Did you know that on average a corporate company receives over 200 resumes? Of those resumes, 4 to 6 candidates will be selected for an interview. Furthermore, out of those applicants only one lucky individual will receive the job offer. Although the probability of being chosen for the position does not seem like it’s in your favor, there are ways to increase the odds.
Get Into The Mindset
On average, a recruiter will look at your resume for 7.4 seconds. If you think this is fast, you are right. The recruiter does not analyze everything you wrote, even though you spent time writing it. They give it a quick skim. This also means do not waste your time creating a 2-3 page resume. The first page is the only information that will be looked at. Now you should be thinking, how can you impress someone in that short time frame? Right off the bat, you can eliminate anything that does not pertain to the position. For example, it is great that you were involved in soccer intramurals, but when trying to appeal to a professional in under 7 seconds, it’s not needed. That information can be brought up when chosen for an interview. Some other information that does not need to be included:
- Low Grades
- Unrelated Work Experiences
- Unrelated Hobbies
- Criminal Record
- Your Age
- Salary Information
Now that you know what not to include in your resume, let’s talk about what you should do.
This is important because if the recruiter chooses your resume, they need an easy way to contact you. At the top of your resume, you should create a professional header that includes your contact information. This can consist of your name, professional email and your phone number. It is important to note, the email cannot be email@example.com. The email needs to be professional. If you need to create a new email, you can do so here for free. Another component to include is a link to your professional sites. For example, if you have a digital portfolio or a completed LinkedIn profile, these are great ways to further highlight your skills.
Education and Relevant Experience
This is the meat and potatoes of the resume. In other words, this is the main section the recruiter will look at. Work experience should be relevant and in chronological order starting with your most recent position. When highlighting job experiences, it’s important to be direct and focus on tasks you have accomplished. For example, you can say, “innovated products that lead to a $400 increase in sales.” This statement is to the point. It shows what you have done and the success of it. When writing your resume, use the words that are in the job description you are applying for. These are keywords that will make your resume stick out. Moving onto education, this section should be brief. It should include the university you are attending or previously attended, the graduation date and the name of your degree with your major. Click here to see examples of different resumes based on jobs.
Certifications and Skills
This section should also be direct. It should state the certifications you have received. For example, you can include Google Analytics certified, HTML certified or any other accreditations you have received along with the date. This sets you apart from other candidates and makes you unique. It shows that you have advanced knowledge and went the extra mile. When highlighting your skillset, this should consist of hard skills only. Hard skills are tools you excel in which make you better at your job. For example, you might be an expert in Microsoft Excel because you have used it for the past 5 years. Hard skills can also include proficiency in analyzing data through specific programs, or any other skills you have mastered. These are qualities that will distinguish you as a candidate.
Format and Spelling
Many candidates put a lot of work into the quality of the content in their resume, but neglect to format it properly and spellcheck. Depending on the position, some employers are looking for a black and white picture-perfect resume, others want to see some creativity. When using your creativity, try to make it personalized to the company. This can be done by using their color scheme. For some examples of creative resumes click here. Lastly, spell checking is a necessity for a good resume. It is something so simple, but so impactful. Spelling errors make it appear as if you don’t care, which is the opposite of what you want the recruiter to think.
These tips will elevate your resume to give you the best chances at being selected. Make sure you are ready to talk about and elaborate upon everything you wrote in your resume. Good luck with your applications!