6 Ways To Get More Job Interviews With These Resume Tips
The million dollar question when putting a resume together shouldn’t be “What should I put in a resume and how many pages should it be?” but: “What does the employer need to read to make them get me in for an interview?”
Throughout my 27 years in recruitment I would have seen more than 30,000 resumes. Most of the time there would be approximately 100 applications per job, so I would want to see very quickly and easily if a candidate had what I was looking for.
Everyone asks the question “what should I put in a resume?” but equally important is what not to include as readers can be put off by too much of the wrong information. When I’m looking through resumes, ultimately I want to get to the important information quickly and concisely and make an assessment as to whether someone has the skills and experience me and my clients are looking for.
Every man and their dog will tell you how to prepare a resume, but here are the things that would make me put candidates in the ‘A’ pile, rather than the ‘B’ pile:
“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.”– Malcolm Forbes, Forbes
Pic source: lifehacker
Tip # 1: Give Page 1 the ‘Wow’ Factor
Page 1 is prime real estate and every word should earn it’s place on there. It should show an employer that you have 80% of what they are looking for, and give a clear representation of your value proposition. The more you tailor the relevance of your skills to the position you apply for, the higher the chance of getting shortlisted. Don’t take up valuable space with the title Resume, then your phone number, email, address. Put the phone number and email in the footer. You don’t need to tell them it’s a resume, that’s obvious. Have your name as the header.
Tip # 2: Tailor Your Resume Using the Job Ad/Description
The resumes should be tailored to the job you are applying for, so use the key words from the job ad or job description in your Career Summary/Overview that clearly states your career title, how experienced you are, which relevant industries/sectors you’ve worked in, relevant qualification, and how you add value. Then use the key words from the advertisement or job description to list your skills and strengths. List accomplishments that address the essential and key criteria in the job description to make you stand out. Clearly articulating your competencies that correspond to job requirement and address the pain points of the job, or what problems you solve.
Tip # 3: Prioritise Your Responsibilities
Adjust the list of responsibilities so that the most relevant ones are at the top and easy for the potential employer or recruiter to see quickly. Trying to focus on specific accomplishments rather than vague responsibilities will demonstrate that you are a stronger fit by addressing the requirements of the role.
Tip # 4: Your Most Relevant Roles Should Be On Pg1
List your most relevant roles first, ideally with them starting on Page 1. If your most relevant roles appear later in your resume, then insert the heading “Relevant Career Experience” and then move your jobs around accordingly. You can also be creative and insert a skills based title ie “Sales Experience” or “IT Experience” and then list those relevant jobs.
Tip # 5: Not Too Much, Not Too Little
There are no hard and fast rules about resume length, so don’t feel pressured to present it all in 2 pages – you might end up cutting out some critical decision making information for the employer/recruiter. The ones I prepare for clients are quite often 3-4 pages, with all the most relevant information on page 1.
Tip # 6: Design a Personalised Cover Letter
Starting with a personalised cover letter will show recruiters that you are serious about the job you are applying for. If you don’t have the industry experience sought and are looking to make a career transition, then address the other capabilities that you do have. It’s important to tailor your cover letter to each job and demonstrate clearly what you have that the employer is seeking. Remember to include your personal reason for applying to that role/company and how you will add value.
If you implement these changes and are still not getting interviews, consider, are you applying for the right roles, the ones that are in line with your career sweet spot? If not you might like to to take a look at my Career Clarity Program or investigate Your Career DNA.
Are you feeling stuck in your current job and interested in job transition? Click here to book a consultation with me.
Harvard Business Review is a reputable management magazine published by Harvard Business Publishing, a wholly owned subsidiary by Harvard University. You can read reviews and get suggestions from hbr.org.
Forbes is an American business magazine that features a broad range of industries. It contains a chunk of interview and resume tips for you to learn.
If you are still not familiar with how to write a resume, you will find simple but useful information on Seek website.
(Remember to get your copy of Careers Awakening: How To Align Your Career With Your Soul Purpose here.)