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
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.
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.
“Utilized Adwords and Facebook ads to drive additional sales”
“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.
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.”
“Planned and coordinated company tradeshow appearances”
“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
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
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!