Key Resume Components That Will Help You Get An Interview
Six seconds. This is the average amount of time hiring decision-makers spend glancing at your resume before moving on. Resumes are an important tool for organizing information about you and your qualifications for a particular job. Submitting a stellar one is a critical first step to landing an interview. You want potential employers to read your resume and wonder where you’ve been all their lives! At its core, a resume is just words on a paper (or screen)—it’s no substitute for meeting the real you. We want to provide some tools for building your resume-writing skills. If your resume immediately stands out, hiring managers can get to the best part quicker—getting to know YOU.
Less is more.
As we mentioned above, recruiters and hiring managers will not spend any time reading through long paragraphs filled with exhaustive descriptions of all your experiences, roles and responsibilities. Make your headings obvious by clearly identifying company names, titles and dates. In the body, only include brief bulleted lists of your most relevant duties and skills. As you’re writing, keep in mind that one to two pages is an ideal length. You may need to cut out some details that are not directly related to the specific job you are applying for—that’s OK! It is better to leave out irrelevant details than to overwhelm readers with too much information.
Make sure you include terminology the employers used in the original job post and description. Applicant Tracking Systems allow companies to filter resumes without even setting eyes on them. This technology can eliminate candidates whose resumes are missing keywords and usher applicants right on through if they included the necessary terms and descriptions for their qualifications. We don’t want semantics to be the reason you’re not hired—an easy way to avoid this is to include the right words, while simultaneously avoiding embellishing or exaggerating your proficiencies.
Make it simple.
Another way to keep your resume in the running is to avoid distracting fonts or colors. It may seem counterintuitive, but the busier the resume, the less likely you are to stand out in a positive way. Remember that your resume is a professional document—not the place to showcase your creativity. Let your skills and accomplishments speak for themselves with a simple and easy-to-read font. You can make headlines bold and differentiate dates and titles with italics, but we would recommend keeping it uniform with minimal style changes throughout.
Include what makes you unique.
If there are certain skills or experiences that might help set you apart, showcase them in your resume. Volunteer opportunities, leadership experience and speaking multiple languages are all examples of special circumstances that will make you attractive to recruiters. You have distinctive qualities that will be assets to an employer—believe it! Think outside the box when it comes to deciding what to include. For additional support, you can research the types of information that people in similar positions have integrated in their submissions. This might trigger your memory and help you come up with some unique selling points.
Make it Relevant
Does your resume highlight experiences that are valued per the description of the job you are applying for? If you have a variety of skills and experiences, you may divide them up to appeal to different opportunities. We would recommend keeping two or three versions of a resume on file so that recruiters can easily pinpoint jobs for which you would be a good fit. Organizing information according to specific positions will focus your resume in a way that can make you even more appealing as a candidate.
Hopefully we provided some useful information about the appropriate way to format a resume in order to get hired. You may need to tweak and tailor it toward specific companies or positions as you are applying for jobs, but these basic points will always give you a solid foundation. It is important to spend time editing and perfecting your resume, but when you nail it down you will only have to make minor changes as you move forward in your career. Once you are confident in your resume, you can focus on the next important step—the interview! WiseHR Group is here to support you in your job search. Be sure to check our website for more resources!