So, you’re about to send your resume out into the abyss that is known as today’s job search market. Rather than hope and cross your fingers that someone (maybe even a human being) will see your information, why not make your resume information stand out when you design it. And, you need to know what TO include and what NOT to include.
You can’t count on an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen your document and put it in the ‘yes’ pile without some thought going into the resume up-front. Read below for resume tips that will help your resume move through the hiring process.
First, have clear sections on your resume. The applicable sections can include a career summary, areas of expertise, professional experience, education, and community involvement. Be sure to space these sections apart and add some type of border to each dividing section, ensuring that the human eye or computer system can clearly see a new section.
Next, use quantifiable information whenever possible. Consider the difference between saying, “Successfully increased sales during tenure,” versus “Increased sales by 52 percent—to $2 million—within a 5-month timeframe.” The second statement is much more impactful because there is a percentage, time, and sales dollar amount included.
Be careful with formatting. While fancy graphics, charts, columns, and other elements can look appealing, they may not be ATS-friendly. And, let’s face it, if you can’t get through the initial scanning process, your job search may be halted before it even starts. With formatting—most of the time—simpler is better.
Highlight the Accomplishments
Finally, make your accomplishments stand out from the rest of the text. Consider bolding and/or indenting the accomplishment or achievement statements, drawing attention to these and immediately capturing the eye of the reader. Don’t bullet EVERY SINGLE THING—reserve that for the items you really want to highlight.
Take time to plan your resume. Get it ready before you need it and put some thought into the accomplishments and style of your document. After all, this document represents you and is the one thing that a potential employer will base a decision on before they meet you.
Does your resume live up to your expectations? If not, contact me today for a free resume review!