Far too often, recruiters have received applications that have made them turn white in fright.
Spelling errors, over-the-top “creative” layouts, mini autobiographies, illegible fonts (comic sans, anyone?) – these are just some of the examples that have made recruiters drop everything and run.
With Halloween coming up, here’re some tips on how to make your resume a treat to read and help it land in the callback pile.
1. Keep It Concise
A recruiter often has to go through over a hundred applications for a role and the worst thing that you could do is to send in a resume that has over 20 pages detailing your life’s achievements from the time you were born. Be more discerning on the information that you want to include in your resume and be concise. A good way to do so is to list down any relevant work and education history that you have from the past 5 to 10 years as well as skills that are relevant to the job or industry that you are applying for.
2. Use the Right Formatting
As most companies today are using an application tracking system (also known as ATS) to filter through applications during the initial recruitment stage, your resume is very likely to be screened by a resume bot first. To ensure that your resume is ATS-friendly, here’re some things to note:
Use the right file format. Unless the system mentions you can upload PDF documents, the safest option is to use Word document saved as .doc or .docx.
Stick to simple bullet points
Use an ATS-friendly and easy to read font such as Times New Roman, Arial, and Verdana. Avoid using fonts such as Comic Sans and Jokerman.
Use simple bullet points to list down your work history. Avoid using tables and columns as the information might not be detectable by the ATS.
3. Look for Keywords in Job Ads
Besides using the right format, it is important to tailor your resume to the job in order to get past the resume bot. A good way to start is to look at the job advertisement and determine what the skills required are and include the keywords in your resume. Besides listing down the relevant technical skills, highlight any transferable skills you have as well. However, simply including all the keywords in your resume will not work – the system is smarter than you think. Decide on the keywords that are relevant to you and incorporate them within your work experience.
4. Include Sections in Your Resume
Recruiters usually spend a few seconds to look through each application. To help recruiters easily navigate your resume and draw their attention to key information, include headings and sub-headings such as ‘Work Experience’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Education’.
5. Quantify Your Work Achievements
Quantifying your work achievements is a great way to show, and not tell, the hiring manager why you’re the right candidate for the job. Besides adding legitimacy to your capabilities, doing so can help the person sifting through the applications to have a clearer understanding of the scale and impact of your accomplishments. This can be done even if your job does not directly work with numbers. Use digits to represent the numbers instead of words to make it easier to read.
Here’re some examples of how you can quantify your accomplishments:
Increased company’s market share by 10% within a year of launching the product in the market
Improved Google Business Reviews rating from 3.8 stars to 4.2 stars after implementing a new customer service program.
Taught a class of over 30 students and increased average exam scores by at least 15 points.
Wrote 5 blog articles a week which has over 100 shares per article.
Use these tips to create a great resume that will be a treat to read not just during Halloween, but for any time of the year. For more resume tips, click here.