In a crowded marketplace where lots of candidates are vying for the same jobs and your competition is stiff, it is important to do everything you possibly can to make your application stand out from the rest.
Unfortunately, what many workers don’t realize is that they’re making many fundamental mistakes on their CV, and aren’t giving themselves the best possible chance of success when it comes to landing a top promotion or their dream job.
If you’re keen to start 2017 off with a fresh new role, read on for some ways you can really impress recruiters with your resume today.
Ensure the Document Is Formatted Properly
One of the most important things you need to do when creating a resume is make sure that you use a format that really works. To do this, keep in mind that recruiters typically see dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes in a day, and really only have time to have a brief look over them all to start with. They like to scan documents to see if people have the minimum requirements first, and then will put CVs aside quickly (often within 30 seconds) if they can’t see what they’re looking for straight away.
As such, your resume format should be easily scannable and quick to digest, by being broken down into component parts with different sub-headings. It pays to include:
An introductory Profile or Objective that gives some quick insight into who you are and what you’ve done
An Education or Training section
Information on your Career History
A list of your references (or a mention that references are available upon request)
Your name, address, cell number and email contacts at the top of the document
Another important part of formatting is how the document looks more generally. There should be plenty of white space on each page so that the reader’s eyes don’t get tired or overwhelmed. And the font chosen should be a clear, common one (don’t opt for anything “quirky” here) and large enough that the whole document is easy to read, without the need for people to squint.
Tailor Your Resume to a Specific Type of Job
Next, as you prepare your resume, make sure you keep referring back to the job advertisement to check that you are making it clear that your skills and experience suitably match those required for the role. This covers things such as qualifications, technical and IT skills, employment experience, and number of referees required.
While you will have a resume template that you use for your applications, it is important to tailor your document to each specific position that you apply for, as recruiters look for proof straight away that you have what is required to do the job well.
You must make it easy for them to find this proof on their first read through, if you want them to keep your resume on the pile for further consideration. If you have completed, for instance, an MBA online, or have another higher degree or top qualification that will help you stand out from other candidates, mention this as soon as possible on your document and/or in a clear, noticeable bullet point so that it doesn’t get missed.
As well, keep in mind that recruiters want to see that there is a fit in the location of where you live. Many people use specific recruiting software these days to sort through resumes when they first come in so that they can get them down to manageable numbers. One of the fields that a program may very well be set up to check for is that all applicants live in the area where the job is based.
You must, therefore, ensure your address matches up suitably. If you plan to relocate for a role, your application could be dismissed automatically, unless you make it abundantly clear that you have, or will be, moving for the position. In the personal details section at the top of your resume where you list your address, add in a note about “Relocating to X” location after your current address, if need be, so that both software and humans will see that there is a fit.
Proofread for Typos, Errors, and Other Silly Mistakes
Lastly, before you even think about submitting your resume for a job application, spend time proofreading the document multiple times to ensure you haven’t made any silly mistakes that could give recruiters a bad impression. If possible, have one or more other people go over the CV too, as fresh eyes can often pick up on things that you miss yourself because you have been staring at a document for a while.
Some of the mistakes to look out for are simple typos, grammatical or spelling errors, lack of contact detail updates, missing referees contact details, paragraph issues, or other formatting mistakes, and the like.