5 Resume Hacks to Get More Interviews

resume hacks interviews

Do you know the average number of resumes sent for a single position in the United States? The number will come as a shock to most – 250. That’s the average number of resumes a corporate job opening attracts. Out of those 250 candidates, 4-6 will be selected for an interview and one person will be offered the job.

Those numbers are pretty frightening for any jobseeker. So how do you get a leg up on the competition?

The answer is your resume which is the first impression you have on an employer. You could be the most qualified candidate but if your resume isn’t any good, you won’t land the interview. We put together a list of 5 resume hacks to get noticed by hiring managers and land more interviews.

1.  Beat The Robots   

Get your resume past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

The first step in landing an interview is getting your resume past an ATS and into the hands of a hiring manager. The majority of employers today use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to screen resumes before they’re ever seen by human eyes. These systems screen your resume to determine if you’re a qualified candidate and send only the most qualified and relevant resumes to the hiring manager for review.

What’s the problem?

The problem is that these systems reject nearly 75% of resumes because they’re either not seen as a good match or aren’t optimized correctly.

The best way to get past these systems is to ensure you use a standard format and utilize relevant keywords. You should use a standard format and font because an ATS may have trouble reading resumes with unusual fonts, colors graphs etc. You should also tailor your resume to each position with relevant keywords. Look for keywords in the job description that the ATS may be looking for.

For example: If a position lists knowledge of Peachtree and Quickbooks as a requirement – Make sure they’re included on your resume.

Zipjob offers a Free Resume Review if you want to see how an actual ATS reads your resume.

2.  Numbers

Numbers on your resume help quantify your job experience

This is a quick resume hack which will help land you more interviews. Many job seekers make the mistake of not quantifying (using numbers) on their resume. There is nothing that captures a hiring manager’s attention like numbers do on a resume.

You can find a way to quantify just about anything for any industry.

Example:

“Utilized Adwords and Facebook ads to drive additional sales”

Vs.

“Utilized Adwords and Facebook ads which resulted in $400,000 in sales with an ROI of 170%”.

You can clearly see that the quantified example is more attention grabbing. It also enhances the believability and portrays you as an achiever which is our next point.

3.  Achievements

image of hack number 3 that suggest you should focus on achievements in your resume

One thing that separates a resume that lands the interview to one that doesn’t is achievements. If you’re simply listing out your responsibilities from previous positions, you’re not making a good impact.

Hiring managers don’t want to see what you were paid to do, they want to know what you achieved and how you will go above and beyond your responsibilities. Even changing the wording on some of your tasks could make you an “achiever” rather than a “doer.”

Example:

“Planned and coordinated company tradeshow appearances”

Vs.

“Planned and coordinated 15 different tradeshow appearances responsible for $1.7 million in sales”

Simply quantifying and choosing the right words can ensure that you come off as an achiever.

4.  Start Strong

Image for hack number four suggesting that your resume should start strong

You should start off your resume with a powerful summary and not an objective statement. An objective statement is boring and outdated. They should never be included on a resume and instead replaced with a professional summary.

This summary tells the employer a bit about who you are and why you’re the perfect fit for the position. Use compelling language and include major achievements from your previous positions.

The first bullet for each job description should also be the best. You want to capture the hiring manager’s attention from the start and the eye automatically lands on the first bullet points. Use strong action verbs and list your top achievements in the beginning to capture their attention and entice them to read into your resume in more detail.

5.  Concise and Relevant

Image for hack number five suggesting that you should keep your resume relevant

Keep your resume concise, relevant and free of any unnecessary information. Job seekers often include information that not only has no effect, it’s usually a turn off to a hiring manager. Don’t list two full pages of positions you’ve held that have no relevance to the one you’re applying for.

If you have no experience in that specific position, briefly mention some transferable skills that relate.

You also don’t need to list out each and every responsibility you’ve had in your previous positions. Pick the most relevant and effective experience that shows you’re an achiever and a good match for the position.

With all that competition out there you really need to stand out to land interviews. Your resume is the first impression you have on an employer and you want to ensure you make a good one. Remember to use standard formatting, start strong, quantify, mention achievements and keep it relevant. Good luck with your job search!

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Top Resume Tips for 2017

By Natalya Khaykis, ZipJob 

The way resumes are written has changed over the decades. The once widely accepted objective statement is now discouraged by most hiring managers. Resumes also need to be written and formatted to pass the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) most employers use.

An ATS is a software that screens your resume before it’s ever seen by a human. It looks for keywords and other information that match what the employer is looking for. This has replaced the need of manually sorting through hundreds of resumes and has saved companies time and money.

The average corporate position in the United States receives an average of 250 resumes. We’ll show you the top 5 tips for your resume in 2017 which will help you kick-start your job search.

Top 5 Resume Tips for 2017

1.  Accomplishments Over Duties – One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make when writing a resume is simply listing out their job duties. With all that competition, you need to show the employer specific achievements where you went above and beyond.

For example, instead of saying:

“Managed the sales team to ensure sales quotas were met”

Go for something that’s more achievement based:

“Managed a sales team of 8 and developed new marketing campaigns which saw a 34% increase in sales”.

Doesn’t that sound so much better?

One of the best ways to catch the employer’s attention is to use quantifiable achievements. Hiring managers love to see numbers on a resume. It catches their attention and makes your experience look more believable and tangible.

2.  ATS Optimization – Most employers use an automated resume scanner called an Applicant Tracking System. These systems pull information from your resume and determine if you’re a good match for the position.

On average, 75% of resumes are weeded out and never seen by human eyes. The problem is that many candidates are qualified but their resume just isn’t optimized for the ATS.

So how do you optimize your resume?

The first thing you need to do is use a standard resume format. Avoid any fancy colors, graphs, tables, fonts and images which the ATS will have difficulty processing.

You also want to ensure you use the keywords the ATS is looking for. It looks for keywords that relate to the position or qualifications the position seeks. The best place to look for keywords is the job posting itself. Look at some relevant keywords from the job posting and incorporate them in your resume. You need to tell the ATS that you have the skills and qualifications needed for the job.

It’s also a good idea to have your resume reviewed to see how it does in an ATS.

3.  Ditch the Objective – The resume objective was once widely accepted and appeared on almost every resume, not anymore. The objective basically says “Hi, here is what I want out of this job and my career”.

The hiring manager or employer isn’t looking for what you want, but what they need and how you benefit them.

This is best expressed with a resume summary. The resume summary should be a bit about your background, skills and why you’re a great candidate for the position. You can check out this guide for writing a good resume summary.

4.  Skills – This is one of the most important sections job seekers leave off their resume. Your resume should have a “Skills” or “Qualifications” listed in short bullet points. This allows a hiring manager to quickly see relevant qualifications, and it’s also great for including relevant keywords for an ATS. You can easily tailor your resume for each position by swapping relevant keywords.

Here is an example of a skills section on a resume:

skills-on-resume

5.  Include a Cover Letter – There has been much debate as to whether cover letters are effective, or even read anymore. The answer is that it depends on the hiring manager but many still do put a lot of emphasis on a cover letter. The cover letter allows you to speak in a more conversational tone and tell the employer your qualifications and why you’d make a good fit for the position.

A well written cover letter would never hurt your chances of landing an interview, and it actually may be the deciding factor.

The best practices for writing a resume are always evolving. We now need to write resumes for both humans and machines. Keep these tips in mind when writing your resume and good luck with your job search!

Ready to get a resume that’s guaranteed to get past the ATS and in to the hiring manager’s hands?  Check out ZipJob!  ZipJob uses professional writers and technology to ensure your resume gets noticed.  Learn More.

Top 5 Best Resume Tips Ever

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Follow these tips to get your resume in to the right hands

There’s no doubt there is endless advice on how to write the “perfect resume”.  Search the keyword “resume tips” and you will get over 100 million results to choose from.  There are articles on how to construct the perfect objective.  And information on what mistakes to avoid when crafting your curriculum vitae. That’s fancy for a summary of your experience which is pretty much like a resume.  There’s even advice on how to convert your resume in to an awe-inspiring infographic that will wow hiring managers.

All this information is fantastic.  But statistics show that 75% of big companies use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to screen candidates.  To cut through the clutter I came up with the 5 best tips to increase your chances of getting your resume past the ATS, and in to a hiring manager’s hands.

  1. Use keywords.  Your resume should showcase the skills, projects and experience that matches keywords to your job.  A common resume hack is to look for keywords in the job listing that applies to your experience and pepper them in to your resume.  These keywords will be picked up by the ATS but use caution by not overloading on them.  An ATS may weed you out if it looks like you “stuffed” your resume with too many keywords.
  2. List specifics.  It’s important to quantify your work as much as you can.  For example:
  • A.  Implemented customer service software resulting in a 75% decrease in customer complaints
  • B.  Implemented customer service software

As you can see, example A. is  much more detailed and paints a clear picture of                         how successful the candidate’s efforts were.

  1.  Keep it clean and concise.  Your resume should be well-structured and easy-to-read from top to bottom.  Pretty pictures and flashy graphics are great if you’re a graphic designer…and sending your resume directly to an employer’s email.  Straight black and white text works best when it comes to submitting your resume through an ATS. Also make sure to only include the most relevant information in your resume.  I hate to say it but no one cares if you’re a foodie.  Aren’t we all?
  2.  Make it mobile.  This tip is great not only for applying through an ATS but for applying on many mobile friendly job sites.  According to online audience measurement company comScore, mobile devices and tablets make up 60% of all digital media time.  Once your resume makes it through the ATS, it better be ready to be viewed on any device.  Our friends at Online Resume Builders have a cool and easy-to-use tool to help you build a mobile optimized resume.  Check it out today!
  3.  List your most relevant and impressive details first.  It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression.  While I’m not sure if this applies in the virtual screening world, many sources say this is true of us humans.  Once your resume hits the hiring manager’s desk,  pull them in by listing your most valuable skills and experience at the top.

When it’s all said and done you should have a well crafted resume that’s set up for applicant screening success.  That said, you shouldn’t bank on just one way to search and apply to jobs.  Now for my not so shameless plug.  There are two great services that help get your resume in front of even more employers and recruiters.  The first is ResumeZapper.  ResumeZapper instantly “zaps” your resume to recruiters looking for candidates just like you.  The second awesome service is Resume Rabbit.  Rather than spend hours posting your resume to every job board under the sun let ResumeRabbit post it to almost 100 job boards at once!  To learn more visit ResumeZapper and ResumeRabbit today!

Have You Updated Your Resume Lately?

Want a stress free resume?  Read on to learn more.

Want a stress free resume? Read on to learn more.

So you’re in the market for a new job.  You log in to the ol’ Job.com account, run a few job searches, see a few jobs you like, and then you apply to them.  But what is actually involved in your application process?  Did you happen to review the resume you’re sending along to make sure that it’s relevant to the job you’re applying to?  Did your application contain a list of recent job duties and functions that align with specific criteria provided in the job ad?  If you didn’t, there’s a good chance that your resume and application will be screened out by a computer before a hiring manager even gets a chance to review it.

These days, most companies are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan a candidate’s resume and application to ensure that they have the skills and qualifications required to do the job.  The old, one-size fits all resume of your past will no longer be effective when trying to land a new job.  This means that every application and resume you submit for a job should be custom tailored to point out your skills and experience that qualify you for the position at hand.

It’s absolutely o.k. to work off of one resume template, but to improve your chances of making it past an ATS’s screening filters, each resume and application should be tweaked to contain keywords that identify you as a strong candidate for the role.  A good way to craft a resume that passes the applicant screening test is to take specific phrases from the actual job description and weave them in to your application and/or resume.  For example, if a job ad lists that a candidate must have strong knowledge of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and you have those skills, be sure to include this in the Skills/Qualifications section of your resume.

It may seem daunting at first, but after applying to several jobs in related fields, you may find that you’re repeatedly using just a few, refined resumes throughout your job search process.  You can also speed up your application process by saving those that get pushed out to employers so you can simply work off of previous applications as you create new ones.

In addition to a keyword rich resume and application, providing a well-written cover letter can also increase your chances of being noticed by employers.  The cover letter is your opportunity to explain why you’re a great fit for the job.  It should clearly and consicesly provide examples of some work related achievements that have prepared you for this new role.

So what do you do after you’ve applied to a job with your fine tuned cover letter, resume, and application?  Follow up, of course. Once you’ve located the company’s contact information online, give them a call and asked to be connected to the HR department so you can follow up on your application.  This way, the employer will know you’re serious about the position, and in many cases, will provide you with an update on where they stand in the hiring process.

Remember that searching for a job is a full time job.  Continue working to improve your resume and remain positive at all times.  By staying proactive in your search, you’ll be sure to find a job you’ll love.

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