If you have spent time researching how to write an effective resume, you probably have encountered the following advice: Customize your resume for every position to which you apply.
Although this may sound like a difficult and time-consuming task, it is important. And, it may be easier than you think. Use these steps to craft a resume that leads to phone calls and interviews.
Write a “Standard” Resume
This may sound contrary to the title of this post, but you must start somewhere. Create a boilerplate resume with all your skills, education and experience. Just remember, you will never send this document to potential employers.
Read the Job Description Carefully
Once you have found a potential opportunity, read the entire job description at least twice. On the second or third reading, highlight any main points, keywords or skills that correspond to your experience. Also, explore the company’s website and social media to gain additional insights.
Highlight Your Strengths
Now that you have a better understanding of the position and the requirements, redesign your resume. Whenever possible, put your most relevant skills and experiences toward the top of the document. You want to emphasize your strongest points right away.
Continue to Revise
The recommended length for a resume is one to two pages. So, decide what to delete as well as what to keep. You may be able to use less relevant experiences to highlight soft skills such as time management or communication. Or, you may choose to remove them and focus on more marketable points.
Make Your Keywords Sparkle
When including keywords or specific skills, avoid subjective phrases such as “Great negotiator.” Rather, surround your top points with specific details, fact and figures. For example, “Negotiated 10 contracts annually at a 20 percent savings to the company,” sounds significantly more impressive and meaningful.
Check for Relevance
Approximately 75 percent of large companies use Applicant Tracking Systems, and smaller organizations are following their lead. Therefore, it is extremely likely a computer will review your resume before a human does. These programs may look for specific keywords, keyword frequency, job titles and/or dates. To pass the software scan, match your resume to the job description as closely as possible. You may wish to enlist the assistance of online resume analysis tools for a more systematic approach.
Recruit Another Reader
It is always useful to get an outside opinion. Have someone you know read the job description and your resume. See what they think. Is it obvious you are applying for the advertised position? In addition, they may be able to suggest other ideas or better selling points. And, since typos are one of the top reasons resumes are rejected, it never hurts to have an extra proofreader.
Writing the perfect resume can be a frustrating experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! At Aventure Staffing, our job placement experts can offer great advice as you navigate your job search. View our current job openings or contact us today!