According to Obama’s key economic adviser, there are three unemployed Americans for every one job opening. Finding a job seems even more difficult these days. The reason, Tara Sinclair, a George Washington University economics professor points to, is the employed are also looking to switch jobs. With less job openings and more applicants applying for the same positions, how can a professional keep their resume from being sent to the trash can? Here are four tips to make a resume stand out and a HR hiring manager say ‘I want to hire you.’
Skip the job experience if it is more than 20 years old. Only use job experience if it is relevant to the position the applicant wants. Be specific on what skills you have. Saying ‘earned Best Regional Manager for tri-state area of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska’ has more weight than ‘has great sales record in three states.’ HR recruiters look for the best candidate who will fit in with the company’s unwritten culture. One in five employers worldwide complain applicants don’t have the skills needed. If an applicant can show an employer they have soft skills needed: motivation, flexibility, punctuality and interpersonal skills, they have a better chance of getting a job.
It is no secret that big companies, such as Procter and Gamble, use screening systems to weed out candidates. In 2011, the company got a million applicants for 65,000 retail positions. The $5,000 system scans for keywords, former employers, years of experience, and schools attended. By noting candidates that have this information, this helps Fortune 5000 companies,etc. pick the applicants that mostly are the best and most likely matches for jobs. Using keywords will make certain an applicant isn’t weeded out unnecessarily.
Don’t take these words to mean use a font that is hard to read and leave bolded subheadings on a resume. Bend rules and use an untraditional resume format, but keep the experience relevant. Make it as easy to read as possible. If an an applicant plans to attach an emailed resume, make certain it is easily uploaded, downloaded, searched and reviewed. Not all companies will have scannable software to help during the application process. Nineteen percent of hiring managers at smaller companies admitted they were reading all the resumes received.
Don’t send similar resumes to the same company for different positions. Craft each one so they are different and still contain the necessary keywords. By sending two resumes that are the same, this sends the message a job seeker is desperate to get a job. It also isn’t the best way to showcase skills to hiring managers. If a job seeker does not receive a response from a company and wants to know if a resume was received, do not be afraid to emphasise previous points made in the resume.
Following all these tips and keeping a resume to a page, (unless an applicant has more than 10 years of relevant job experience or is a senior executive) is appropriate. If hiring managers see an applicant has people skills or backing up claims on resume, they may be offered a job. Remember how well an applicant sell themselves makes a resume stand out. A small mistake can create a bad impression and cost any applicant a job.