If you are actively submitting applications with little to no response, then it is pretty clear that something needs to change. Many clients come to me deflated and discouraged because they are applying to “the perfect-fit position” with little to no feedback. They are either getting auto-rejected or they don’t hear back at all. Today we will discuss 5 simple steps to improve your resume.
If you want to learn more about why your resume is being rejected – and how to avoid it, check out this post.
Tailoring Your Resume
Nearly 75% of resumes are rejected by the applicant tracking system (ATS). This means they didn’t even get a chance to make it to the hands of the hiring manager.
You may be thinking, well I am going to go through a recruiter to avoid getting rejected by the ATS. Guess what, 60%+ of recruiters will reject a resume that is not tailored to the position. This means you are missing out on tons of opportunities if you do not tailor your resume correctly.
When you don’t tailor your resume, the ATS, hiring manager, and/or recruiter won’t see the connection between your experience and the needs of the target position.
Consider Your Personal Brand
What is your personal brand? In other words, what differentiates you from the competition? What can you tell the reader, start to think about your own personal brand by identifying themes in your career.
What do you do better than anyone else? What do people come to you for? What are you the most proud of? Write your answers down to these questions and use them to help you identify and prioritize your personal brand.
If you are a culture builder who prioritizes people first, then make sure that is front and center. If you are an expert at maximizing budgets and saving money, then show tangible proof near the top of your resume.
Keywords are a Must
If you are not including industry-specific keywords or phrases, then you are doing it wrong. Pulling keywords directly from the job description and researching industry-specific phrases are critical to your success.
Including the correct keywords can help you get past the ATS and it communicates to the employer that you possess the skills, abilities, and qualifications to excel in that specific role.
Including a dedicated keywords section on your resume is one simple way to incorporate relevant keywords. It is also easy to adjust and modify every time you apply to a new position.
Incorporate More Active Verbs
If your resume reads “responsible for xyz,” then you are doing it wrong. Consider replacing your passive phrases with powerful action verbs that communicate your achievements.
Consider: Accelerated, Advanced, Captured, Achieved, Imagined, Created, Spearheaded, Revitalized, Implemented, Automated, Improved, etc.
Quantification, Impact, and Results
Writing a powerful and achievement-focused resume that showcases quantifiable results is critical. In fact, I strongly believe that communicating your unique value and what you have achieved is the most important factor in writing an effective resume.
If you want to capture the attention of the hiring manager, then you need to show them tangible evidence on your ability to excel in the target position based on your previous success. I always encourage my clients to consider their accomplishments in terms of the challenge faced, action taken, results achieved, and benefit to the employer.
When you are writing out your achievement, you should showcase this in the reverse order so start by discussing the benefit, results, and action.
Transformed the sales organization, delivering $2M in recurring cost savings by implementing new tools, processes, and technology.
Now that you are equipped with these 5 simple steps to improve your resume, it is time to get to work! I have seen clients employ these strategies and start landing numerous interviews every single week. In fact, I have worked with several clients who have received several requests for interviews within mere hours while using these strategies.