On average, recruiters spend 7.4 seconds skimming over a job applicant’s resume before deciding whether to pursue them as a candidate. Part of this is due to recruiters being very busy as they constantly network through job platforms, schedule interviews, and review applicants for various positions at one time. Moreover, it takes only a matter of seconds for our brains to form a first impression of someone. These simple facts demonstrate the importance of a strong resume that can set you apart from other applicants.
1. It has a simple and professional layout
With such little time to review each resume, hiring managers appreciate people who make their jobs easier. By using bullet points, leaving white space, and choosing a simple layout, recruiters can easily skim your resume and find the information they need to schedule an interview with you. You should also avoid using colorful text, pictures, or complicated layouts that can make your resume more difficult to read. These things are often thought of as unprofessional and can leave a bad impression with hiring managers.
2. It’s tailored to the job you’re applying for
Arguably one of the most important aspects of a resume is how relevant it is to the job you’re applying for. Your resume should be fine-tuned to match each job description, as this shows the hiring manager that you are an amazing fit. Before tailoring your resume, you should research the company and position, so you have a better understanding of what the hiring manager is looking for. Take note of any specific qualities or qualifications listed and find a way to add these things to your resume. Don’t be afraid to add new bullet points for things you have some experience with that you may see mentioned in the job description. You can also rearrange existing bullet points to display the most important information at the top and remove things that seem repetitive or irrelevant to the role. If you need help deciding whether something should be deleted, ask yourself if the hiring manager will be confused why you included that specific information on your resume. While it may seem like a lot of work, tailoring your resume for each position can leave a lasting impact and even lead to more scheduled interviews.
3. It includes data and metrics
Including numbers in your resume demonstrates the accomplishments you have achieved within your previous roles. Quantifying your job responsibilities is a simple way to highlight these successes. This can be done by including metrics such as money, time, and amount of work completed. Numbers are also more eye-catching than text, meaning that a resume with metrics is more likely to get a closer look than one without any numbers.
4. It’s optimized for the right keywords
While a hiring manager or recruiter will ultimately make the decision about which applicants to interview, it is not uncommon for companies to use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to eliminate unfit candidates. In fact, 99% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS to streamline their hiring process. What does this mean for job seekers? Their resumes must include all the right keywords if they want it to eventually be looked over by a real person. These keywords are often job requirements, but they can also be specific programs or software. Before submitting your resume, double-check that you used the same wording as the job description. For example, if you list proficiency in Microsoft Office, but the job description asks for Microsoft Excel, then you’ll want to update this information to match. In general, most keywords can be placed in the introduction, work history, or skills sections.
5. It focuses on results and not responsibilities
Many job seekers tend to use language such as “responsible for or managed” on their resume when they should be using verbiage such as “facilitated, implemented, or optimized.” These power words pack more punch and are a better way of showcasing the impact that you had within previous roles.
We hope these tips help you transform your resume to get the response you’re after. If you are in the market for a new job, HNM Systems can help you find your dream role in the Utility, Telecommunications, and IT sectors. Please submit your resume here and our team will be in touch!