The hardest part of applying for a new job is getting your resume noticed. In the pool of possible applicants, there could be hundreds and hundreds of potential hires that you’re competing with. If you want to get your resume moved from the “applicant” pile to the “interview” pile, you need to stand out.
Not quite sure where to start in getting your resume noticed? Don’t worry. We’re here to help. Check out these three steps to giving your resume the boost it needs.
1. Consider the Formatting
While the information contained in your resume is the most important part, you need to format the content to catch the eye of the hiring manager. If you simply type up the information into any old word document, it probably will get lost in the pile of other applicants who did the exact same thing.
Certain jobs will give you more room for creativity when formatting your resume. If you’re applying for a job in marketing, design, or graphics, you probably have more room to show off your skills. If you’re in a finance or accounting field, you probably want to stick to something more traditional. Selecting a resume template by career is a great way to begin selecting an appropriate format.
2. Get Personal in Your Application
Submitting the same resume for each job is definitely easier, but it also lowers your chances of getting noticed by the hiring manager. You’re also putting the pressure on the hiring manager to determine how your past experience or skills fit with the job description you’re applying for – something they frankly don’t have time for.
Instead, you should be creating a unique resume to fit each job you apply for. While the formatting and basic flow can stay the same, including certain areas such as education or volunteer work, you will want to reward your bullet points and objection to better fit the job description.
A great way to ensure you’re covering all your bases is to check the job posting for requirements or job duties. If they ask for someone who is proficient in a certain software, push that skill set to the top of the list. If they use action words, put those same words in your resume. By the time you’re done, your resume should look like it was perfectly crafted for the job you’re applying for.
3. Keep it Simple
Too many people believe they need to put every single accomplishment on their resume, whether or not it applies to the job they’re hoping to get. While it is great that you volunteered at a dog shelter when you were in high school, it probably isn’t still relevant to the job you’re hoping to secure.
Take a look at what is on your resume and remove anything that is over a few years old, unless it is absolutely relevant to the job you’re applying for. You should also remove any skills that you’re not actually competent in or part-time jobs that you held in college unless you do not have any other job experience. If the information doesn’t seem necessary or helpful to the job you’re applying to, remove it from your resume.
Too much text, especially text that is not helpful or informative, only crowds your resume and will cause your hiring manager to skip over it. While you may think it makes you look well rounded or accomplished, it only appears busy and as if it would be a waste of time to read. Keep your resume clean, simple, and skimmable.
Applying for your dream job is always stressful, but if you’re well prepared and with a great resume, you’ll be on your way to landing an interview. As the first bit of information, your potential employer will know about you, your resume should provide an informative and interesting glimpse into who you are, what you are capable of, and what you hope to accomplish.