Eight seconds. That’s about how long an employer will take to scan your resume. Time is of the essence, and every word counts. So what are you going to say?
It’s no secret that writing a resume can be an agonizing task. What adds insult to injury is that this single document holds so much weight in your job search.
That’s why many job hunters enlist resume writing services, including proofreading and cover letter writing, to ease stress and improve results. Working with staffing agencies to craft a professional, powerful resume makes it easier to land the position you desire.
And you know what else helps? Knowing exactly what you need to make your resume stand out from the rest. Here are 5 critical things your resume might be missing:
1. White Space
Seems counter-intuitive, right? Shouldn’t we be suggesting you stuff the page with as much flattering information about yourself as possible?
Not these days.
“There is nothing more off-putting than a resume that is ugly to look at, has huge paragraphs of text and within which it is hard to find relevant information,” says Careerealism contributor Ted Hekman. “Your resume design should be simple and pleasing to the eye.”
So don’t start with a tired and old resume template with hoards of sections to fill nonsensically; start with a discussion with a recruiter who can help you choose just the most relevant content for the page.
Fewer words can make a bigger impact. You just need to know what your prospective employers are looking for. We’re talking about up-to-date skills training, applicable work experience and the most pertinent and professional contact information to get them in touch with you right away.
2. The Pitch
Around here, we call it the Objective Statement 2.0 – a one-liner that explains why you’re the right person for the job. This zippy, memorable piece goes at the top of the page so it’s one of the first things readers scan when they hit the page. It typically includes your background information (skills, experience, achievements) as pertaining to the position you’re applying for.
Want an example? Take three:
“Entrepreneurial MBA graduate from the University of British Columbia with over seven years of marketing experience in the retail industry. Utilizes organizational skills, creativity and adaptability to spearhead promotional campaigns, assisting in increasing sales 13-20% season over season.”
“Certified drill operator with over 25 years of experience in the mining industry. Motivated, energetic and disciplined, my skills include operating soil sampling equipment, total equipment maintenance capabilities, and shallow-depth drilling.”
“Tech-savvy certified administrative assistant with a degree in Social Media Management from Cranston College. Strategized, developed and managed a successful social media strategy for a mid-sized law firm from 2010-2013.”
3. Bullet Points
Your resume is like a website. The clearer the information is, the easier it is for users to find what they need (a contact number, for instance). The user-friendliest websites are simple, scan-able, and communicate with impact and concision. That’s what you want your resume to do, too.
And that’s why bullet points are your resume’s best friends. Bullet points break up big chunks of text, such as descriptions of job experiences or past recognition of skill. They help employers and staffing agencies find exactly what they need to know about you, fast.
4. Perfect Spelling & Grammar
“61% of recruiters will automatically dismiss a resume because it contains typos,” says HR thought leader Dr. John Sullivan in his article “Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By The Numbers”.
Sounds bleak, right? Get used to it! Staffing agencies and employers alike loathe spelling mistakes and grammatical errors on resumes because both scream, “I’m careless!”
Do you really want that to be the first impression you make? Bring in your resume for proofreading before submitting it to prospective employers.
These days, more and more staffing agencies and corporations use keyword-searchable databases to scan resumes for words related to specific job vacancies. If your resume lacks targeted keywords, you could be missing out on the chance to have your resume seen by a human at all!
Staffing agencies that offer resume writing services drill through job descriptions to identify the keywords pertaining to the position. These are words repeatedly mentioned in association with the title; they are critical to the employer. For example, certain skill sets, degrees or professional certificates may appear again and again in your targeted job descriptions; include them in your resume when applicable.
If you’re unsure if your resume includes the vital keywords for your targeted position, have it proofread by Stacey at Aspire Recruitment Solutions to ensure you don’t miss out on that first step in the search process.
Get it handled.
Want more information about resume writing services, including proofreading and cover letter writing? Contact Stacey at Aspire Recruitment Solutions today for rates and advice!