In most cases, your resume is the first impression a potential employer is likely to have of you. Unfortunately, it can also be the last. So what can you do to keep your resume at the top of the stack and dramatically increase your interview rate? These five tips from industry experts could be your ticket through to the next round of the hiring process.
1. Neatness Counts
Capitalization, punctuation, spelling, format, grammar. It seems so basic—but you’d be surprised at how many job seekers get this wrong. Furthermore, you’d be surprised at just how detrimental a small mistake can be to your hiring prospects. According to the experts at www.salesvacancies.com, as many as 85 percent of hiring managers have reported disqualifying an applicant based on neatness, spelling, or grammar. So take the extra time, grab a proofreader friend, and make sure every “t” is crossed and every “i” is dotted.
2. Keyword Optimise Your Content
Whether or not you’re aware of it, there’s a high likelihood that your resume will be read by a computer long before it’s ever read by a human being. These programmes help sort potential applicants, and will even disqualify you on the spot—so it pays to make sure your resume is computer-friendly. For instance, if you’re trying to find sales vacancies, you’ll want to include as many relevant keywords to the industry as you can, while still sounding natural.
3. Keep It Short
Statistically speaking, a hiring manager is likely to spend a maximum of 10 to 15 seconds reading your resume on the first pass. Approach your resume writing from this angle—resist the urge to take up space on the page. Simple, clean, and easy-to-scan will win out each and every time.
4. Take Action…Verbs
In the most literal sense, resumes should show what you’ve actually done. The best way to communicate that information, grab a hiring manager’s attention, and sell your skills is to use strong verbs. As much as possible, stay away from weak and helping verbs like had, did, was, and is. Instead, craft your resume to make careful use of strong verbs like organised, executed, achieved, coordinated, and delivered.
5. Write For The Job You Want, Not The Job You Have
Think of it this way: hiring managers aren’t interested in your past, they’re interested in your future. As you write your resume, concentrate on showcasing how your skills have prepared you to step into a new role with a new company – resist the urge to simply rehash the job duties of the position you’re currently filling.