The purpose of meticulously crafting a resume is to land yourself an interview; therefore in order to get you to this crucial point, you must spend some considerable time on this document. Studies have revealed that there are certain criteria that can be both essential and effective to make your resume stand out from all the rest.
The first concept to consider, and the one which holds true across all industries and job listings, is the severe time constraints that hiring managers are under. As a result, recruiters have developed a way to quickly scan incoming resumes and sort them into “fit” and “no fit” candidate piles. In fact, this distinction technique takes only about a handful of seconds which means that it can be that quick to eliminate your resume. Some surefire ways to help keep your resume on recruiters’ radar would be to adhere to these simple strategies:
Stick to a one-pager:
Unless you have some earth shattering information to add in that would require you to have two pages for your resume, the hard and fast rule here is to stick to one page for your resume. Again, this point goes to the fact that hiring managers just do not have the time to sift through an abundance of information. For the most part they are just glancing over your document and picking out highlights that would lead them closer to a decision.
Consistency and comprehensibility:
Orderliness and good visual flow are vital during the first few seconds that your resume is being scanned. Therefore, make sure to keep a consistent font size (recommended: 10 or 12 pt), avoid color inks (recommended: black only), use standard margins (recommended: 1-1.25 inches all around), and highlight or bold only important headings (such as degrees or job titles). Make sure the document is “readable” and inviting – not too much or too little writing. Avoid heavy paragraphs; bulleted text wins with resumes.
Have no doubt – hiring managers see and eliminate resumes that have typos, misspellings, and grammar errors. In addition, it is always best to use strong active verbs when describing work experiences and past duties. Avoid the passive voice and stay concise with wording. These techniques work in your favor when a recruiter does his/her initial scanning, as they aid in quick understanding.
Because a resume is designed to give a snapshot of your skills to hiring managers, it should not only easily and directly showcase them, but also the resume should convince the reader that they make a good match for the advertised job position. In fact, as everything is moving to a virtual platform, many employers have moved to technologies that can pick out keywords that should show up for specific open positions and if emailed resumes do not contain them, they get disregarded. Thus, make your resume as relevant as possible to convince a recruiter you make the perfect candidate and to proceed with a phone interview.
In a nutshell, you can surmise some “secrets” in standing out in the resume reviewing process and they can include:
- Write in brief bullet points, using strong verbs
- Do not attempt to use the exact same resume for each position you are pursuing, i.e. be prepared to tweak it slightly for relevancy with the specific job responsibilities
- Make sure your resume is visually appealing enough to be considered for a recruiter scan
- Read and reread your resume to catch errors and statements that may sound awkward
- Include significant accomplishments and rewards
Always try to put yourself in the hiring manager’s seat each time you send out your resume. Craft your resume to send a message, and make sure you clean up your online presence in case a recruiter decides to proceed with a social media background check. Consider the time constraints and the typical process that goes with choosing the right candidates to interview. Once you are keen on how it is on the other side, you could gain the right insight to make your resume standout from all the others.