Back in January, we gave you some online job searching tips – so this month we thought we would give you some resume tips. But not just any resume tips, tips that will give you an edge when applying for jobs. The days of printing out a resume that you made using a MS Word template are over. Employers want digital copies for the most part, as the process goes paperless.
It’s important that you’re resume look nice, sure, but the way it’s laid out and the content matters more.
5 Resume Tips for the Digital World
1. Beat the System
Many bigger companies, with hundreds of applicants, have started using resume screening software. This means that rather than a human combing through all the applications, a computer system that’s trained to look for keywords is utilized instead. How do you ensure that your resume isn’t weeded out? The secret isn’t so secret. It’s right there in the job posting. Look at the kinds of words used in the job description and skills requirements. Try to use similar language in your resume when describing your experience and job-specific skills. You should never be using the same resume for multiple jobs. Always customize the content based on the job posting.
2. The Order of Things
When you’re laying out your resume, how you order things matters. For fresh out of school students, you will want to highlight your education over your experience. Entry level jobs will want to know what you studied and what skills you learned.
For experienced workers, the education section is still important, especially if a certain degree or level or study is required. However, this section can go below your job experience. Because at this stage of the game, employers are more interested in your past employment and how it relates to the job you’re applying for.
3. Keep it to One Page, Two Max
If you make it through the screening process, and are fortunate enough to have your resume read by a real human being, keep it concise and condensed. You don’t need to drag it out. Put all the most important stuff at the top. The employer will probably know how they feel about you as a candidate after reading the first section. If they’re interested, they’ll keep reading.
4. Don’t Just Rely on Spellcheck
Send your resume to a trusted friend to review. You cannot just rely on spellcheck to catch everything, especially since most people have American English set as the default. You never want to send a resume out without thoroughly checking it for typos and errors. Having another set of eyes on it is always a good idea. Technology is great, but it doesn’t always catch everything, so sometimes you have to do things the old fashioned way.
5. Follow Instructions
The job posting often has instructions for applying at the bottom. Read it carefully. They might have instructions on how to name your files. You might have to include a cover letter, so make sure you have one written specifically for that job. If the resume is to be emailed, make sure you follow their instructions as to what to put in the subject line. Some companies use software to upload resumes, so make sure you follow those steps carefully to avoid disappointment.
Okay, so there are 5 resume tips to help you succeed in your job search.
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