Having great experience and skills doesn’t get you a job interview; having a great resume does.
A job interview will allow the company to determine if you have the experience they’re looking for, but without a great resume you won’t even get a foot in the door.
This quick 5 point checklist will cover 5 common resume mistakes and what you SHOULD do instead.
If your resume already meets the criteria, great! Proceed with confidence.
If not, fix these issues immediately before applying for more jobs. You’ll see a huge different in the amount of responses after you make these changes. It is likely that your call-back rate will double or triple.
It’s crucial to have your current or most recent work or job-related experience on the top of your resume’s first page. This is usually the first thing hiring managers look for, and they’re not very patient when it comes to finding it.
Make it easy to find, or run the risk of using up the hiring manager’s patience before they even find this important info.
Hiring managers don’t read resumes, they skim them. They look for keywords, section titles and headers, important facts and statistics, etc. If you wrote your resume under the assumption that it will be read word-for-word, go back and redo it! It’s going to be skimmed, so you might as well plan for it and take advantage.
Use clear headers (work history, education, etc.) and use bullet points and short statements instead of paragraphs wherever possible.
Hiring managers like quantifiable results on your resume. Don’t just say you exceeded your goals. Say you exceeded your goals by an average of 29% through each quarter in 2013.
Here are 3 other examples of quantifiable facts and statistics that somebody could (and should) include on a resume:
Hiring managers aren’t scanning your resume to determine if you’re smart, hard-working, or any of that stuff. That will be determined in an actual interview.
So what are they looking for? Evidence that you can hit the ground running and contribute immediately in the position you applied for, based on your past experiences.
You should be looking for keywords and required skills on the job description and tailoring your resume to demonstrate your experience in these areas.
Don’t get fancy. This isn’t the time or place to test a new cool font or mess around with 3 different layers of bullet points (although bullet points are great if you keep the setup simple).
Hiring managers look at a lot of resumes, and most look similar. This isn’t a bad thing- it allows the hiring manager to find the important info quickly. Whether you like it or not, that’s what they’re trying to do.
If your resume is the one in the pile that makes this task more difficult, it’s not a good thing for your job search.