Since the early 20th century, the resume has been the standard on which employers judge perspective candidates worthy of joining their ranks, and since the dawn of the modern PC, the Word template for resumes has been used to “impress” recruiters. While this resume template has your five main points of contact that we all believe recruiters want to see, it doesn’t stand out next to the hundreds of applicants a job positing can garner.
On average, a recruiter takes 3 seconds to review a resume before moving on to the next or putting you in one step closer to getting a phone call for the pre-screen. With that in mind, here are 3 ways you can spice up that jumble of word salad of your greatest achievements that you call your resume to make it worth a recruiter’s time;
1. PDF Only
You may think that it doesn’t matter how you send in your resume, but that you get the information into the recruiter. However, recruiters may not even open your attachment if its not in PDF form. PDF is a format that remains the same no mater what platform you view it on, including mobile. And with our ever-changing world of technology, you should not expect a recruiter to accept all formats. Google Doc links and Microsoft OneCloud attachments are not going to be easy to access, especially if the recruiter is taken offline for any reason, so make their day by providing your resume in the simplest, most universally recognized format out there.
2. Brag about the Accomplishment, and not the Task!
Everyone knows what a Receptionist does, or at least they think they do, so why are you putting on your resume that you opened mail and answered phones? That information wastes valuable space that could otherwise tell a recruiter how great you are! Instead of your job description, let the recruiter know what you accomplished during your time in your role. For example, “reduced administration burden by streamlining forms” lets the recruiter know that you can do more in the role then just the bare minimum, and in the end, isn’t that what every employer wants?
3. Learn to Speak their Language
If you look at the same job description across multiple employers, your going to see that each one uses a language that is unique to them. If the recruiter didn’t just pull the description from a government repository, the language used in the description was chosen for an explicit purpose. Companies like Starbucks used the term “Partner” when describing employees, and Apple Inc. light heartedly refers to its computer technicians as “Genius”. While this may seem like fun little quirks that the company uses to make their people feel special, its a deep narrative that they have running through their organization in the form of their culture. If you want a recruiter to see you as a potential employee, then act like you already are! I’m not saying that you should call yourself a genius or a partner, but when referring to your previous roles, use language that matches theirs, such as “partnered with others to accomplish X”. (see what I did there?) It the little things that will catch their attention and speaking their language will let then know you are a good candidate.
So, there we have it! Next time you go back and update your resume from 5 years ago and wonder how you can make the experience you gained as a MacDonald Fry Cook look like it applies to a CEO position, just remember these sage pearls of wisdom, and you will be one step closer to landing that dream job.
Passionate about technology, human resources, and nurturing great talent!