The first and most important step in any job search is always the submission of a CV. Your resume is the ‘face’ of your application, and it is your first impression to recruiters and hiring managers, so it has to be attractive to ensure that you will be remembered and considered for the job. Research has shown that most recruiters spend as little as 6 seconds or less reading a resume. This means your resume should be formatted in such a way that it will create a lasting impression on the hiring manager within that 6 seconds.
But how do you do this? Here are 3 ways to ensure your resume makes, not breaks, your job application!
1.Overall look… Updated or Outdated?
Most people agree that a resume needs to look professional but neglect to update it. As industries and technologies are fast-paced, it’s important to be mindful of progression and ensure your resume reflects these changes – the style and stand-out methods that were used 5 or 10 years ago no longer work in today’s day and age.
All aspects of overall look, layout, wordings, etc. should be formatted with recruiters and hiring managers in mind. If your CV looks over cluttered or is riddled with over the top graphics making it hard to read, a recruiter who is faced with the job of screening tens or hundreds of resumes will neglect your resume for something that takes less effort to read.
Your resume should allow a hiring manager to read all critical skills and experience at a glance. Thus, the overall layout of your resume should be professional and easy to read.
2. Keywords check!
One of the best ways to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward and making your mark on recruiters is by using targeted keywords on your resume. In order to minimise the time-consuming hiring process, many Recruiters will choose to skim read CVs for particular words relevant to the position. Having a CV that does or doesn’t contain the words or phrases a hiring manager is looking for, will be the difference between successfully getting in with the company of choice, or not.
It’s not just standing out to hiring managers that you need to be wary of. The most common technology implemented by Recruitment companies and HR teams for quick and easy candidate tracking is something commonly referred to as an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). This has, often in theory, revolutionised the recruitment game, saving endless hours in administration and screening time when searching and talent pipelining suitable candidates for roles and/or industries.
ATS’s allow a Recruiter/Hiring Manager to search hundreds and thousands of resumes for specific words and phrases relevant to the role they are trying to fill. If the words in your CV don’t match with what your potential employer is searching for, you are going to get lost in the system. Without the right keywords, you won’t even make it past the screening/parsing stage.
3. Uncover strengths and abilities
It’s not just important for your formatting to be up to date, but also your personal content as well.
How can you be sure that your resume contains the right information? Your resume should only contain details relevant to your working life and/or industry. You don’t need to include every small aspect on your resume – just enough to pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to call you to find out more. Education, training, qualifications, work experience and professional accomplishments are all essential and relevant to include.
Hobbies and extracurriculars can distract from what’s important and should be avoided, unless they are somewhat relevant.
The only time where extracurriculars should be a consideration is for someone that is looking to get a start in the workforce or to return after a long period off. However, those hobbies mentioned should exhibit qualities or skills that would be desirable for the job/role/industry. For example, a recent high school graduate may put that they were a school captain, showing that they have practised leadership skills.
Another exception is if your hobby relates closely to the position you’re applying for, i.e. if you’re applying to be a mechanic and you rebuild cars in your spare time. Highlight what needs to be highlighted!
You only get one chance to make a FIRST impression. The quality and details contained within your CV IS your first impression and can determine whether or not a potential employer will consider you for an interview. Well thought out, easy to read formatting, is worth investing your time in so consider outsourcing it to industry CV/Resume experts or spend some time to sit down and work thoroughly on yours.
An alternative to consider if your CV just isn’t getting the results you want is to invest in a resume writing and career development specialist to do the work for you. Professionally written CVs are proven to have a higher success rate as they have been written by someone who knows the job market, knows how ATSs work and simply knows how to write a good resume! It’s important to do your research and find a writer that specialises in your industry of choice. This ensures that the writer has the knowledge and background to write a targeted CV that includes the right keywords and wording for the type of roles you wish to apply for.
Here at THE resources HUB, our team of nationally awarded resources industry experts have extensive experience in writing personalised industry resumes, cover letters and more, with a proven track record of successful outcomes for our clients.
If you need some assistance, contact us today…