Are you currently seeking employment and getting discouraged by the lack of hits on your resume? Job applications can be extremely time consuming and if you don’t know what employers are looking for, it can be difficult to land interviews. After working at an employment agency for two years and interviewing daily, I have developed some tips and tricks to help you stand out from other applicants!
1. Make sure your information is accurate and up to date.
The last thing you would want is for an employer to be interested and have no way of contacting you. Make sure your email and phone number are up to date and that your voicemail box is cleared out. Most employers will move on to the next applicant if they have no way of leaving a voicemail.
Pro tip: When using other services like Indeed or Ziprecruiter, try to stick to uploading your resume manually instead of their generic resume. This will also eliminate any chance of old contact information being given when submitting an application.
2. Chose a layout that is visually pleasing and minimalistic.
Try to avoid adding photos or using over the top designs. You can find templates online but make sure you chose a professional and minimal resume design that allows your work experience to speak for itself. Go for neutral colors, easy to read fonts, and a format that puts the primary focus on your skill set. This will draw the employer in and exemplify your professionalism. Your resume is your first impression so you want to keep that in mind when building your resume.
3. Condense your information to the most relevant skills you have obtained at previous employers.
Keep in mind that the hiring process can be extremely time consuming and daunting on the employer’s end. Eliminate anything on your resume that distracts them from the main focus and why they should hire you. Include skills and experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for instead of trying to add every single job you’ve had. Utilize the space proactively by adding details on relevant work experience to show that you are qualified for the position.
Pro tip: Take some time to research the websites of companies that you land interviews with. This will show them that you are interested in what they do and that you take initiative in your job search. Learn their mission and identify what skills you possess that would be beneficial to helping them reach their goals.
4. Eliminate irrelevant experience that does not pertain to the career field you are applying to, if possible.
Although it is great if you have well rounded and diverse job experience, employers are looking for very specific skills when reviewing resumes. Study the job ad to familiarize yourself with what the employer is looking for. Essentially they are advertising exactly what they are looking for so use this as a cheat sheet. Eliminating jobs that don’t reflect relevant experience will free up more space for useful information.
Pro tip: Adding keywords from the job description can also improve your chances of standing out from other applicants.
5. Job length and big gaps in employment may be a red flag for certain employers.
Employers like seeing longevity in employment history. It shows that even when things get hard you are willing to overcome obstacles and keep moving forward. Training employees can be costly and time consuming. This is why employers tend to look for extensive experience in hopes to keep training to a minimum.
The more you already know about a position, the less hours employers will have to spend showing you the basics. If you are bouncing around from job to job this may give the impression that you are not consistent enough to hold a position for a long period of time. Keep this in mind while building your resume, and deciding which experience you chose to take off of your resume. The more consistency in your dates, the better chance you have of catching the eye of the employer.
Job searches can be stressful enough, so don’t overthink your resume. You want a clear and concise reflection of your work experience that shows employers why you are the best fit for the position. Too many graphics, crazy fonts, or inconsistent layouts can be distracting and lose attention. Employers receive hundreds of applicants so you want to be able to grab their attention within the first 30 seconds of viewing your resume. Make sure that your information is correct and the employer has a way of contacting you.
Pro Tip: Add your Linkedin profile URL to your resume if you want to really stand out from other applicants. As the world gets more technologically advanced, this is a great way to promote yourself and provide as another alternative to your resume. Get coworkers and colleagues to endorse your skills and promote you as an employee.
You will be landing interviews before you know it! Good luck.