Writing a resume is now more complicated than it was in the past. Today, your resume must not only attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers but also bypass applicant tracking systems—so it can then seen by actual human beings. The good news is by applying the following five tips, you'll be able to easily upgrade your resume to help you land your next job in 2018.
1. Create a visually balanced resume
The layout of your resume matters. A visually balanced resume will help recruiters find key elements quickly and easily. It will also make your accomplishments and skills easier to read. Use a blend of bullet points and paragraph breaks to give your resume some variety, and be sure to use a variety of action-oriented words.
2. Start off with a punch
Objective statements are a thing of the past. Swap out your tired objective statement that’s likely packed with fluffy marketing buzzwords and replace it with a punchy professional summary. Think of your professional summary statement as your elevator pitch. How would you describe and summarize the value you add to an organization in two to three sentences? Your summary should focus on the information employers care about most—what you can do for them.
3. Optimize your content for an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Typically, your resume needs to get past an applicant tracking system (ATS) before a recruiter or hiring manager sees it. With the large number of resumes that organizations receive for job openings, hiring managers opt to use an ATS to weed out irrelevant resumes to save time. In fact, the majority of applicants are eliminated with this "resume bot" technology. But if you understand how these bots work, you can optimize your resume to get past these technological gatekeepers and into the hands of an actual human.
To begin to do this, consider the job you're for applying for and use specific keywords from the job post in your resume. To help you identify the best keywords to pull from the job posting, you can use a free word cloud app. A word cloud app will support you in identifying which keywords are used most frequently in the job posting.
4. Include your LinkedIn URL
Instead of including your full mailing address at the top of your resume, add the URL to your LinkedIn profile. A Jobvite survey found that 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their recruiting process. Make it easy for recruiters to find this important piece of your digital footprint by including a customized link to your LinkedIn profile at the top of your resume. In addition, review your LinkedIn profile carefully and edit the information to ensure it lines up with the story your resume is telling.
5. Carefully consider what information to include and exclude
It’s tedious and time consuming for recruiters and HR experts to review all the resumes that come across their desks. Resumes that are crowded and packed with fluff quickly make their way to the trash bin.
To help your resume stand out, carefully consider what to include and what to exclude. Don't get too attached to all of your responsibilities and accomplishments from the past. Instead, only include the accomplishments for each position on your resume that best align with the job you're applying for. Use analytics and quantifiable results where possible—revenues, page views, savings, sales numbers—to boost your resume from bronze to gold status.
If you're lacking in quantifiable results, then think about the times where you went above and beyond. Did you take initiative without being asked and end up with positive results? Did you take on a self-initiated leadership role? Did you coach someone else to success? Include such qualitative accomplishments as appropriate.
TopResume offers a range of services including expertly written and keyword-optimized resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles.