Being on the job hunt can be stressful. You have to get a new suit (or dry clean your existing one), conjure up a resume, and pitch your abilities out to potentially hundreds of judging eyes. The worst part? You aren’t the only one trying to compete for the same person’s attention. This is why your resume really has to shine, as otherwise they’ll just be glossed over. How do you make sure you stand out in the crowd?
This is the first post in the series titled A Comprehensive Guide to Surviving the Workplace. It is aimed at guiding you through the steps it takes to get noticed by recruiters or hiring managers, giving you the tools you need to succeed, and offering tips to help you get your foot in the door.
Job Hiring Statistics
How long do you think a recruiter will take to study your resume? Five minutes? Three minutes? Unfortunately, no, this is not the case. The biggest problem that applicants face is the assumption that their skills are all they need to focus on when creating their resume.
According to a study by The Ladder, on average, recruiters will only spend an average of six seconds reviewing your resume. In that short amount of time, they will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education. So, what does it take to make a recruiter stop skimming and actually read your resume?
How to Write a Perfect Resume
While having a cover letter explaining your desires for the job you’ve applied for is beneficial, it’s not the only thing that the person on the other end will look for or take into account. You have to make sure that your resume itself is top notch. How do you do that?
- Use keywords. Recruiters use databases to search for potential candidates through the use of keyword searches to save time. To make your resume more visible to them, use words that would link you to your ideal job. For example, if you are a Java Developer, use keywords to highlight your previous experience such as: front end developer, Java JSP, web-based projects, back end development, etc. Being specific about your skillsets makes it easier for recruiters to find and contact you.
- Organization. Likely the most obvious must-have when it comes to building a resume, being sure it is organized is critical. If your resume is one enormous paragraph, you’re making it much harder on the recruiter to get a solid understanding of your experience. If you utilize a strict format with appropriate headers and bullets, not only will you make your resume look better and read easier, but you will also get more contacts and attention.
- Use of color. Be careful with this one. It can help you in some cases, but can hinder you if you don’t use it well. If you choose to use color in your resume, keep the colors muted and dark. This will make it eye-catching, but also easy to read. Also keep in mind that less is more; find a balance of just a few colors to keep your resume from being obnoxious.
- Be descriptive. To ensure that your work experience is accurately captured within your resume, be sure to strategically pick and choose jobs that are relevant to those you are applying to, as well as including a descriptive job overview. Ultimately, you want to give just enough information to pique the recruiter’s interest. If you overload your resume with tons of facts, your resume will become word heavy and be difficult to read through.
- Check for typos. Always check your resume for poor grammar and spelling errors. Once you are done checking it, check again. There is nothing more discrediting than having a resume full of obvious mistakes. Before you submit your resume to anyone, make sure to have a trusted friend look over it once or twice to catch any errors.
Resume Tip Summary
Just remember that a resume should reflect your professional personality and future work goals. Keep your resume short but informative, use keywords to make your resume search friendly, keep your information well organized, don’t be afraid to use color, and finally, make sure to have a friend spell check your resume for you. If you utilize these steps and add your own personal touches to your resume, you will be sure to impress recruiters.
Are you in the market for a new IT job? Submit your resume to us and we'll do all the heavy lifting. V-Soft is an IT staffing and solutions company with a presence in North America and India.