Prosum tech staffing and recruiting experts share the inside scoop on how to get your resume past the first rounds of review and on its way to landing you an interview with top resume tips.
- You’ve seen it on LinkedIn – “209 applicants have applied.” How will your resume possibly bubble up to the top of the list?
- You’ve search on Indeed, hit Apply Now only to be passed through to the hiring company’s website to continue with your application. Once you receive your “Thank you for submitting your application” confirmation page, can you really be sure your resume was received?
It feels like a vicious cycle, and supports the number one complaint by applicants: no one calls back, my resume must be in limbo.
Lack of contact could be for a number of reasons that sometimes we just can’t anticipate or control. The hiring manager may be out of office and hasn’t reviewed anything yet; high-level jobs require extensive review and take a bit longer to sift through; or sometimes the job was filled, but the post hasn’t been removed.
What we can control however is submitting a resume that isn’t dismissed right away on its own merit.
Harvard Business Review notes:
“How long does it take a recruiter to decide if you’re right for a job? It’s actually around seven seconds, according to eye-tracking research.”
7 seconds. You have 7 seconds to make the first cut.
Seemingly impossible task, but not necessarily—especially if you start with these great resume tips to build your foundation.
Resume tip #1: Focus on Keywords
When you search for jobs, you’ll start to see a pattern of the words used to describe the role. Those keywords work both ways—they help you to search for positions you are qualified for, but they also need to be tied to your resume for optimal matching.
Terese Diaz, Recruiting Manager, Prosum shares:
“Recruiters often search by key words and titles. If you are missing the key words your profile may not be found. An ideal resume will include the technologies you are touching, your day-to-day duties, and key words that pertain to your specific position.”
Patrick Boyce, Technical Recruiter, Prosum, continues:
“An important tip is to include a skills section at the top of your resume with key words that pertain to your background and that are also listed in the work history bullet points.”
Keywords are critical and mandatory as most resumes are scanned by a tech program like an Applicant Tracking System (or ATS) first before ever being viewed by the human eye. If there are no relevant matches, your resume won’t make it past round one. The keyword text should be tied to the specific position you are applying for. Which means that ideally you will be adjusting and customizing your resume for each position you apply for.
Resume tip #2: Customize For the Job You Want
It may sound like a tedious task, but if one of the most important things you can do to stand out is to have the right keywords, a one-size-fits-all resume approach won’t be able to cover everything. Here’s a quick approach to tailoring your resume:
- Create a foundational resume to start from that includes contact information, places you have worked, dates/timelines and your general skills sets. This serves as your base.
- Then, develop a library of keyword blocks and targeted language that you can pull from to fill in the blanks so that it applies to the job at hand.
“Copying and pasting your job description under your work history doesn’t give the full picture of what you do. A professional resume should include specific information of what you have done at each role including special highlights and projects you have completed.”
Resume Tip #3: The Devil is in the Details
And by details, we don’t mean the nuances of the role; we are talking about the formatting, layout, and design of a resume that will get it past the initial scan.
It’s important to pay attention to:
- Date formatting
- File type
- Layout (columns and tables wreak havoc on the ATS)
- Headline Structure
- Length (yes, it is still primarily one page, but if you have 20 years of experience, two is acceptable)
There are many more resume tips that can help create a concise and clean resume format. In fact, you can see how your resume measures up when you apply to an open role on prosum.com. Applicants can take advantage of the Instant Data-driven Feedback feature for your resume using the resume match tool, powered by Top Resume on our job board.
Resume Tip #4: Navigating the Resumes of the Future
AI Wrote My Resume
With the explosion of AI for everyday use, the hot debate is whether or not to use AI to draft your resume. Diaz continues:
“AI resumes are starting to become really popular, but they don’t always make sense or drill down on specific experience.”
With a resume, you want to focus on results that are personalized; if you can’t articulate the right prompts to your AI tool, it will be difficult to capture unique aspects of your specific experience on a resume. Instances where AI can help: restructuring a sentence to make it more interesting, using correct grammar and spelling.
A video resume seemed like a great and innovative way to stand apart from the competition when social media giant TikTok launched a job application experiment for participating big-name companies. Fun and forward thinking? Sure. Practical and the way of the future? Not quite yet.
A video resume or introduction might serve as a great supplement, but for the way that the vast majority of hiring managers screen candidates, it won’t work universally. First, most screening is run through a scanner as explained above. A video will not be able to work for that. Second, a traditional resume is easier to reference when comparing candidates; rewatching videos and taking notes would be time-consuming for just about any recruiter evaluating several candidates. Finally, the use of video can certainly open up issues of biases upon first impression that can skew evaluations as well.
It is something to keep in mind, however, for creativity. Having a traditional resume with a link out to a video introduction might be a good first step.
Just Visit the LinkedIn Page
Most experts would agree that it is important that your resume details be verifiable on your LinkedIn page and vice versa. While your LinkedIn profile is not a mirror-copy of your resume, you must be careful to avoid discrepancies and inaccuracies. And to be sure, recruiters and hiring managers will visit your profile page as well as other public social media pages if they are serious about you as a candidate. So always keep in mind your social presence to not hurt your chances in the job search.
As you continue your job hunt, keep these resume tips in mind from #TeamProsum’s recruiting experts. To work with a tech staffing expert during your job search, contact us today.