You have probably heard the famous idiom, ‘work smarter, not harder’.
It fits perfectly when it comes to optimizing your job search as well. If you are still following the same old redundant ways of composing one generic resume and forwarding it to every job posting you encounter in hopes of getting an interview call, you are barking up the wrong tree.
To help you get out of this rut, we have compiled a list of resume hacks that will put you miles ahead of the competition.
Read on to learn the top 10 resume hacks that will make your job search a lot easier:
Hack #1: Appease the bots
The bots we refer to here is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Most large companies, fortune 500 companies, and even smaller firms have started relying on this software application to thin out the herd.
This system scans through all the applications submitted for a job opening and weeds out candidates based on criteria set by the employer, which could be anything ranging from keywords, design & layout to length.
Your resume needs to get past these bots before it even reaches the hands of a recruiter.
Use keywords to get you out of this jam easily and quickly. The use of the right keywords can convince the ATS that you are the perfect candidate. This means that your resume will get parsed easily which also means that it will have a higher chance of ranking high in the ATS vis-a-vis other applications.
You can find these keywords by looking through the job description with a fine-toothed comb. Pick out the skills that apply to you and use them heartily by sprinkling them throughout your resume.
Here’s when and how you can use these keywords:
- Look for skills that your professional experience justifies.
- Use these keywords in the ‘Summary’, ‘Key Skills’, and ‘Professional Experience’ sections.
- Never try to deceive your recruiter or indulge in hyperbole by using keywords that you can’t justify using.
Read More: Increase Your Resume Skills From Home
Hack #2 Hyperlinks to the rescue
As you will be sending most of the applications (if not all) online, it makes sense to include hyperlinks to grab the recruiters’ attention. Why not show off a personal website or social media profiles, like LinkedIn?
Most recruiters are required to pull a background check on their potential employees anyway. So, put yourself ahead in the game and optimize these to wow the recruiter.
Moreover, you cannot squeeze every bit of information on a one-page document, so this will help you in showcasing all the extra bits that will solidify your candidature.
Hack #3 Don’t be a cliché
The recruiters see hundreds of copies of resumes each day for a single job opening. If you were to take off the name from each one of these, you couldn’t even differentiate one from the other.
It is because of the repeated use of a thousand common phrases that have become redundant in the recruitment world. For example, ‘self-motivated xxx looking for xxx’. These phrases have no impact on the recruiters and just act as filler words. What’s worse? They sound like clichés and no recruiter wants to hire a cliché with nothing exceptional about them.
Try to stand out by being original. Endorse the skills that make you unique. This will leave a positive impression on the recruiters and help you take your job application to the next round of face-to-face interviews.
Hack #4 Use action verbs
When communicating your past roles & responsibilities in the ‘Professional Experience’ section, first, use one-liner bulleted points. Moreover, using action verbs in a resume for these bullet points will do wonders.
Use terms such as, ‘Streamlined’, ‘Spearheaded’, ‘Facilitated’, etc.
Using these terms gives your resume a tone of professionalism. It also helps you showcase confidence and assertiveness which helps you bridge the gap between you and your dream job.
Truth be told, every recruiter wants to hire employees who aren’t just skilled but have a sense of unmatched personality – something that you are able to communicate using action verbs.
Read More: Do You Need a Professional Resume Design?
Hack #5 Play the number game
Any competent recruiter will want to know what impact you had in the organizations you worked with previously. You can answer this question by being generic and just including the roles & responsibilities you were bestowed with or you can attach your performance figures that will give the bones of your resume more meat.
Did you lead a team? Mention the number of people in your team or if you exceeded your sales target, mention the exact amount in your resume. Tell the recruiter how your actions saved the companies’ time or resources.
Embellishing your bold performance statements using actual numbers helps you show how your contribution and skills can be valuable to the next organization that hires you.
Doing this also helps you demonstrate to a hiring manager that you aren’t just “all words and no play”. You are a person of substance and you are one who can bring value. And that is what every recruiter wants to see in the ideal candidate.
These tried and tested tricks have worked time and again. However, they might still fall short in some cases. The most important thing is to remain persistent. So, do your due diligence before writing and sending out your resume.
There is the perfect job for you out there, don’t stop unless you find it!