Do you know how much time a typical recruiter spends on a single resume?
A mere 15-20 seconds.
Simply put, the chances of you getting shortlisted for an interview on a generic resume is almost zero.
Google receives around 2 million applicants each year out of which they select only 5000.
With so much competition everywhere, you need to make sure your resume stands out to increase your chances of getting shortlisted.
Mentioning quantifiable bullet points, refraining from including redundant information, including action words and highlighting accomplishments are the some of the tips you can implement while writing your resume.
To make it easy for you guys, we have a compiled a list of 13 useful tips that will help you write the perfect resume in 2017.
1. Keep It Simple
A recruiter has only a couple of seconds to go through your resume and decide whether to shortlist you or not. Don’t stack up the odds against your favour by sending a resume that’s not easily skimmable.
If you do, chances are, the recruiter might get frustrated trying to go through your resume and simply reject you.
Have your resume structured in such a way that it’s simple, easily scannable and to the point. You would not want to bore the recruiter with redundant information.
2. What Should Be The Font Type And Size?
Use a standard font like Arial. It’s easy on the eyes and easily readable even with smaller font size. You can also use Calibri, Garamond, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, and Helvetica for the same reasons.
Another important thing to remember, never mix and match fonts.
Always stick to one throughout your resume.
And about the font size, the header should be sized between 20 and 22, section head could range from 12 to 14, while the main body should be between 10 and 12.
3. Should I Add My Linkedin Profile?
Always remember to include only relevant contact details.
Your name is basically your introduction and therefore, it should always come at the very top of your resume.
Also, add a phone number along with the country code and an appropriate email address to your resume. Refrain from adding an email address like ‘[email protected]’ and instead create a professional address like ‘[email protected]’
And since your Linkedin profile is an extension of your professional life, you can definitely add a link to your linkedin profile in your resume. Make sure your Linkedin profile is updated though.
4. Include Relevant Work Experience
Mention only relevant work experience in your resume.
If you are applying for Digital Marketing Associate position, there’s no need to mention the fact that you have worked as a Software Tester in your previous job. However, mentioning that you did an internship working as a Content Writer at XYZ firm would be a good idea.
5. Optimize And Quantify Your Bullet Points
Since the recruiter usually skims through the data on a resume, it’s best to avoid adding any lengthy paragraphs in the resume. The recruiter won’t read them anyway.
Bullet points are the most effective way to express information.
Keep your bullets to 1 – 2 lines (As anything more than that would look like a paragraph)
As for the quantifying bullet points, let’s take an example.
Example A : Streamlined inspection process by upgrading sensing and marking devices.
Example B : Managed project to upgrade defect sensing and marking devices, resulting in the elimination of human inspection on line, saving $200,000 to $350,000 per year.
Which explains the bullet point better?
In Example B, we could visualize the visible impact the person had simply by quantifying data.
Hence it’s best to quantify your bullet points the impact it will cause would be tremendous.
6. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) Use Action Words. You Should Too.
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) process resumes submitted by applicants.
When you submit your resume through an ATS, it stores your resume and an entry in the database.
The recruiters then search for keywords for the particular job opening. If your resume contains the keywords the employer wants, then the ATS will rank you higher in the search results.
The keyword searches by recruiters also include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening.
Action words are basically keywords that the recruiter is looking for while browsing through resumes. Make sure your resume contains the relevant ones.
Consider this. You’re applying for the position of a Sr. Project Manager where your prime responsibility is to increase efficiency, sales, revenue while at the same time reduce costs. If you have experience doing something similar in the past, you should jot it down in your resume using a lot of action words.
For a job position like this, the action words could be –
7. How Important Are Educational Achievements?
Always mention your educational qualifications after your work experience in the resume. Employers are more interested in the work that you have done than where you went to college.
Unless you’re a recent graduate with hardly any work experience. Then it’s alright to list it before work experience.
Highlight achievements such as academic honors, club positions, scholarships, etc in your resume. Hiring managers know that achievers are self-starters, motivated, and an asset to their company.
8. Skills and Interests
A lot of people go wrong here. Many people feels that adding all the possible skills in their job resume will make them look competent.
The company you’re interviewing with is looking out for a specific set of skills in their prospective employee. Adding anything apart from those skills would be a waste of space as it won’t matter to the hiring manager.
So how to find what skills is the company looking for?
Easy. Just read the job description carefully. You’ll find all the essential details, including the skills that they are looking for, in the job description.
Again, a lot of people go wrong when it comes to adding information in the interests section.
You should not list all your hobbies in the interests section. A good tip, is to read the job description carefully and list your hobbies/interests accordingly.
If the job demands you to be outgoing person, mentioning that you binge watch sitcoms or play chess in your free time probably won’t be a good idea. But listing trekking or playing basketball would be a good one.
9. Have You Volunteered Recently?
Adding volunteer work is an excellent way to showcase skills such as event planning, teamwork, fundraising, etc. Most companies look favorably upon employees who contribute in a positive way to the surrounding community.
So if you have volunteered for a NGO or a student run organisation, be sure to mention that in your resume.
10. How To Deal With Gaps?
If you have had a gap period between two consecutive jobs, you can make it less of an issue by eliminating the start and end dates of the previous jobs in the work-ex section.
However, if it comes up in the interview be honest about it and mention any volunteer work or relevant skills you might have picked up during the gap period.
11. Don’t Make Any Grammatical Errors
Always proofread your resume before sending it out to the recruiter.
Grammatical errors like word choices, spelling errors, and punctuation errors won’t be tolerated and even if they are, would create a poor impression of you in front of the recruiter.
Also, always write your resume in active voice.
Let’s take an example,
Example A : Selected as interim supervisor for 12–15 employees. (Passive Voice)
Example B : Managed 12–15 employees as summer interim supervisor. (Active Voice)
Even though both statements essentially mean the same thing, Example B conveys that the person did the managing and puts him in the authoritative position as opposed to Example A where it looks like someone else should be given credit.
12. Send It As A PDF
Always send your file in a pdf format.
Having your resume sent in a pdf format will substantially reduce any formatting errors that might occur on the recruiter’s end, if their editing software is different from yours.
Also, name your file in such a way that it’s instantly distinguishable from others. For e.g. ‘John Doe Resume’ is better than just ‘Resume’????.
With a typical recruiter spending only a couple of seconds going through your resume, the importance of a good resume cannot be debated.
Don’t let your current resume hold you back from getting that dream job of yours.
Use the above mentioned 12 tips to create a job resume that’ll get the attention it deserves.
For more tips, check out this post on 23 Resume Writing Tips to Create the Perfect Job Resume in 2017 to take your resume to the next level.