Acquiring a job in today’s world isn’t as easy as it used to be 20 years ago. Most employers have applications online, so you can’t even put your name to a face unless you’re one of the lucky few to get an interview.
With online applications, depending on the job you’re applying for, the process is simple and easy. Answer a few questions, submit a cover letter and your resume, sign your name with an E-signature, and submit. You then begin the process of the waiting period to hear back – if they even contact you for a rejection.
The problem with this is that hundreds if not thousands of others are also applying to the same job online. So, how do you stand out among them?
Though you may have the same qualifications, your resume may be what’s not getting you the job. With a resume that’s short, sweet, and effective your name will be the one employers remember.
The first and most important thing to remember when creating your resume is that it won’t get read all the way through the first time. Most recruiters spend only 6 seconds scanning a resume, and 4-5 minutes per resume.
Because of this, you’ll have to carefully format your resume. Scanning is harder to do when the resume is poorly organized, is more than one page, or hard to read.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when formatting your resume to help you stand out and make it easier to read during the scanning process.
- Use wide margins, clean type, and clear headings
- Only use bold or italics in appropriate areas that will help guide the reader’s eye
- Use bullet points to call attention to important areas like skills and accomplishments
Make sure to include all your necessary contact information so they can get in touch with you! While you don’t need to include your home address, you should include your phone number and professional email address.
If you have an online resume or LinkedIn where they can find more information, add that as well!
2. Include Keywords and Skills
Each job you apply to should have a custom cover letter; you should also tailor your resume to the job as well to help make it stand out. When customizing, include the same keywords which appeared in the job description.
Keywords are the ones used most often in the job description. Include these in your bullet points or your resume summary. If you aren’t sure which keywords to include, there are a variety of online sources which will analyze the job description for you and give the most used words.
3. Keep Important Items “Above the Fold”
Before the internet took off, the term “above the fold” referred to what you see on the front half of a folded newspaper. Translated into a digital talk, it refers to what you see before you have to scroll down.
In layman’s terms, it’s the first impression of a document. When using this in terms of a resume, you should put your most relevant experiences and accomplishments on the top third of the page.
This is what a recruiter like SCOPE Recruiting or hiring manager will see first and what will ideally entice them to read further.
4. Stand Out
While traditional resumes with Times New Roman will never get old, there are other creative ways to stand out – as long as they are done correctly. Adding color, infographics, videos, or even graphics will help you stand out among others.
Use these sparingly, and if you know you are applying through at ATS it’s better to keep to a standard formatting so it can read your resume effectively.
If you don’t want to go as crazy as infographics but want something different, consider using a logo or simple design. This will make your resume pop without going overboard.
Whether you decide to stick to a traditional resume or want to spice it up, it’s important that you do it right. Putting in the time, creativity, and effort to design it so it looks nice, reads right, and has pertinent information on top are key when designing your resume.
Essential Tips for an Effective Resume
Creating an effective resume is challenging when you aren’t sure what the company is looking for or how traditional they are. As long as you keep in the important information, know how to market yourself, and follow these essential tips, you’ll surely get the interview you want.
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