Make a Great Impression in 6 Seconds

5 Tips for Improving Your Resume

Published On: November 6th, 2017Last Updated: May 16th, 2018Categories: Job Seekers Blog, Tips & AdviceTags: ,

Tips for Improving your Resume – Make a Strong First Impression!

A Glassdoor survey found that recruiters received an average of 250 resumes for each corporate position. While referrals (i.e. knowing someone on the inside) accounted for almost 16% of hires, the more impersonal methods of career sites and job boards produced 46% of new hires. These facts mean you need to write a Resume that separates you from your competitors.

There is another important statistic to keep in mind. According to a famous study conducted by Ladders, recruiters took only 6 seconds to scan a Resume. The first impression of your Resume must pass the 6 second scan. Here are 5 tips for improving your Resume:

  • No typos- With recruiters devoting so little time to each Resume, you might get the impression that they won’t notice any typos. That is wrong. Typos stick out to people who review Resumes on a daily basis. Read your Resume out loud to help you catch any errors. If English is your second language or grammar is not your forte, get professional help to update your Resume.
  • Keep formatting consistent- Some people center their contact information while having the section headings left-justified. Other people use periods at the end of some bullet points but not others. I advise everyone to keep the formatting consistent throughout the Resume. Center your contact information and headings. Proofread your Resume for consistency in presentation.
  • Limit graphics and pictures- A touch of creativity and color is a nice touch sometimes. However, graphics and pictures are notorious for causing compatibility issues with ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) resulting in damaged formatting to your Resume. Be very careful about using graphics and pictures. For professionals in the visual arts, include a link to your personal website or LinkedIn page to show off your portfolio.
  • Incorporate keywords to satisfy ATS- Companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) or an HR professional with limited experience to screen candidates. Therefore, do not take it for granted that the gatekeeper will know you have particular skills. Review two job postings of interest and make sure you incorporate keywords you see throughout the Resume. For instance, a candidate for an Accounts Receivable Specialist position is likely to find phrases such as “collect on past due accounts” or “process credit memos” in job postings. That applicant should incorporate those keywords into his/her resume.
  • Have separate Resumes for different types of positions- A common mistake is for people to try and make a Resume that is all things to all people. The result, however, is a marketing document with nothing specific to sell. If your background includes experience in purchasing and HR, make separate Resumes. That way, you can highlight keywords and accomplishments that are relevant to each type of position. You increase your odds of getting past HR screeners with a targeted Resume. We offer 2nd Focus Resume for this kind of scenario.

Small Details are Meaningful

Recruiters review a large number of Resumes. Consistency and relevancy are critical to getting a recruiter to pick up the phone and call you for an interview. Use the aforementioned 5 tips for improving your Resume. Lastly, we can spiff things up for you with Resume Refresh!

About the Author: Doug Levin

Doug Levin is the owner and operator of JobStars USA, a career services practice serving job seekers of all industries and experience levels. He is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and Career Coach (CPCC) with a decade of experience in the Resume Writing niche.

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