By Elaine Mead
How long does a recruiter spend reviewing a resume? 3 minutes? 10 minutes? 20 minutes?
How about less than 8 seconds? Career website, The Ladders reported that recruiters typically spend 7.4 seconds deciding on a resume. This means that job-seekers need to know exactly what recruiters are looking for within that time frame.
A resume serves a firm purpose, so you need to make sure everything about is in sync with that purpose: landing the job.
Here are five tips to help you do just that.
1. Tailor your resume explicitly
If you have a broad career background and are applying for various positions, tailor your resume to speak to the skills relevant to those positions. Cut out any fluff or extra bits that — while they might sound good — have no relevance to the role. Make sure the emphasis is on the information that matters.
2. Focus on specific accomplishments over vague actions
Rather than listing generic details under your job description, use specific examples that demonstrate your accomplishments. Instead of ‘delivered excellent customer service’ say ‘improved customer retention by 35% across four quarters of sales.’
3. Use the job description
A big complaint from many job seekers is about getting their resume past applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATSs are designed to look for specific keywords; usually, these keywords are mentioned throughout the job description. It’s essential to tailor your resume and include as many as possible while linking them to your experience.
4. Keep it simple
Most resumes are reviewed by recruiters or HR staff before they go to the actual hiring team. This means the first people to make a decision about your suitability, aren’t area experts. They might have some experience hiring for similar roles but for a higher chance of success, keep everything on your resume as clear, concise, relevant and easy-to-read as possible.
5. Take it to the next level
Hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to interview individuals who are referred to them through their existing networks — nothing works for your resume like having a solid referral who can vouch for you. As well as going through traditional jobs boards, review (and grow) your network so you can make direct connections to the companies hiring for the roles you want. LinkedIn is invaluable when it comes to networking and finding the email of specific people you can send your resume and cover letter to directly.
Elaine Mead is a Careers and Work-Integrated Learning Educator based in Tasmania.