When a company puts out a job listing, they’re probably going to get hundreds of responses. So how can you make sure that your resume doesn’t fall into the abyss, never to be seen by a hiring manager?
For one thing, you should start by writing your resume based off of the actual words used in the job description. Many companies use machines to scan through the massive pile of submissions, looking for resumes that match the keywords they’re looking for. If they ask for a social media strategist, you want to use the words “social media strategist” in your resume so that the computer zeros in on it.
Other strategies you can use to make sure your resume earns attention include:
Understand what that company is looking for
When you’re deep in the midst of a job search, it can be easy to let the various job descriptions blend together. You assume that the positions you’re applying to are similar enough that you can just send off your resume without really looking into what that particular job entails.
In reality, this is a major mistake. What Company A defines as a “social media marketer” may be entirely different from what Company B thinks the role encompasses. You read A’s job description and see that they want someone who can make snappy videos, so you focus your resume on that. However, if you took a second to look at Company B’s job description, you would notice that they have little to no interest in video production. In fact, they’re more focused on community management. So while your video production heavy resume is perfect for Company A, it will quickly get tossed out at Company B.
No matter how certain you are that you know what the company is looking for, before submitting anything you must actually read the job description. It sounds simple and it is, but it can make all of the difference. When you know what that specific organization wants out of a new hire, you’re able to properly illustrate how and why you can meet these requirements.
Use action words
Many job seekers are actually selling themselves short as they write their resumes. They go for passive phrases like “helped with” or “worked with.” These words do nothing to catch an employer’s attention, and may actually get your resume thrown out. Instead, make it impossible to skip over your resume by using powerful action words and real examples of past successes. Did you hit your quota for a certain number of months? State that. Do you know an important computer program? Make that known. Your resume is not the place to try to minimize your accomplishments. You only have a few minutes to impress an employer, so make sure you do it.
When you start to tailor your resume to the actual job description instead of making it general and vague, you’ll find that you have a much higher rate of success. Increase your chances of success even more by adding in powerful action words and key accomplishments.