You only have a few seconds to impress a recruiter with your resume, since that’s how long hiring managers typically take to scan through submissions. If you want to stand out to companies you’re applying to, make sure your resume has these 10 essential elements.
1. Keywords Related to the Position You Want
A Facebook engineering recruiter admits to using the document search tool to find terms within a resume related to the roles she’s hiring for. Resist the urge to get too creative with how you describe your expertise, and use straightforward keywords that convey your experience. Pepper these keywords in role headlines and descriptions. Uploading your resume to a website makes you more searchable online, too.
2. Professional Summary
Just because it’s on a template doesn’t mean you should include it. Case in point: the outdated Objective Statement. “Long gone are the days of the Objective Statement at the top of a resume. Unfortunately, someone added this to the top of a Microsoft Word resume template, and the whole world started using it,” says Dennis Theodorou, vice president of JMJ Phillip Executive Search. “Skip the Objective Statement and write a Professional or Executive Summary that ‘sells you.’”
3. Quantifiable Data
Interviews with recruiters reveal they are interested in specific career accomplishments, demonstrated through data such as numbers, dollars, figures, etc. Be as detailed as possible in how you describe achievements. If you list a revenue percentage increase you helped achieve, add the dollar amount, too. If you helped to grow website traffic, indicate by how much. Strive to demonstrate how you contributed to increasing the bottom line of the employers you previously worked for when you create your resume.
4. Relevant Skills
A study by job opportunity site CareerBuilder found one of the most common mistakes hiring managers and human resource professionals see on resumes is a lack of listed skills. Tailor what you list to the job you’re applying for, and mention formal training or accreditation when possible. Be detailed in listing the level of certification you hold in each skill, or the program or education organization that taught you the skill.
5. Achievement-Focused Action Verbs
Another CareerBuilder study shows the worst words to include on a resume are clichéd nouns and adjectives, like “go-getter,” and “hard worker,” It’s better to use action verbs like “achieved,” “improved,” “trained,” or “managed” to clearly show your worth. Pair these with data and accomplishments when possible.
6. Examples of Leadership and Teamwork
The Job Outlook 2016 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that about 80 percent of employers search for leadership skills and teamwork examples on resumes. Young candidates who are applying for post-graduate positions can use instances from school, while professionals can work these qualities into their role descriptions when detailing accomplishments.
7. Link to Your LinkedIn Profile
The Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016 found 87 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to evaluate candidates when hiring. No matter how far along you are in the hiring process, the person interviewing you is probably going to search for you on LinkedIn at some point, because it gives access to recommendations and skill endorsements. Make sure your profile is updated, and add a link to your resume.
8. Professional Contact Information
In addition to listing a professional email address you check regularly, include a phone number whose answering message is professional, as well. “Nothing slows down the recruiting process more than poor contact information on a resume,” says Kristen Fowler, director at Clarke Caniff Strategic Search. “From email addresses that you don’t check often to phone lines without voicemail abilities, you are your own worst enemy when it comes to searching for a job when you don’t have an easy way for recruiters to contact you. Make sure you have a professional email address and voicemail message, and use addresses and numbers that make it easy to get ahold of you.”
9. Accurate Dates
Interviews with recruiters by CNN found not including dates on a resume is a red flag to hirers. Displaying an accurate timeline of relevant work helps hiring managers understand your career journey in your field, how much time you’ve dedicated to companies, and how recently you’ve worked in certain positions. It’s better to be prepared to explain gaps than leave recruiters guessing, which could result in them not contacting you at all.
10. Details That Show Off Personality
Culture is extremely important to recruiters today, as the Jobvite 2017 Recruiter Nation Report found 83 percent of hirers say being a cultural fit is important when vetting candidates. Convey this on your resume by injecting personality or adding volunteer work or extracurriculars that express your uniqueness as a candidate. A small section with this information may be what makes your resume stand out to recruiters.
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