Think Outside the Box to Get Your Resume Noticed
Employers receive on average 50-250 applications per advertisement. On average. Which means it could be a lot more. And even if you have aced the automated screening many companies use, your resume only has seconds to catch the eye. As little as 10 seconds to be precise.
So, what can you do to get your resume noticed in a crowded and highly competitive market? You need to use a bit of psychology to understand how a hiring manager thinks and works. Therefore, give a value proposition. Always be highlighting ways you can improve them and give measurable examples of your achievements to back up your claim. Remember, this is not just about you – it is about what you can do for your prospective employer. They need to feel like they are being pitched to and appreciated as an organisation.
This is an important tip regardless – the more specific accomplishments you can highlight, the better. Key achievements really help highlight you as an individual. Additionally, they help present you as more than just the sum of your qualifications and employment history. The hiring manager wants to get a glimpse of you the person.
The Power of LinkedIn
Networking. Do not underestimate this word. Most employees right across the board rely on professional networks like LinkedIn. Additionally, this is a superb way for you to keep across development in your industry and speak with peers. Many employers will search social media spaces to assess potential employees. This can be a negative thing, but with LinkedIn, it is very much a positive.
Remember, building a network requires consistent work, and a strong network will take time to achieve. Start building your professional network now—even early in your university career. Your network should include anyone who might have a connection that will help. This means family, friends and neighbours, past and present co-workers, managers, people you met through associations, and alumni from your university. And remember, whether you provide a LinkedIn profile link or not, employers will most likely look you up. So, if you have one, use it and present yourself as a proactive candidate as opposed to them having to search for it.
Keywords are King
Get into the habit of using relevant keywords and align them with the job advertisement. Remember, 60% of white-collar resumes will be reviewed by filtration software. Additionally, most are rejected without being read by human eyes. Why is this? It’s because keywords form the basis of that filtration system. Furthermore, use keywords relevant to your profession and skill set, but also use positive, affirmative adjectives. Avoid using passive voice in your writing. And remember, do not overstuff your resume with keywords – this can look obvious and off-putting as the text will not flow naturally. Just find the right balance.
According to a Forbes article: “Depending on how a specific Applicant Tracking System (ATS) works, the location and frequency of keywords within your resume can be extremely important. Typically, the better your resume matches the job description requirements, the higher you’ll rank in the ATS. Additionally, it’s common practice for companies to begin reviewing applicants from the top of the ranking list – bad news for job seekers who haven’t added keywords to their resume.”
A Final Few Tips
To wrap up, here some small, but key recommendations to get your resume noticed – add a cover letter to give your resume a punchy introduction; make sure it is free of typos and grammatical errors – an instant turn-off; get rid of old jobs or those that do not support your current career path; try not to make your resume a one-size-fits-all affair – tweak your resume to best match the job you are applying for.
Remember, use these tips to get your resume noticed and from there to make sure it is read. This is far more than half the battle, and you will be in the best position possible to make that interview shortlist.