MINNEAPOLIS – Good news for job seekers as hiring picks up and unemployment hits a ten-year low in the U.S., but how do you get your resume to the top of the pack when applying for those jobs?
First, know that times have changed, as medium and large-sized businesses may have a computer and an algorithm weeding through resumes before they get to human eyes.
When a hiring manager does get their hands on it, you have mere seconds to make an impression.
“On average, recruiters look at a resume for about six seconds before they make a judgement,” said Chris Dardis, Vice President of Human Resources at Versique, a Twin Cities job search and consulting firm.
Here are some tips to make the modern resume stand out in the modern job search.
Applicant Tracking Systems
The key, Dardis says, is in the words, literally.
“Keywords are more important than ever in 2017, because of applicant tracking systems,” said Dardis.
Applicant tracking systems are software applications that scan through resumes to help recruiters match skills and experience with available job positions.
“The ATS will then run a matching algorithm, taking skills within the job description, and seeing how many skills are actually listed in the resume. The system then ranks those 75 to 100 resumes for the recruiter,” said Dardis.
For example, let’s say you are applying for the position of marketing automation professional.
For this job, the ATS will pick up phrases like “e-mail marketing,” “lead nurturing,” “customer acquisition,” and “journey mapping.”
Knowing these skills and putting them on the resume—more than once even—will better the odds of getting your resume in the hands of the recruiter.
How do you stay away from, and is it necessarily a bad thing to have, clichéd phrases in your resume?
Dardis says phrases like “strong leadership skills” and "great communicator" are less likely to catch an eye than an eye roll.
Instead of telling you're a leader, show it (which is cliché itself, sorry).
“If you feel like you are a strong leader, the best way to show that through accomplishments would be to list ‘I managed a team of six and allowed three of those six realize promotions under my leadership,’” said Dardis.
Hobbies and Interests
Dardis says hobbies and interests are frequently left off of resumes but shouldn’t be.
“There is value in this. We at Versique believe that 80 percent of getting a job is if you are a culture match and if you build rapport within that interview,” said Dardis.
Listing your hobbies isn’t what’s going to get you the interview, but it may be what gets you the job.
Dardis says, as a recruiter, showing that you can maintain a high GPA in college while having extracurricular activities and a fish tank cleaning business shows that you are a very hard worker.
Also, if you find common interests with the hiring manager, it can lead toward that culture match that Dardis says is so important.
Dardis says today, LinkedIn is as, if not more important than a candidate’s resume.
“I would say 94 percent of recruiters will vet a candidate within LinkedIn before they reach out to them,” said Dardis.
Here are a few of Dardis’ tips for your professional LinkedIn page:
- Mirror your resume with your LinkedIn page. Ensure that it is up to date and matches the same job dates and titles of your hard resume.
- Add a professional photo. Profiles with photos get 21 times more views, according to LinkedIn.
- List key words and skills to match the job you want (just like resume). The more skills, the better. LinkedIn says users with five or more skills listed get up to 17 times more views.
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