Even for English majors, writing a resumé that results in an interview isn’t easy. To gain the attention of a prospective job recruiter, your resumé must be tailored to meet a company’s specified expectations and design preferences. This includes keywords, correct grammar, and spelling and a readable page layout.
An effective resumé is much more than a cold presentation of your job history, education details and individual data. It also is your personal marketing tool, crafted to match the expectations of the focus company and designed to land you a face-to-face meeting with company representatives. Creative design merely means you’re free to clearly articulate your:
- Areas of expertise
- Practical and related work experiences
- Personal accomplishments as related to perseverance, dedication and motivation
- Technical strengths and related work skills
- Work-related assets and strengths
Modern organizations no longer function on a visual-only approach to resumé reviews. Current applicant tracking software eliminates much of the drudgery associated with hands-on reviews of every incoming applicant profile. Tracking software automates the work for employers and provides job applicants the advantages of the electronic resumé process. However, automated reviewing also demands job applicants write error-free resumés that closely match the expectations of the associated organization. The following five tips will help you perfect an electronic-focused resumé that motivates human resources personnel into action.
1. Harness the power of keywords
Using keywords in your résumé is a chance to get yourself noticed. Human resources personnel have limited time to review the many applications they receive for a job opening. As a result, many HR departments use database technology to compile resumes, and will use industry-related keywords to search for resumes that fit a specific job opening. Make sure you get yourself noticed by speaking the company’s language. Craft a brief but powerful résumé that details your work history and relevant skills but don’t overuse phrases from the job description. An employer wants to ‘hear’ your voice, not your parroting skills.
Example: If you’re applying for a position as a graphic designer, for example, make sure you include terms like page layout, ad design, illustration, marketing agency, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Macromedia Flash, if you have experience with those experiences and applications. As a result, a graphic design resume may have the following skills listed:
- Page layout
- Photo retouching
- Graphic Illustration
- Ad design
2. Craft a proficient summary
You have only a few seconds to capture the attention of a recruiter. Place your summary at the top of your résumé. Use concise language that defines your understanding of the available position and its associated responsibilities. Follow up with relevant professional skills and experience and your career goals.
Example: An applicant for a sales/marketing position may include the following summary that quickly highlights his or her most relevant skills:
An aggressive marketing executive with more than 7 years of experience successfully managing and building sales/marketing teams for leading retail companies.
3. Avoid jargon
Every industry has its own distinctive language that may or may not be understood by outsiders. Show your understanding of industry-specific terms, but do not lose yourself in a flurry of buzzwords. If you use a term that may not be understood by the personnel reviewing your résumé, be sure to include a brief example that explains what you’re talking about.
4. Establish a social networking presence
To establish a professional online persona, create or update your profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other relevant social media sites. Avoid posting controversial statements or inappropriate content. Maintain a professional demeanor but be approachable. Make yourself known in industry-specific settings, such as networking groups that pertain to the position you’re seeking, and provide links to your profile in your resumé.
5. Provide current content
The last thing employers want to see on your résumé is a gap in your employment. Job requirements and responsibilities change. Industries evolve. Work histories expand. Skill levels increase. Be sure the information you’re submitting is up to date and the best representation of who you are as an employee.
Remember: You may be applying for a position using electronic tools, but you’re still trying to snag the attention of a real person. Let your résumé represent you in the best way possible. Include a snappy cover letter and you might soon find yourself in a face-to-face meeting for the job of your dreams.
About the Guest Blogger: Cassandra Lynne is an admin for Good Morning Bloggers. Good Morning Bloggers is a free service that connects blog owners with writers and vice versa. Aside from blogging, Cassandra is a travel enthusiast, art fanatic and animal adorer.