7 Tips To Writing a Killer Resume That Gets You Hired
Greatness takes time and effort and so does writing a killer resume.
Consider your resume to be a marketing document- where the product is you! You are the advertisement.
Think of every ad you’ve ever seen on TV. They are short, sharp and attention grabbing. Your resume is your first chance to make an impression and it determines if there’ll be a second chance- an interview.
Is it possible to achieve this? Absofreakinglutely. Lool!
But first, let’s talk about the 7 seconds rule.
Recruiters look at piles of resumes all day and pre-screen to decide which resumes they’ll spend extra time on.
On average, it takes a recruiter 7 seconds to determine if your resume is worth that extra time or should be thrown in the rejection pile.
But wait! Before you get mad and think it is unfair to be “judged” in a matter of seconds, it’s important you understand the dynamics of hiring.
Let’s use location as an example.
If the job is based in Seattle and an applicant lives in Washington D.C, this is grounds for quick rejection. Few companies will pay for relocation. The exception would be a highly skilled job that requires a unique experience.
Don’t forget, your contact information which usually includes your address is at the top of your resume. This will take only 1 second.
Another example is industry. Let’s say the company you applied to is in banking but your background is mostly in healthcare and you don’t have a degree in finance, this would be grounds for an automatic rejection as well.
Spotting this information will take 2-3 seconds.
A seasoned recruiter is immediately looking for; your name, most recent experience, dates of employment, level (if needed) and education. Your goal is to make it through the first pre-screening. That being said, these are some tips to help you write a great resume.
1. Work Your Resume in Reverse:
Think of your resume writing as a rough draft of an essay where you write without restraint at first.
List everywhere you went to school, experiences, training, honors and or awards. When you’ve completed this draft, trim. Get rid of any information that’s irrelevant and or not closely related to the current position.
2. Contact and Profile Summary:
Your resume should include your name and contact information. This should be the first information the recruiter sees.
The email address listed should be professional and current. For instance, email@example.com will not cut it. We’re in 2018 and it’s still an issue.
When all else fails, keep your email address simple using your first and last name.
Be sure to include a profile summary; it states exactly what it is you want. Here are some samples:
Detail focused, highly ethical accounting professional with work experience in small and mid size business and non profit sector looking to contribute to the company’s success.
Self directed professional with excellent problem solving, analytical and communication skills. Adept at managing assignments and meeting tight deadlines in a fast paced environment.
3. Stay Organized:
It is rare a recruiter reviews your resume from bottom up. They’re more likely to read from top down.
This means your resume should be organized in order of priority and relevance.
If you’re a recent graduate with a high GPA, and a lot of school activities under your belt, it’s best to list your education along with your school accomplishments on the top.
If you’ve been out of school for a few years with several jobs, go ahead and list your professional experiences and accomplishments first.
Include dates for everything. Everything. If there’s a gap, be sure to explain it in your cover letter.
4. Customize and Update:
Do you know recruiters can tell when a resume isn’t tailored for a position?
Yes, they know when they’re looking at a generic resume.
I know it is time consuming writing several resumes; it’s okay to have a template but you’ll need to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.
This means using the appropriate keywords for each industry as it relates to the job. If you send your resume electronically, chances are it may end up in a resume database first.
Recruiters search these databases using specific keywords.
5. Quantify Your Accomplishments:
What did you accomplish at your previous job(s)?
Blankets statements like, “I was responsible for saving the company money” will not make you stand out. How much money are we talking about?
Think results and impact. A better statement is one that creates a visual and is quantifiable. Here are some examples:
Increased sales in my department by 15% in 3 months while managing 20 accounts.
Coordinated Operation Clean up Project which lead to the company saving approximately $150,000.
Reviewed 50+ medical necessity documents weekly to expedite approvals and ensure that appropriate follow up is performed.
6. Be Brief:
Brevity is the soul of wits. So let’s get to the point shall we? Keep your resume to one page even if you have a long career. At the maximum, 2 pages.
The further into your past, the less detail you should have.
Don’t include irrelevant information from a job you had say 10 years ago. It might hurt you.
Instead of going on and on, focus on using actions and your keep your writing to bullet points. Overall, cut out experiences that don’t add value to the resume if it will help you keep your resume to one page.
7. Proofread, and Then Proofread Some More:
It is extremely important that you proof read your resume before submitting it. Spelling and grammar errors makes you stick out like a sore thumb.
You can start off by running the grammar check as you create your resume.
Experts say you see errors clearly by printing. This is SO true!
Print it out if you must or have someone else review your resume for you. There’s no reason why you should have a typographical error on your resume.
Have you ever had your resume prevent you from getting a job? As a recruiter, can you add some more tips? Share your experiences below.