Your resume is the key tool that employers use to decide whether to invite you to a job interview—or not. However, recruiters only spend an average of six seconds with your resume. In addition, just 2% of resumes receive a response! How do you make your resume stand out from the crowd and get invited to that all important job interview?
- Target your resume. Target your resume for each job posting you are applying for. This means that each resume you send out during your job search should be customized for the particular organization you’re applying to.
- Read the job description carefully and note the skills and qualifications the organization is looking for
- Research the company and learn about the products and services it offers.
- Consider the industry knowledge you’ll be gaining from working at this company.
- What skills do you bring to the position? Make a list of your accomplishments from past work, volunteer or academic experience.
- Use keywords. Recruiters are busy, and many use automated tracking systems to weed out resumes and cover letters. Inserting relevant keywords into your resume will help your resume to get past the automated system and get invited for a job interview. To find the right keywords, you need to speak the language of the organization and industry you’re applying to during your job search.
Look for possible keywords in:
- The job ad or posting. Look for job titles on various job boards.
- The company website of the organization you’re applying to.
- The Sheridan website for your program.
- National Occupational Codes (N.O.C.).
- Association websites.
- Industry terms and jargon.
- List your accomplishments, instead of duties. Many resumes focus on listing job duties. But employers want to see what you’ve accomplished and the impact you’ve had an on an organization. Listing your accomplishments helps you identify your skills and strengths, and go beyond your job duties. It helps you focus on the value you’ve brought to an organization.
To create accomplishment statements, follow these four steps:
- Step 1: What did you do? This should be a one-word action verb, such as “Managed.”
- Step 2: Describe what you did. Build on Step 1 by describing what you did. For example, to describe “Managed” above, your Step 2 description may say “over 1,000 key accounts.”
- Step 3: Describe the value you added.What were the results you achieved? For example, “Maintained excellent customer relations getting over 80% referrals on a monthly basis for new business leads.”
- Step 4: Put it all together. Combine Steps 1 to 3 to create your accomplishment statement that will appear on your resume:“Managed over 1,000 key accounts and maintained excellent customer relations getting over 80% referrals on a monthly basis for new business leads.”
BONUS TIP: It may seem obvious, but many resumes are filled with errors. Make your resume error-free. Spelling mistakes, formatting issues and other errors instantly make you look unprofessional, and may disqualify you as a candidate for the job. Be sure to edit and proofread carefully to ensure that your resume is error-free.
Sheridan’s Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies (FCAPS) offers a wide range of free professional development workshops. Visit caps.sheridancollege.ca for more information on how Sheridan can help you on the path to a successful career.