It is always a challenge to get your resume noticed by employers, but there are ways to twist it and get it passed through the applicant tracking system (ATS) that is used by the employers to screen job applications. There are also some easy and quick changes that you can do to help it stand out from the bundle of resumes when a real person reviews it.
Following are some quick and easy-to-do tips which will help you get your resume past the screening systems and get noticed by recruiters. Here's how to reframe your resume in just a few minutes.
How to Get Your Resume Noticed by Employers
1. Keep it simple. A simple format is very much easier for the ATS to screen and simpler for recruiters to read. Use the creative formatting for your portfolio only if you’re in a design field. Review these resume writing tips to get started.
2. Use a basic font. If you somehow manage to find a contact person for your cover letter, you will be able to personalize it nicely, and you’ll have someone to follow-up with to make sure your letter gets looked at.
3. Use bullets. Less is more when it comes to number of words in a resume. Using a bulleted list is another way for improving readability and getting information noticed in your resume. Paragraphs tend to blur together, but bullets bring the reader’s eyes to the content on the page. Try to keep each bullet point short and starts with an action word.
4. Make sure you meet the qualifications. Usually, the qualifications for being considered are listed at the bottom of the job ad. Be sure you are having at least the minimum required qualifications to be taken into consideration. Or else, you’re wasting everyone’s time, including yours as well.
5. Customize your resume. Don’t carry the same resume in for every job. Take out some time to customize it by including the qualifications and skills that the company is looking for so the employer knows you have the right stuff. This is your chance to crack an interview, so take the time to customize your resume, include a referral if you've got one, and include your best qualifications. Here are tips for writing a Resume.
6. Focus on your accomplishments. The employer will always want to know what you have accomplished so far, not just what you did. Emphasize your resume on what you have achieved in each job, not your job responsibilities.
7. Include your most relevant skills. The employers use the screening system matches your resume to a preferred set of qualifications. Try to include keywords on your resume that meets the job-specific skills the employer is looking for. You can look for the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for in the job posting itself.
8. Add a Skills Section. Including a skills section on your resume is another good way to show that you’re qualified.
9. Make sure your resume matches the job posting. Try to match your resume with the job posting. The more your resume matches to the job qualifications, the better chances you'll have of getting selected for an interview. Make a list of the qualifications the employer is looking for, and then include as many as possible in your resume.
10. Getting hired is a numbers game. Employers like to see significant achievements in resumes. Include facts and figures wherever possible and use numbers not words when you’re listing them. For example, write 70%, not seventy percent.
11. Get rid of old jobs. There's no need to include all your work experience on your resume. If your work history is long, the last 10 – 15 years is sufficient. You may be required to list all on job applications, but your resume is a highlight of your employment history, not the story of your life.
12. Get rid of non-essential information. Your resume is professional, not personal. You should try to avoid information about your personal life, family or hobbies or anything else which is related to personal life not work.
13. Add information. If your resume is short of the work experience that qualifies you for the job you can happily include internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer experience that you've done.
14. Move the Education section to the bottom. Highlight your work experience (in reverse chronological order) then place your education and other information at the bottom of your resume. There's no need to include high school or your GPA if it’s been a while since you graduated.
15. Add a headline or profile. A crisp eye-catching headline or profile is an excellent way to seek the reader’s attention. Make sure that it focuses on what you've got to offer the employer, not on what you want from a job.
16. Match your resume to LinkedIn. It’s always a good idea to include your LinkedIn profile URL on your resume. It’s, even more, better if you can personalize your LinkedIn URL, so that it includes your name. Do take the time to make sure your resume matches your LinkedIn profile because employers will check.
17. Check for typos. Errors/Mistakes in resume matter, and don’t think a spelling or grammatical error won’t be caught. Unfortunately, the mistake will bounce right off the page and get noticed. Make use of Grammarly tool which is a terrific for making sure that your resume and cover letters are perfect.
18. Give it a recognizable name. Don’t name your resume “resume” – take out some time to personalize the file name to FirstLastNameResume.doc – this way it’ll be clearly recognizable as your resume to recruiters and hiring managers.
19. Save it as a PDF. Saving your resume as a PDF will make you relaxed about funky formatting or the recruiter seeing a garbled mess. Unless the employer demands for a specific format, send a PDF so readers can see your resume exactly as you want it to look. Here are 11 free tools you can use to convert your resume to a PDF file.
20. Add a cover letter. Add a cover letter even if it’s not required. It is the great way to highlight the specific qualifications you've got for the job. A cover letter can be used to focus on the experience that best suits you for the job. Here’s how to write a cover letter for a resume.
21. Use a connection. Landing your resume into the hands of the right person is one of the toughest task and can help you get an interview. Your goal should be to get your resume read and knowing someone who can help that happen will make a big difference in the result of your application.
22. Read it Out Loud. This will surely help you catch your all spelling or grammar errors and will also help you catch any sentences that sound awkward or that are tough to digest.
23. Double-Check Formatting. Try to keep formatting consistent across your resume. You want all headers to be in the same style, all margins and padding to line up, all bullet points to match, and the like. You don’t want the styling and formatting to look ugly!
24. Make it Readable. To enhance readability, increase the line spacing (also called leading) to at least 120% of the font size. To perform this in MS Word, go to Format and select Paragraph. In the pulldown under Line Spacing, choose Exactly and set the spacing to two pointsabove the size of your font (so, 12 if your font is 10 point).
25. Identify Your Narrative. Hand over your resume to someone who doesn’t know you well to look at for 30 seconds. Then question them: What are the three most memorable things? What’s the narrative? Take this feedback from them and think about how you can modify your resume to get it closer to where you want.