There’s a right way and a wrong way to writing a resume.
The right way will you get your foot in the door. The wrong way will see your resume in the “no” pile without a second look.
For a resume to be truly effective, it needs to appeal to three different audiences all at once:
- The person undertaking the initial screening process – often a HR or Recruitment Coordinator
- HR/Senior Recruiter
- Hiring Manager
So, bear in mind each of these people will be looking for different things and each are coming from a different perspective.
Clearly, the “one size fits all” approach just doesn’t work.
Here are our top 5 tips to getting your resume in the “yes” pile:
- Speak to the employer’s needs, not your ego!
Thoroughly read the job advertisement and highlight and elaborate on the points and experience you know the employer is looking for. Try to avoid telling your life story, keep the information relevant and concise.
- Rather than writing your resume as a job description (or in some cases, a novel!), think of it more as a marketing tool – with you being the product!
You are essentially proposing yourself as a suitable applicant for the job described. Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager who’s receiving 80-100 or more resumes. What makes you the best candidate?
- Match the language used in the job advertisement in your resume.
For example, if the job advertisement lists ‘Preparation of BAS, FBT’, refer to it in the same way rather than using statutory reporting. A junior HR Coordinator or Recruitment Consultant may not understand it’s the same thing and you could find your resume in the ‘no’ pile at the first step.
The opposite is the case for previous internal job titles and roles. Try to keep the information in your resume as generic as possible, avoiding company specific jargon, so it appeals to a broader audience and it’s clear from the outset exactly what your role and responsibilities are.
- Make it easy for the person reviewing your resume to find what they’re looking for.
Remember that on average the person receiving your resume spends between 7-10 seconds reviewing it, so make sure the information they’re looking for is front and centre.
In addition to this, your resume should be well formatted. Ensure there’s ample white space and keep it clean and professional – that goes for the font too! This is not the time to trial a cursive font or introduce numerous colours into your resume!
- Customise customise customise!
We can’t stress this enough. If you don’t invest the time in customising your resume and covering letter to the specifics of the role you are applying for, don’t expect to get an interview.
Employers want to see that you’re genuinely interested in THEIR role, not just ANY role. This is the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd and tell the employer exactly why you’re interested in their position.