Face it. As a job seeker, the odds of getting interviews through online applications are slim. Hiring managers want impressive job candidates, but they use applicant-tracking systems that take the personality out of resume writing. Hiring managers scan your resume for mere seconds before making a preliminary decision. To get more interviews, send your resume and cover letter straight to employers, and convey these key selling points in your application.
1. You Write Well
Anyone can claim to be a good communicator, but the glaring flaws in your writing can instantly contradict that statement. Write clear, concise sentences with down-to-earth language, and thoroughly proofread your work to remove embarrassing typos.
2. You Understand the Job
Nothing is worse than a candidate who rambles on about unrelated work experience. Start off strong in your cover letter by explaining why your core skills or interests prompted you to contact the hiring manager.
3. You Speak Like a Human
Show hiring managers you aren't a jargon robot who spits out buzzwords. Avoid overused phrases, and craft a list of precise value statements to highlight achievements. Describing how you doubled your last employer's social media following is more effective than calling yourself a "strategic, results-oriented leader with game-changing potential."
4. You Have Personality
Skipping the formal application process gives you more freedom to inject personality, since you don't have to stuff your resume with keywords. Try to write in your own voice, briefly mentioning experiences that offer a more complete picture of your character. If your target employer works with international clients, feel free to mention overseas work or multilingual skills.
5. You Researched the Company
Hiring managers don't care about your qualifications when your resume doesn't seem like an obvious fit for the job. Tailor your resume to the employer, showing readers you understand how to solve problems for each specific company.
6. You Know Your Stuff
Leave no doubts about your abilities and knowledge of the industry. Offer brief descriptions of the roles you served in past jobs and how they fit into the company's overall goals.
7. You Get Results
Having a title doesn't mean you're good at what you do. Make it easy for hiring managers to picture you making an impact. Explain how you achieved positive results for past employers, and include measurable statements to back up your claims.
8. You Make Good Career Decisions
Don't let hiring managers make assumptions about career changes or gaps. Be proactive, and weave short explanations into bullet points to eliminate lingering questions. Explaining that you left a job to pursue entrepreneurship or explore a new industry reassures readers that your skills are still up to date.
9. You Are Confident
Desperation is not attractive, and employers don't really want candidates who chases every job. Instead, speak confidently about what you can accomplish, showing employers you value your skills.
10. You Have a Compelling Story
After reading your resume, hiring managers should believe it satisfies key criteria. Think about the most pressing questions on an employer's mind, and aim to answer them in your resume.
Resume writing is easier when you can be genuine and concentrate on selling your skills. Hiring managers also want to know details about promising candidates, so make sure your resume shows your uniqueness.
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