5 Resume Hacks to get Hired FASTER
“We’ve all realized that we’ve been lied to: working hard and getting a solid education does not necessarily lead to career success, or even a decent-paying job. What it does lead to is debt and a ruthless job hunt,” Forbes. Despite this sober intro the job hunting scene isn’t hopeless, it’s just different from the scene we were prepared for. Here’s the 5 strategies and the resume I used (along with my Cover Letter Hacks) to double my salary in 4 months and attract 6 interview requests daily.
1. Customize your Resume for each job you’re applying to
When I look at most Millennial resumes I see a plethora of unrelated extracurricular work, education and professional experience. Your resume has just 3–7 seconds to convince a recruiter that you’re the best fit for the job, this is extremely difficult to do with one standardized resume you use for all your job applications.
- Add the job title you’re applying for next to your name on the top of your resume i.e. Julius Q. Holmes IV | Technical Writer
- Applicant Tracking Software (robots that scan your resume before a recruiter sees it) eliminates roughly 75% of applications! Avoid being sent to the dreaded ‘no pile’ by adding keywords and industry terminology throughout your resume.
- Reinterpret your experience. Get imaginative by changing some of your job titles to match the job you’re applying for if some of the skills crossover.
- Remove unrelated experience. If you’re applying for an HR Coordinator role but you still have that Uber Driver job you did for a summer on your resume you look like an amateur. Instead follow step 2 to replace the irrelevant experience you remove.
2. Widen your Definition of ‘Professional Experience’
Use your volunteer work, extracurricular involvement or even extra job responsibilities to emphasize the skills of the job you’re applying for. A recruiter looking for a HR Coordinator needs to think “this person IS a HR Coordinator,” not “this person MIGHTbe able to fill the role of an HR Coordinator.”
- Boost your appeal to employers by leveraging relevant classes from your undergraduate studies. For example if I’m applying for a Technical Writing role I might display “Creative Writing 101,” and “Content Creation” on my resume.
- Leverage clubs, volunteer experiences and organizational involvement to demonstrate skills relevant to the job you’re applying for and invaluable soft skills like leadership and teamwork.
- Emphasize the skills of your current job that translate to the job you’re applying for. If you’re a Bank Teller trying to get into Human Resources then you should definitely talk about those times you traveled to a local college to recruit for your summer internship program.
- Research the top skills or certifications your chosen job title has and which professional networks they’re apart of. Get those skills (cough Youtube :^) & certifications and join those networks (most are free!)
3. Write your Bullet Points to be ‘Achievement Oriented’
After every bullet point you should ask yourself “so what?” I guarantee every recruiter is asking the same question. Write your resume from an achievement oriented perspective of what you ‘accomplished’ rather then a task oriented perspective of what you ‘did’.
- Clearly demonstrate the impact your work has on the company by being sure to include an achievement at the end of each bullet point.
- Power words in your bullet points help you avoid using the same old clichés, demonstrate your engagement and increase your resume’s effectiveness by as much as 80%!
- Verifiable achievements are huge. Countless job-seekers will write things like “good team player,” on their resume…according to whom? How does the recruiter know your opinion of yourself is accurate? Since they can’t know, statements like this are useless. Instead bolster your bullet points by including as many numbers as possible.
- Assisted IT team in upgrading company computer software
Add Power Words, Numbers and an Achievement to your bullet point
- Directed 23 teams in testing 800 software upgrades & collaborated with IT Department to repair 400+ defects
4. Ensure your Resume is easily ‘Skimmable’
No one reads anymore, they skim. This includes recruiters who on average look at your resume for just 6 seconds! It is imperative that you make the important information in your resume as easily & quickly communicated as possible.
- Make sure your margins and spacing are even, that there are no irregularities in text sizing or font usage and that there are no spelling errors.
- Bold the results in your bullet points (not the entire line) to ensure a recruiter doing a quick skim over your resume sees the most important points.
- Adding color to your resume has been shown to increase engagement by as much as 80% by making your resume standout compared to all those boring black and white documents.
- If you have less than 10 years in the workforce your resume SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN 1 PAGE, if you have 10+ years than your resume shouldn’t pass 2 pages.
5. Place Your Resume on the right Websites
Are you looking up jobs, filling out online applications, attaching your resume and then waiting for an answer? This is one of the most outdated and ineffective ways to get a job. By revising my resume using the techniques above and posting it on job websites recruiters actually call and email me daily.
- First, create accounts (they’re free) on CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed.
- Create as many resume profiles for specific job titles that you can. This means having multiple customized resumes on each site i.e. I have a Technical Writer resume, a Content Writer Resume and a Business Analyst resume on all three sites. (Make sure you do research on which job titles are recruited the most and which make the most money.) For example, from my experience Technical Writer roles are recruited far more than Content Writer roles.)
- Once recruiter’s start emailing you, use the language in the job descriptions in your resume to continually improve your resume’s strength in that field. (Also make sure to make little tweaks to your resume every week on these sites as recruiters search for resumes with the latest changes.)
Here’s the resume design that opened up so many doors.
Julius Q. Holmes IV is a Technical Writer and Speaker specializing in Millennial Career Development. For more informative articles like Julius’s brand page on Facebook.