You’ve zeroed in on your dream position. Your CV/resume is ready to send. Or is it?
Before you upload your resume and click the golden “Apply” button, have you given it a thorough read? Have you done everything you can to make it catch a recruiter’s eye?
Job seekers typically spend hours creating, updating, seeking feedback and re-editing their resume, only to find that a recruiter spends less than seven seconds reviewing it. And in today’s Digital Age, this task is further simplified for recruiters, who use programs with algorithms that screen your resume quickly and effectively before it reaches their desk.
So, how do you get your resume noticed?
These five useful tips will help your resume stand out above the rest.
1. Keep it simple.
Candidates often use company jargon and abbreviations or acronyms that are not universally recognized. Read through your resume multiple times to ensure it can easily be understood by a high school student. For example, take the phrase: “Designed and implemented URT successfully at XYZ organization.” The reader likely does not know what URT stands for; stating “User Registration Tool” makes more sense.
2. Customize it.
Before applying for a position, go through the job posting to ensure you have the required qualifications. Take the time to customize your resume to meet the listed requirements. Recruiters—as well as algorithms—use the job description when screening. Your resume stands a higher chance of getting shortlisted if it’s tailored to the job. For example, if your resume states you have experience in training, while the job description asks for learning and development expertise, tweak it to reflect the same wording. Also, highlight or move relevant details that match the job description to the top of a section.
3. Stick to the point.
Keep it concise. Include a headline or executive summary of your experience and highest qualification at the top. Be judicious in deciding what information to include. For instance, if you have more than seven years of experience, make sure you focus on the work history that is relevant for the position you are applying to. If you have space constraints (which is often the case), remove content not directly related to the position.
4. Check your formatting.
Step one applies here as well: Keep it simple. Stick to standard fonts, such as Arial or Times New Roman, in a 10-12 font size. Break down long descriptions by using bullets and action words like designed, developed, launched, implemented and trained. Use nested bullets to further detail work experiences. Highlight employer names and titles by making them bold and using a bigger font size.
5. Finalize and save.
Final touches to your CV should include renaming the file to your name so that it is easier to identify and access, such as: FirstName_LastName CV. Save the file as a PDF to ensure that your formatting remains intact, but also keep the original, editable version in case the company requests a specific file type.
Following these steps is important. It’s also important that you share your CV with your network, and solicit feedback for ways to improve it. You may edit and rewrite it several times, so ensure that you know it inside and out as you prepare for your interview.
Good luck! We wish you all the best for your career aspirations.
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