With 2018 just around the corner, and hiring departments at companies and organizations all across the country beginning to finalize budgets for 2018, there hasn’t been a better time to start thinking about positioning your resume for job hunting success in 2018.
With the current job market leaning heavily in the job seeker’s favor, understand that the job market is hot and that competition is fierce – especially for the highly-coveted jobs across the country.
That said, there are a few tricks to ensure your resume reaches the top of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) so you can give yourself the best chance of being noticed by a hiring manager.
1. Utilize the header space on your resume
An often-overlooked portion on the resume is the header. Yes, that section is designed for showcasing your full name, address, and contact information. But that information, when parsed through an ATS, can be incredibly powerful.
Looking to make a move to a new state? Use an address from the location you’re trying to get to. Can you ask a friend or loved one if you can borrow their address? Sure!
ATS was designed to streamline work for hiring managers and human resources professionals. Filtering out resumes by geography is an easy step for hiring managers to use ATS for. Make sure your resume isn’t filtered out for this reason.
2. Pay attention to first impressions
You’ve beaten the ATS and now your resume is being read by a hiring manager. Great! But have you thought about the first impression your resume gives off?
Is there very little, or too much, white space? Does your resume give the impression that you’ve accomplished a lot in your prior roles, or is the experience bare?
It’s a good idea before sending out your resume to job applications to print it out, or have a friend take a look at it to tell you the impression it gives.
First impressions count, and a professional-looking resume is important.
3.Tenure, tenure, tenure
We can’t say it enough, but tenure plays a huge role for hiring managers when determining who gets interviewed and who doesn’t.
Companies do not want to invest time, energy, and resources into a candidate that they know has a track record of leaving after 8, 10, 12 months on the job.
Take a step back from your career and look at the bigger picture. Have you made frequently job changes? What is the impression your career history gives to a hiring manager who doesn’t know you as a person?
If the answer is yes to the above questions, think strategically about ways to draw attention away from your tenure. Maybe use a functional format? Or group positions together by function? Be creative, as the impression your tenure gives is a big indicator to hiring managers about your candidacy.