiters are often burned out, so something new coming across their screen may just refresh their tired eyes.
3. Replace Your Objective Statement With a Professional Summary
The time of objective statement has phased out. Basically, hiring managers don’t even look at it anymore, so just replace it by making your first header point out your area of expertise. Do a short professional summary about your years of experience, employment history, and major career achievements and just leave it at that.
It’s best to structure your resume in a way that appeals to “skimming,” because the Internet has changed the way we read. People do not carefully read text anymore, but instead, dart around in search of the most interesting information. Anything you want to stand out to the hiring manager, you should write in bold lettering.
4. The Keywords You Use Matter
Midsized companies and larger are relying more on software to pre-select resumes. If you aren’t including enough of their keywords in your resume, chances are a human will never read it. Pay attention to how the job posting reads. What words seem to be repeating?
Those are the words you need to include in your resume before sending it over to the hiring manager. A professional resume writer named Dawn Bugni says that a simple switch from using the words “customer service” to “client relations” might just make or break your resume.
5. Goodbye, Soft Skills Section
Again, hiring managers don’t have time to read through a long list of skills. Make it more appetizing to the potential employer by integrating your skills into the descriptions of your employment history.
Don’t waste space with statements such as “great ability to work on teams”. Nobody believes you and this is something that can’t be verified easily.
Attention spans and time constraints are a big problem today, so make your resume worth reading. Focus on your technical skills especially for positions that require a specific skill set, such as an IT specialist.
6. How Long Should My Resume Be?
While it’s true that hiring managers don’t have a lot of time, your resume doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to a single page. This is bogus advice that dates back to when the paper was the norm.
If you have 30 years’ experience, definitely don’t sell yourself short. Include all relevant information, but remember to keep it both tailored and concise. Each position you held should speak to the position you’re applying for.
A recent college graduate should definitely not send over a resume that’s a two or three-page essay. As a recruiter, I never had a problem scrolling the mouse wheel to read the second or 3rd page. As a general guideline two pages will work for most people.