Making an Early Impact with your Resume
While some have continued their jobs through a distributed working setup because of the pandemic, others were not as fortunate. Many still had to confront unemployment as certain companies fold due to their line-of-business or infrastructure limits. A few others had to seek new opportunities elsewhere as their customer base dropped while the crisis unfurled.
Some enterprising individuals have resorted to alternative freelance work or online businesses to supplement their income in this tight economy. But others will have to find new work soon in companies that can support their employees remotely, or have already adapted to the new quarantine policies.
Today we will be looking at ideas to make your resume more effective. We have discussed interviews in this first impressions article. But before you get noticed for that interview, you need to get your foot in the door. Your resume will be your frontline document to express your intent towards a company. How you present your resume reflects how determined and professional you are with engaging the prospective company.
When writing your resume, you aim to show the company why you are qualified to take on the open position. This is not just about listing every item you were expected to perform in your previous role. Companies want to see your initiative and creativity, and how your professional experience and character match the company’s core values and direction.
Please Don’t Send Out a Generic Resume
You may be applying to several companies simultaneously, and the temptation to send out the same document may be strong.
Don’t do it.
Each company is trying to glean as much information as they can from your resume. The relevant pieces of information are: how qualified you are for the specific position, and how compatible you are with their values and vision. Take time to research each company and highlight how your professional goals match their business goals. Further emphasize your traits, skillsets, and contributions in your previous work that will strengthen your case. The more relevant your values are, the more attractive you will be to the company. A base resume may bury all this information and get missed.
Proofread and Edit
When you send a substandard resume, you must be looking for a substandard job.
Employers want to know you care about your application. If you cannot be bothered to put together a fine looking resume, it immediately shows the quality of work they can expect from you. Don’t send out a resume that looks like your Word program is broken. Review your grammar and make sure you edit your content well. Cut away any information that may be too old to be relevant, or has nothing to do with the job you are applying for. If it does not help your case regarding the particular role you are applying for, it may be too insignificant to present. Do not go longer than two pages, unless you are putting details on projects and research that are important in your application. Finally, make sure all your personal details are correct.
Don’t Miss the Important Details
When listing your previous work experiences, be specific with what you did there for your role(s). Highlight how you impacted the business and how you uniquely performed in your role. Start your descriptions with action words to make it a compelling read.
Every company loves a problem solver. This sweeping statement is justified by what a problem solver represents: a self-starting and resourceful individual who cares about the outcome of their job and its effect on the company. Cite specific situational challenges in your previous jobs where you can showcase your course of action that resulted in a positive outcome.
Pretty it Up, But Not Complicated
Your resume needs to be presentable. Some even invest in the layout and overall feel of their document, and that shows painstaking regard for how they will be viewed by their would-be employers. However – and this goes mostly for applications sent online – make sure that your resume can pass through an Application Tracking System (ATS) without issue. This is a system that scans for the relevant information to prequalify your resume for the available positions. Resumes that are highly dependent on graphics tend to be a problem for an ATS, so make sure all the important information is written out. Also, try to use keywords across your content that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Be Prepared for Questions Outside of your Resume
If you did your work right, then your resume would be a solid and effective primer to your goals, skills, and accomplishments. Be prepared to discuss more the highlighted content of your resume. Your employer will want to make sure you are presenting yourself truthfully and anything that seems too good to be true will be scrutinized. But also be prepared to be asked about things that do not appear in your content. Items such as your professional character, things you are passionate about, and strategic approaches will all be insightful for the recruiter. They will also do additional research on you, so also expect questions regarding your social media and public profile.