Job applications are known to be tedious and stressful. We all know how the dance goes: you spend time and energy tailoring a concise summary of your work history, which you send out to countless companies. You then wait patiently for their answer, sometimes for what feels like an eternity, and most of the time, you receive a rejection – or worse, no reply at all. After a tiny period of grieving, you begin the whole process all over again.
According to Glassdoor.com, every live job advertisement receives an average of 250 applications. With so many candidates to sift through, recruiters or hiring managers end up taking only 6 to 8 seconds to glance through each resume, before deciding whether or not they want to shortlist a candidate for a job.
What does this mean for job seekers? Can you really stand out amongst a sea of competitors in just 6 short seconds? Don’t worry, we have here 6 tried-and-true tips to help you create a resume that can not only catch a recruiter’s attention in a short time, but also hold it long enough for them to finish perusing your application. Read on to find out more.
1. Tailor your resume to the job that you’re applying for
Before you begin crafting your resume, review the description and company website of the job that you’re applying for. Understand what the company is looking for, and determine how you can best contribute to their needs with your current skillset and knowledge.
When going through the job description, identify relevant keywords for this job and industry, and include those naturally in your resume. Some companies use tracking systems to filter resumes for relevant terms, so if you don’t want to get passed on for a job that can be perfect for you, do not ignore this step.
2. Keep it concise
Remember that you are writing a resume, not a novel. Try to keep things within 1 to 2 pages, and avoid adding unnecessary information in the document.
If you’re a more experienced candidate, you may have held a considerable number of positions over the years. You do not need to list them all – just highlight the skills and experiences that match the job you are applying for. It’s also good to begin with a strong summary statement, which provides an overview of your key skills, experience, and what you bring to the table. This will help recruiters get a good idea of who you are within a glance.
3. Focus on accomplishments
Instead of just listing job duties, speak about your accomplishments and the results you’ve achieved throughout your career. Use numbers and metrics to demonstrate your impact. For example, instead of listing a fact like “performed sales and marketing activities for XXX company”, you can add details like “boosted sales by over 20% in 2 years”.
4. Be professional
Use a clean and easy-to-read format that is consistent throughout your resume. This includes using a professional font like Georgia, Times New Roman, Calibri or Helvetica; and including bullet points and headings instead of paragraphs.
On top of that, try to avoid flashy designs or low-contrast colors that can make it hard for recruiters to read your resume’s content. Even if you are applying for design-oriented or creative jobs, you can still keep the design clean and professional, and showcase your creativity in your portfolio instead.
Did you know that you can use Canva to create a well-designed resume? Take a look at this video to find out more!
5. Be mindful of details
Always double check to ensure that your resume is grammatically correct and error-free. Use spell check software, have someone else review it, and read it aloud to catch any mistakes.
In addition, make sure that your resume is up-to-date. Many job seekers send out the same resume again and again when applying for jobs, even after they have gathered new experiences and achievements. This can result in recruiters rejecting you for a job that you are actually qualified for, just because you failed to list down the latest accomplishments in your application.
To help you craft a powerful resume and cover letter, watch this video for expert advice.
6. Showcase your unique qualities
A lot of times, candidates who apply for the same position tend to have similar qualifications. Therefore, you can highlight unique experiences or skills that you have to make you stand out. This can include volunteer work, extra certifications, or other relevant achievements.
One of the easiest ways to stand out in a job application is to include certificates that you’ve gained for skills relevant to the job that you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a digital marketer position, certificates in Facebook marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing etc can help you greatly in showcasing your capabilities to a recruiter.
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Follow these tips to create a standout resume that catches the attention of potential employers:
- Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for
- Keep it concise
- Focus on your accomplishments
- Be professional
- Be mindful of details
- Showcase your unique qualities
All the best in your job search journey!