Some jobseekers are not adept at “selling or marketing” themselves effectively on their resumes.  Many resumes are lackluster and monotonous.  Frequently candidates will even cut and paste job posting onto their resumes instead of highlighting their achievements and skills, which renders their resume to nothing more than a job description.

The vast amount of advice available on the internet instructing candidates on what they should include in their resumes can be overwhelming.   An effectively written resume is a valuable tool that can be utilized to secure an interview. Given that recruiters and hiring managers may review hundreds of resumes before filling a position, if candidates want to make the first cut, it is crucial that the resume highlights successes and achievements.

Candidates need to see their resumes as their voice, or their “sales pitch”, that will speak for them when they are not there in person to promote themselves.  Here are a few suggestions that will get your resume in front of a recruiter or hiring manager:

Utilizing relevant keywords on your resume is critical

Applicant Tracking systems use resume parsing to extract relevant information such as how many matching keyword/qualifications/skills correspond to the job requirements in the job posting to rank the best qualified candidates.  Online resumes tools such as Jobscan are now available for candidates to optimize their resumes.  Jobscan will compare the soft and hard skills contained in your resume against the keywords found in the job description revealing which keywords are most critical to include on your resume.

Correct resume format is very important

Keep in mind that information not formatted correctly for an ATS may not be read or recognized; this resulting in highly qualified applicants being automatically rejected because their resumes were not optimized for the ATS.

Highlight demonstrated accomplishments/successes

This means emphasizing your relevant hard skills and soft skills by illustrating to hiring managers how effective your skills are and how you will be able to apply them to the position.  Examples of soft skills are communication skills, interpersonal or problem resolution skills. Hard skills include years of experience, computer software programs, educational background and professional designations.

Always customize your resume for the position to which you are applying

A “One size fits all” approach won’t always get your resume noticed. The competition for many jobs can be fierce, so setting yourself apart from other applicants is imperative.  Take the time to customize your resume and emphasize the experience and/or skills that you possess and that are most relevant to the position, hiring manager or company.  Applicants whose background and experience are tailored to the job at hand, may have a much greater chance of securing an interview.

Upload your resume to job boards that recruiters most frequently use

Recruiters routinely utilize resume banks or search aggregators, like Indeed.com, to identify candidates with relevant skills sets or specific industry experience. Advertising your resume on these sites may increase the chances of a recruiter finding your resume and reaching out to you.  In this scenario, a recruiter may find the ideal opportunity matching your skills and experience. Consequently, you will want to ensure that your “sales pitch” speaks effectively for you.

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