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.

The Art of the Resume – What Format to Use?

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As a part of our ongoing job seeker series “The Art of the Job Search,” we’ve created a series of tips regarding resume writing and promotion. The first installment in the resume series discusses the various formats you can use, depending on the type of position for which you are applying.

Being a job seeker can be a full time job. First, you research your target industries and find the companies you feel would be the best fit. You network with employees at those companies, attend job fairs, and search job boards to see what types of jobs are in demand. For all the work you do, is your resume helping or hurting you? Think of your cover letter and resume as your personal marketing pieces – what the employer will reference again and again when considering you for their company. Does your resume encompass all that you can offer? Does it stand out from the crowd?

The first thing to consider when creating or redoing your resume is the format. Different formats can be used to accomplish certain career goals. The traditional resume formats include chronological, functional, and a combination of both.

The chronological format lists your education and experience in order, most recent first. You can use this format when you want a position in your current industry, you have extensive experience, or you can demonstrate upward movement in your positions. These factors prove you are ready for the next step in your career.

The functional format revolves around accomplishments in your career. Use this format when you want to make a career change and feel your experience could be used in a new industry, if you have held many different jobs in a short period of time, or you are returning to work after long absence.

The combination format presents your relevant skills in chronological order. This format can be used whether you want to move to a new industry or remain in your current field. The combination format is also a good option when you have gaps in employment, want to express how your skills in other types of work, such as volunteering, can be transferred to the position, or when your past job titles do not encompass all of your responsibility in that position. 

Regardless of the format you select, it is most important to tailor your resume to the position for which you are applying. As you look over your experience, does it mirror the qualifications required in the posting?

Here are some general formatting tips to leave the employer ready to learn more after reading your resume.

  • Make sure your resume is easy to read with clearly defined sections (Education, Experience, etc.) and bullet point lists of responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Include proper spelling and grammar, double check that all text is in the same font, and that there are distinct heading and bullet point list sizes. Your name and contact information should be the largest font for quick recognition.
  • Demonstrate all relevant training in your Education section. Do you have a certification the employer would be interested in seeing?
  • Along with your responsibilities in each job you include, list accomplishments you feel could be applied to the position to which you are applying.
  • Have references ready upon request from the employer who can vouch for your experience and accomplishments.