As things stand today, there are well over 100 million resumes on Indeed’s database. These are 100 million, highly qualified, well-written resumes from people who are competing for the same employment opportunities are you are on a daily basis. Whenever a HR department makes an announcement for a vacancy, their inboxes are flooded with hundreds, if not thousands of such resumes. That is not to mention the alternative options that they actively source out through platforms such as LinkedIn.
So, how can you get your resume to the top of this pile? Are there any tricks to use when you want your resume to stand out? Here are some tips on how to get your resume noticed by employers.
5 Tricks to Make Sure Your Resume Stands Out
With millions of qualified applicants searching for jobs every day, you would be forgiven for thinking that the only way to get your resume noticed is to make it as “shiny” as possible. The truth, however, is that employers are not looking for overcomplicated CVs riddled with technical jargon, images and even pie charts. They want something that is simple, straightforward and to the point. They want something that instantly tells them why you should be considered for the job. Here are some tips you can use to make sure that your resume does just that and more:
1. Keep It Plain and Simple
Most employers use platforms to find the best and most suitable resumes for whatever position they are advertising. These platforms use something called an “Applicant Tracking System“. These systems are designed to quickly scan your CV and determine whether or not you are a good fit for certain position based on the data the system finds on your CV. Unfortunately, most people get very creative with things like:
- Work history headings.
- Exact job titles.
- Industry jargon.
All in an attempt to appear smarter and more competent. The problem with this is that most ATS will completely miss a majority of the data on your CV because you did not use the right keywords. Keep your resume as simple and as straightforward as possible to make it ATS-friendly.
2. Be Sure to Use a Basic Font
Yes, your resume font matters, a lot. Not only are basic fonts easy to read but they also look much more professional that some of the fancier ones on the list of fonts. You are better off using basic fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri. Be sure to also make the font size something that is easily legible. Anything between 10-12 points will work just fine for both the human eye as well as the ATS. Also, whenever highlighting job titles and employers, use bold and italics.
3. Make Your Resume Extremely Skimmable
Thanks to technology, the average human attention span is now at the lowest it has ever been (8 seconds). This means that the average person will not take the time to go through your highly detailed resume. That is why you need to make it as skimmable as possible. You can do this by employing the following tips and tricks:
- Clearly mark your headings by bolding and italicizing them. They should be a couple of font points larger than the body of the resume.
- Leave some white space around the headings to make them stand out further.
- Use very small paragraphs and short sentences. Big blocks of text are not going to get read.
- Selectively emphasize keywords such as your key achievements throughout the text. Be very careful when doing this because if you bold out 90% of your CV nothing will stand out.
4. You Can Link to Your Other Works
If you are creative or feel as though there is something you have done creatively that could add to your value, then feel free to link to such works. Don’t ramble on about it in the CV itself. Just introduce it, tell the employer why you think it adds to your value for their company and link to the portfolio. This isn’t standard procedure but many employers will be glad to have the option of learning more about you by actually seeing what you can do rather than reading about it on your CV.
5. Customize Your Resume
After sending close to a thousand resumes every day with no luck, it’s understandable that you will get lethargic and a little lazy. The biggest mistake that most people make when this happens is that they stand sending the same resume to every job application they come across. This will only ruin your chances further. You need to customize your resume to each job description and employer. Highlight the skills you have that closely matches what the job advert is looking for as per the description. This immediately shows the employer that:
- You actually read the job description.
- You have what it takes to fill the role.
Plus, it also tells them that you are not lazy; they’ve probably seen a thousand generic CVs too.
These tips will help you stand out and increase your chances of getting an interview with whichever company you are looking to join.