Characteristics of Strong Resume
They say that a good resume is the most important aspect of searching for a job. In fact, having a strong resume can win half the battle for you. Sure, it won’t actually get you the job, but it is an effective way to get your foot in the door. A recruiter does not have time to meet with everyone who applies for a job, which depending on the job and the company can range from dozens to even hundreds. So, they use the resume to shorten the list.
However, did you know that a recruiter spends approximately 6 minutes on each resume? That is hardly enough time to properly read and go through a resume, which means that the weakest resume, i.e. the ones that are not interesting, or cannot hold the attention of the recruiter get thrown out first. It doesn’t matter if these applicants had the best qualifications or the most experience, because the recruiter did not make it that part. They took one look at the resume, found it uninteresting and threw it out.
Look and feel
While it may sound superficial, but the look and feel of a resume is important. How can a recruiter be expected to take a candidate seriously, if their resume does not project professionalism. If you are a media creative, and want to show off your skills then it is acceptable to have a creative out there resume. However, if that is not the case, then ensure that you stick to the industry standards, which includes using a professional font, such as Times New Roman, at 12 points and in black color. If you are printing your resume, ensure that you print of a good quality paper, not too expensive, but not too cheap either.
Language and Grammar
It goes without saying but language and grammar are of the most importance. In fact, it can make or break your career. Even if you have the best resume and the best qualifications of the lot, you just might get rejected if you make grammatical mistakes in your resume, and this applies to all fields and careers, regardless of whether or not language plays a big part in that. Sadly, in this world people judge others, and hence if the grammar and language portrayed in your resume is not immaculate, then you are likely to be judged for it, and primarily as either not intelligent or not attentive, which you do not want.
Duties, responsibilities and accomplishments
Instead of focusing completely on the title of your previous job or its description, focus on the duties and responsibilities and had in that position. Mentions some of the key aspects of the job you oversaw as well as some of you accomplishments, such as oversaw a team of 10 members, or successfully launched a new product line.
The idea behind this is that the recruiter won’t be able to notice your qualities or know what potential you have just by looking at your previous job title. There are many people who have a reputable job title but don’t do much in that job, whereas there are people who may not be high on the totem pole but have great potential to achieve things. You want to be seen as the later rather than be that person who throws their title around.
Editing and updating a resume is a tedious task, one no one likes to enjoy. Hence, we are all tempted to superficially update the resume and then use that same resume everywhere. After all, you are applying for similar jobs in the same field, so how different does your resume need to be?
Turns out a bit. It is recommended that each resume be tailored for the job or position you are applying for. Each job is unique and each recruiter is looking for something different, whatever they think suites the position best. Hence, look at the job descriptions and modify your resume accordingly.
Did you know that in today’s ever advancing digital age, there are chances that when you apply for a job, you may get rejected, without a recruiter ever having looked at your resume? In these cases, especially in the larger companies, recruiters tend to use a software to look for relevant keywords with the resumes. The ones that do have the keywords that the recruiter is looking for make it to the next step, which is where the recruiter looks at it. The ones that do not have the keywords tend to be disregarded.
Hence, it is very important that the resume have all the relevant keywords that the recruiter might look for. Here the job description as posted by the company comes in handy. Look through the job description and note the keywords that they use to define the job and the candidate. Make sure you include those keywords in your resume, as well as any other keywords that may be associated with those. However, ensure that you include those keywords organically, i.e. naturally. It should not look like the keywords are being forced in, but rather that they naturally appear.