The pandemic has put the workforce upside down and we are all still adjusting to “new” ways of life. Maybe you’ve been working for the same company for years and a job search isn’t something you’ve had to deal with in a LONG time and writing a resume is something you simply have never had to do.. Yet here we are, where your resume could be the single most important impression you make on new employers – you NEED it to get that new dream job and get you back in the game!
As recruiters, we see hundreds of resumes a day – some great and some… not so great. And we know which ones are the first to get the call! Employers searching for your resume gravitate towards the ones that clearly lay out work history and show professionalism.
We’ve seen them all and we’re here to tell you what resume is most likely to grab your next employer’s attention. Here are some easy tips to make your name stand out in a sea of resumes:
Clearly state your career objective:
If you’re open to multiple industries or looking for a specific career change – it’s important to make that known. There’s no sense in wasting yours or the employers time with a job that doesn’t meet your main expectations.
Although my experience has mainly revolved around the construction industry, I am looking to make a career change in the manufacturing industry. I believe my past experience with forklift and labor to be transferrable!
Put DATES to each job you have listed:
In today’s market – job longevity is VERY important. Employers are seeking long-term candidates that are looking to grow with their team for more than just a few months. So it is always important to show how long you have worked at your previous positions.
When a recruiter calls you and you don’t clearly have this laid out, odds are one of the first questions they will ask you is to fill in the dates.
EXPLAIN job gaps in resume:
Job history gaps are another quick resume fix that can be causing recruiters to overlook your resume. If it seems there are many job gaps without explanation – this also doesn’t look great for the job longevity aspect. If you can, it’s best to explain the reason for job gaps on your resume.
2018-2019 job gap due to stay at home parenting
Make sure contact information is up to date:
Yes, we thought this one seems obvious too – but it’s a common occurrence that a phone number on a resume is not valid. There is nothing worse than being excited about a potential candidate but having no way to reach them. If there are multiple attempts without an answer, odds are your resume won’t be kept.
Keep the layout clean, short, and organized:
You may have over 20 years of experience, but that doesn’t mean you need to fill up 20 years of a resume. Let’s be honest – do you really think you can pick up that job you did for 8 months back in 2000? Probably not – and out of all of your recent experience that’s most likely not an employer’s main interest.
Make sure to lay out your most recent and pertinent experience to the job you’re applying for. The more you can showcase that you meet all of the skill-set for the job, the better chance you have a getting the call!
Bullet-points and key words are your best friend.
When your eyes are looking over resumes all day, there are certain lay-outs and keywords that stick out to the brain. So it’s important to know what your employers are looking for; make sure you thoroughly read the job description before applying and add keywords that match your skill set to market yourself as their perfect match.
Mark your major accomplishments:
What was your biggest achievement in each of your most pertinent roles? Were you able to cut costs or man-hours or you grew sales revenue by 10% in your first year? These are huge career accomplishments that show you were able to create and meet goals. Employers are looking for motivated employees that are looking to make a DIFFERENCE, so if you’ve done that at other companies make it known!
Tailor your resume to specific positions you are applying for:
In some cases, you may have a very broad range of experience that can be applied to multiple roles. But in others, it’s very helpful for you to tailor your resume to a specific opening you are applying to. If there is something on their job listing that you’ve had experience with but didn’t list it on the resume, take the extra time to make sure your experience aligns with the needs of the employer; it only further shows why you deserve the job!
Need an idea of where to start? Check out a sample resume here.
Keep your head up! If you’re not seeing the response you’d hoped from a submitted resume, a recruiter may be able to coach you on what businesses in the industry are looking for.