The job market in 2018 is booming in the United States. The economy is solid, and there are a record number of open positions. These facts might make job seekers think they have it made, but nothing can be further from the truth. Your resume still plays a crucial role in determining whether or not you land your dream job. Get your resume seen by the right people with these five tips.
1. Create a Summary Statement
Instead of placing an objective statement at the top of your resume, craft a career summary statement. Employers don't need to know what you're looking for in a job. Rather, they want to know how your talents and skills directly relate to the job qualifications. Your summary statement can include two to three action-oriented sentences that showcase your quantifiable achievements. Use actual numbers and percentages instead of words to truly impress recruiters.
2. Use a Standard Resume Format
A standard resume format might seem plain and boring, but this familiar format makes your document easier to scan and read. Standard resumes are also more likely to make it past application tracking software than resumes with complicated layouts. Use bullets instead of thick paragraphs, and make sure your document has plenty of white space, as this makes it easier to skim. If possible, send your resume as a Microsoft Word file, since most applicant tracking software recognizes documents created with this program.
3. Make It Keyword and Algorithm Friendly
The only way to get a hiring manager's eyes on your resume is to ensure your document makes it past the tracking software's algorithm. There are a few tips that can help with this. Use a web-friendly font, such as Arial, Courier, Times New Roman or Tahoma, and maintain the same font throughout your document. Bullet points are fine, but avoid using any other special characters, such as dollar signs, number signs, brackets or slashes. Steer clear of excessive abbreviations or acronyms, since the algorithm may not recognize these as actual words. Finally, use keywords from the job description, but do so in moderation. The algorithm will recognize a keyword that's used once or twice, so don't overdo it.
4. Include Hard Skill Keywords
Another important tip is to use hard-skill keywords instead of soft-skill keywords. Soft-skill terms, such as "team player" or "good communicator" are often overused and don't make your document stand out. Instead, use terms that showcase your hard skills, such as "contract negotiator," "taxation specialist" or "grant writer." Hard skills are more specific and far more impressive.
5. Include a Cover Letter
A well-crafted cover letter should always accompany your resume. This document gives you an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other candidates while demonstrating your personality and voice to employers. In your cover letter, briefly discuss how you approach your work, overcome challenges and plan to contribute to the employer's success.
Even in a booming economy, technology can make it challenging for your resume to get into the right hands. Follow these five tips to help your resume pass through complicated software and algorithms with flying colors.
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