When you are ready to look for a new career, it’s time to get your resume ready so you can put it out there and find the job you want. While this may sound simple, there is work involved because the landscape is competitive and you need your resume to be noticed. You have to get your resume recruiter-ready, which means you have to go beyond “decent” and make it stand out. If the resume looks humdrum and like every other one in the pile, a recruiter is going to put it in the “hold for 90 days” stack and probably not give you a chance even if you are the most qualified for the job. Headhunters want to be impressed, and how you present yourself on paper is that crucial first impression.
Constructing a Solid Resume
You have the work experience, education, volunteer experience, and other pertinent details in place. Your resume’ is the document that organizes that information so you can show you are qualified for the position you are applying for.
Here are some keys to a successful resume:
- The font should be professional and easy to read.
- Don’t add more details than you have to, such as describing your entire high school career. They get it. Your 4.0 GPA was probably based on a college prep curriculum.
- Use action words when describing past job responsibilities.
- Focus less on the job responsibilities and more on what you accomplished. You’ll be amazed at how many actual responsibilities show through those accomplishments.
- Headhunters need to see the good stuff about you first, so make sure it’s first.
- If you increased sales at a former employer, give numbers.
- Don’t add “fluff” to the text. A recruiter doesn’t have time for fluff, so get to the point.
- Make sure you proofread your resume because there’s nothing like a blaring grammatical error that says, “this applicant DOES NOT pay close attention to detail.”
- When submitting a resume’ electronically, a PDF is excellent. It’s a file format that looks the same on any device.
You do want to make sure you relay a clear message about work experience, volunteerism, and other accomplishments. Just try and fit as much as you can on one page without shrinking the font so small a recruiter has to struggle to read the text. The moment they encounter a struggle, they may not continue reading your exceptional qualifications.
Using a Recruiting Network vs. Every Other Site
You can get noticed by headhunters when you have your resume’ distributed over a network that connects job seekers with recruiters. This helps you get seen by recruiters in the industries you are applying for, increasing your chance of landing a job. An unfortunate fact about many job sites out there is that you can submit your resume to fifty of them and get no response because 300 people already applied for that same job, regardless of whether they are qualified or not. A more targeted approach clears all the static for job hunters and recruiters so that the right hiring decisions can be made.
The job-seeking process doesn’t have to be more difficult than it should be. When you construct a solid resume and submit it to the proper channel, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can be sitting in the seat of a company that you want to work for. That’s important since the right job is what you’ve been preparing yourself for since the day you began thinking about your career.