If you're trying to land an interview to no avail, it may be time to evaluate your resume to determine whether it's turning off hiring managers. Think of this all-important document as your advertisement to let hiring managers know what you can bring to their organization and convince them that you're the best candidate for the job. Consider these quick tips to spruce up your resume.
1. Include a Professional Summary
Skip the outdated objective statement; instead, begin your resume with a professional summary that demonstrates your relevant education, applicable work experience, special skills and impressive achievements. While the old objective statements told an employer what you want, the professional summary shows what you can offer the organization.
2. Use Keywords to Your Advantage
Many organizations run submitted resumes through an applicant tracking system before a hiring manager ever lays eyes on them. Since the software scans for specific keywords and phrases, you need to choose important keywords from the job posting to incorporate into your resume.
3. Choose Action Verbs Carefully
Instead of simply listing your responsibilities on your resume, make use of action verbs to show off your skills and demonstrate your experience. Rather than writing that you "worked in the company's accounting department," tell how you "reconciled the organization's accounting records," "maintained the corporation's chart of accounts" or "prepared month-end financial statements."
4. Provide Quantitative Data
It's not enough to just list your accomplishments without sufficient evidence, so use quantitative data to back up your achievements. For example, if your resume states that you "supervised sales team," update it to tell how you "led a team of 14 salespersons, exceeding quarterly sales goals by at least 20 percent for a period or 3 years."
5. List Your Marketable Skills
Make sure your resume focuses heavily on skills you possess that are relevant to the position for which you're applying. Think about technical skills learned through education and experience, and also consider soft skills, such as working well in groups, time management, creativity or problem solving.
6. Decide on a Useful Format
If you have solid work experience, opt for a traditional resume format with headings for education and work experience. For recent grads with few employers, try a different approach — create headings for each of your skills and add bullets below each to demonstrate and elaborate on those skills. Include evidence from internships, volunteer opportunities or coursework.
7. Advertise Your Online Presence
Make sure recruiters looking at your resume can find your professional social media profiles or online portfolios easily. Provide web addresses beneath your contact information.
Hiring managers may look at hundreds of resumes for a single open position, so it's imperative that yours doesn't fade into the background with all the others. Rely on these seven quick tips when crafting your resume to ensure you make a unique first impression and land an interview.
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