One of the biggest challenges I have seen job seekers face is nonresponse from their resume submissions. It can be frustrating to wonder whether it is your resume or something else that’s causing the lack of response. I’ve compiled this list of 25 resume tips and tricks to help you evaluate your resume and make changes now to dramatically improve your response rate.
25 Resume Tips to Increase Interview Requests
Resume Tip #1: Create a master resume and commit to keeping it updated.
When you find yourself job searching, and you sit down to write your resume, it can be difficult to recall all the figures, accomplishments, and successes you’ve had over the last 10-15 years of your career. It’s much easier to keep a log of it as it happens. Sure, it might take a couple of minutes a month to jot down your most notable achievements, and to keep a log of them; but when you sit down to write your resume or work with a professional resume writer, you’ll thank me.
Resume Tip #2: Consider an infographic resume.
Would an infographic resume benefit you? The concept has been around for a couple of years, but job search candidates haven’t widely used it. I, however, think it could be an interesting way to stand out from the crowd – especially if you’re in a field where this type of resume would be appropriate to use. I wouldn’t recommend it for conservatice positions such as banker or lawyer.
Resume Tip #3: Get rid of the objective statement.
Objective statements are generic and don’t share the value you offer the employer. Write a persuasive branding statement and laser-focused career snapshot instead.
Resume Tip #4: Bring on the numbers.
Going back to keeping a master resume … if you have one, adding in numbers should be no big deal. If you don’t, then start tracking those numbers now! Quantify everything! If you led a team, tell me how many people were on the team; if you saved money, tell me how much you saved. Grew revenue? By how much? Managed a budget? Tell me how big the budget was. Always include a number!
Resume Tip #5: Focus on facts and figures.
Making generalized statements within your resume accomplishes absolutely nothing except taking up space. Give employers something concrete and tangible about your career history that proves the value you create.
Resume Tip #6: Remove two words from your resume:
Success and results.
Resume Tip #7: Answer three simple questions.
Three simple questions will help you write a more concise and polished resume. Here’s a link to those three questions and how to incorporate them into your resume: http://www.greatresumesfast.com/blog/2013/12/03/3-simple-questions-to-help-you-write-a-better-resume/
Resume Tip #8: Add your LinkedIn profile URL.
90% of employers will go to LinkedIn to find out more about you. That is a high enough percentage for me. Make it easy for them to find you (and make sure they are finding the right YOU on LinkedIn) by including your personal LinkedIn profile URL on your resume.
Resume Tip #9: Needs-based resume, please!
Long gone are the days of telling employers what you want and need (ahem … that objective statement that had BETTER NOT be on your resume!). Instead, review the job ad to see what the employer’s greatest needs are, and make sure your resume addresses your ability to meet those needs.
Resume Tip #10: Use a career snapshot instead of a nonspecific summary.
Use numbers, company names, and figures. The introduction of your resume does not have to be a bland and boring overview that sounds like everyone else’s. Use things unique to you to create more depth and impact as a career snapshot. High-profile companies or clients that you can name—include those. Managed lots of projects or big budgets? Use those numbers and quantify in your summary.
Resume Tip #11: Cut the fluff.
Oh, how I cannot stand resume fluff. Reduce the content to the lowest common denominator. Make your words work for you—and deliver the most bang for your buck. In other words, cut out the “team player,” “excellent communication/written skills,” and all those other overused terms and phrases that find their way into so many resumes.
Resume Tip #12: Use keywords in all the right places.
Don’t be afraid to put keywords in your headline, branding statement, career snapshot, and work experience sections. Keywords are not just for the bulleted “key skills and core competencies” section of the resume.
Resume Tip #13: Call out those accomplishments.
Have a career achievement or success you were particularly proud of? Create a key achievements section on your resume in the top third to draw attention to the best results.
Resume Tip #14: Brand yourself.
If you don’t, the employer will.
Resume Tip #15: Incorporate YOU.
I see so many resumes that contain generic and vague statements. I cannot harp on this enough: Get rid of all the general terms and phrases—especially within your career snapshot. If you get six seconds to capture the hiring manager’s attention and stand out from the other applicants, and the first five lines of your resume read exactly the same as everyone else’s, then you’ve done absolutely nothing to set yourself apart.
Resume tip #16: RUN from simple resume templates.
Templates are cookie-cutter resumes that thousands of other job seekers are using. Again, not the best strategy when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the others.
Resume tip #17: Include a specific position title.
At the top of your resume, include the specific position title you’re applying for, and any relevant keywords. This creates the connection between your experience and the opening.
Resume tip #18: Commit to customization.
Make a commitment to customizing your resume as you apply for each opening. It could be as simple as changing the position title or job target at the top of your resume to removing irrelevant keywords. The more you tailor the resume to the specific position, the better your chances are of it getting you an interview.
Resume tip #19: Reflect on past achievements.
Take time to think about what you’ve accomplished in your career, and quantify it when and where possible. To help jog your memory, think about challenges you’ve faced during your tenure, how you addressed those challenges, and what the outcomes were. Typically, this great exercise will help you to think of two or three critical successes that will work well on your resume.
Resume tip #20: Put those achievements in context.
Once you’ve thought about those great results, place them in the context of how they relate to the position. Make the connection between what you can bring to the table (your past wins) and what the employer needs right now.
Resume tip #21: Nix the common resume myths.
The false notion that a resume can be only one page long or no one will bother to read it is a myth. So are the misconceptions that you need to include an objective statement, that you have to include every job you’ve ever had—even back to the ’80s, and that you have to have a degree to get a job. What’s not a myth is that hiring managers spend about six seconds on their initial resume reviews; so needless to say, the top third of your resume had better look great.
Resume tip #22: Proofread—and then get three friends to do the same.
Don’t ask them for their opinions about what it should look or sound like—unless they’re a recruiter, resume expert or they wrote their resume with a tremendous response. Just ask them to review it for any typos or spelling errors that you may have overlooked. Nothing gets your resume thrown in the trash quicker than a bunch of errors because you neglected to proofread.
Resume tip #23: Your resume is a personal marketing document.
Your resume is a tool that markets you to employers. It’s the first piece of information they see about you and determines whether they will research you further or schedule an interview or discard your application. Make sure it is an authentic representation of your career history and the value that you create for the organizations who’ve employed you.
Resume tip #24: Make sure your resume is ATS-Optimized
80% or more of companies (big and small) use applicant tracking software to screen out candidates. So, while tapping into the hidden job market is your quickest way to secure a position it’s almost impossible to avoid online applications and applicant tracking software. As a result, it pays to ensure your resume is ATS-optimized. Here’s what you want to avoid and what you want to include to be sure your resume is ATS-optimized.
AVOID: Specialformatting, text boxes, poorly planned tables, live links, and headers/footers.
INCLUDE: Section headers, full contact info, spelled out acronyms, months/years of position durations
Note on file formats:
– Use a .doc file format, older computers may have issues with .docx.
– Ensure your name and position title are in the document properties
– Save the file name in one of the following two formats: FirstNameLastNameResume | FirstNameLastNameJobTitle
Resume Tip #25: Make sure your resume is a keyword match.
There’s a great online job search tool you can use at Jobscan that allows you to compare your resume to a job ad to make sure that your resume is a match. While it may not be a 100% correct analysis, it will at least give you an indication of whether you are headed in the right direction with keywords and writing your resume to make sure it’s relevant to the targeted position.
So how did you like our resume tips and tricks? Is there anything missing? Let us know your own resume tips and tricks on our social media channels.