Even as many job opportunities go unfilled in today’s job market, there’s still a lot of competition to land the best opportunities. If you’re looking to have a “career” vs. simply a job, it’s important to have the right combination of education, experience and skills to stand out from other candidates. Which is where a strong resume can help.
While it’s certainly important to have great experience, education, etc., if you’re not communicating them properly, busy HR professionals and hiring managers may pass you by. What’s more, a great career opportunity can come out of nowhere – and having a resume that’s updated and in good shape can help get your fantastic skills in front of an employer faster.
Here are 4 tips to consider to ensure you’re presenting your qualifications in the best ways possible:
Customize your Resume for Each Job
Your resume gives potential employers insight into your qualifications. Update your resume regularly to include your most current skills and work experience. You shouldn’t have to re-work it from the ground up, but when you apply for a new job, customize your information so it emphasizes the experiences and skills the employer is seeking. You can also remove experiences that aren’t relevant.
Go Beyond Job Responsibilities – Highlight Achievements
One of the biggest resume mistakes is to include a long list of responsibilities from your current or past job. Imagine the bleary-eyed hiring manager reading the same stuff on virtually every resume! It’s a recipe for NOT getting hired.
Go beyond the superficial by including achievements and results that you can clearly document. Don’t submit a lengthy report on every accomplishment you’ve ever had, but pick three or four verifiable achievements. If you were promoted, given more responsibilities, managed people, or increased revenue, include them (but keep it short).
Use Relevant Keywords
One of the best ways to get your resume read is to use keywords optimized for the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that recruiters and employers use. An ATS allows hiring organizations to process hundreds of resumes for relevant keywords and narrow down the pool of applicants likely to get an interview. You can find the best keywords by:
Reviewing the job listing for keywords
Googling “industry keywords” and using the most relevant ones
Using a free ATS to scan your resume for opportunities to optimize your keywords
Check Your LinkedIn Profile
Your resume isn’t the only place an employer can find out about your qualifications. Many hiring managers and HR pros assess potential new hires by viewing their social media profiles. So it’s smart to review, update, and if necessary, clean up your online information. Most employers will look at your LinkedIn account, so be sure it’s up-to-date, and it truly reflects your skills.
Be sure the information on LinkedIn matches what’s in your resume. Update your page as necessary and provide your interests and latest experience, including achievements, projects, and anything else that’s relevant to your professional aspirations. And don’t forget to ask coworkers and friends to recommend you in the testimonial thread!
Inter-Connect is a free permanent, temporary and temp-to-hire placement service agency that partners with companies throughout the Illinois, Missouri and Iowa Tri-State region. As staffing experts, we partner with our job candidates to connect them with the right opportunities to meet their career goals. To learn more, contact us today.
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