When applying for jobs, you want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Many people think that just because their spouse, best friend, co-worker, or someone else has looked over their resume that it is ready to go. They may send out dozens of copies and still not get the response they were anticipating. So what is the problem?
There could be several problems, actually. While your friends and colleagues have the best of intentions, they are not necessarily tuned in to what employers are looking for. Before sending out another round of resumes, consider asking yourself the following questions to see where your resume may be falling short.
Did I only list job duties?
One common mistake that the professionals at Chic Resumes see is that many people simply list job duties or responsibilities under their work experience. While this gives the hiring manager a general idea of what you did, it offers no support or evidence to how you did it or what it accomplished. Rather than stating, “Led 12-person sales team,” bring it to life by showing what you achieved. “Led 12-person sales team via implementation of strategic sales tactics, resulting in 20 percent increase in new business deals” packs more of a punch and highlights not only what you did, but also how and what the results were.
Did I include metrics?
Metrics are a wonderful way to demonstrate proof of a job well done. Integrate numerical figures – whether they are monetary amounts or percentages – to give backing to your claims. If you grew sales, reduced overhead, exceeded quotes, or increased profitability, by how much? If you have direct reports, how many? Numbers tend to stand out on a resume and draw in the reader’s attention because they want to know what those figures mean.
If you do not have access to specific figures, still make it a point to show what you have accomplished. While you may not know exactly how much you increased sales or decreased wait time, it is still worthwhile to mention these things and how you achieved them.
Are there keywords?
If the company is using an applicant tracking system or other type of scanner to review resumes and pare down candidates for interviews, keywords are essential. The top one-third of your resume is what hiring managers are most attracted to when they first look at it. This is where you should have your summary of qualifications (as opposed to an objective) and core competencies. Look at the job opening and pull out some of the same keywords that the employer lists. These are likely some of the skills they will be scanning for, and if you call them out as competencies, you are giving yourself an edge.
Is the format up to date?
If you are using the same format you used 10 years ago, it is probably time to make some changes. The job application and search process has evolved, and with it, resumes have as well. Trim down blocky paragraphs into concise, well-crafted bullet points instead. Using bold words and horizontal lines to break things up and show clear sections where hiring managers can easily find what they are looking for. Get rid of “references available upon request,” or, even worse, actually listing references on your resume. Make the most out of the space available while keeping it clean and professional looking.
These are a few of the areas where job seekers may find their resume is lacking. Getting a professional review or rewrite done can help candidates to target elements that need to be improved or elaborated upon. The professionals at Chic Resumes can help you update and polish your resume so that it gets noticed for all of the right reasons. Contact us today by calling (803) 831-7444(803) 831-7444, emailing email@example.com, or visiting www.chicresumes.com.