If you want a job in today’s modern market, you need an amazing resume. Your resume should highlight your professional qualifications without being too wordy or complicated. You also need a resume that looks as good to AI-driven applicant software as it does to recruiters. Learn four key ingredients for a winning resume that helps you zip past the screening robots and actually get a foot in the door.
Key ingredients for a resume
A resume is one of the best ways to make an impression on a new company. When you write or redo your resume, it’s important to do it properly! Use these four strategies to help your resume stand out from the crowd.
Use the right keywords
Today’s employers use applicant tracking software that scans applications to find the best candidates. These digital tools search your resume for keywords related to the job. Update your resume before sending it to any employer and tailor it specifically to the job posting.
Add relevant keywords to your resume so the screening software recognizes you as a good fit. Look for keywords from the job posting. If the company is looking for specific skills, licenses, software knowledge, or other qualifications, add these terms to your resume.
Keep it brief
When it comes to resumes, the shorter the better. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy. Show you’re respectful of their time by crafting a concise resume that doesn’t include long sentences or unnecessary details.
Most job seekers should have a one-page resume. Two pages are the absolute maximum. Try not to use a second page unless you have truly compelling, highly relevant work experience to share.
Use action verbs
You are the star of your resume. Make sure to use language that centers your experience. Action verbs and the active voice highlight your accomplishments and show that you’re directly responsible for your successes.
Look through your resume and highlight anytime you use the words was, did, do, have, and had. Next, replace all of these words with more meaningful action verbs. Aim to describe the action you took in clear terms.
For example, don’t say “did monthly website analytics.” This phrasing makes you seem like a passive participant in someone else’s project. “Managed monthly website analytics and digital trends” is a more precise, active description that places you in the driver’s seat.
Be careful with volunteering activities
Volunteer experience usually looks great on your resume. These activities show that you’re community-minded, proactive, and responsible. However, make sure that your personal politics don’t overshadow your professional goals.
Recruiters and hiring managers are human beings who can hold implicit biases and prejudices. If you volunteer with a religious organization or a gender rights group, recruiters with opposing views might pass over your application. This outdated way of thinking is still a fact of today’s society, and it can cause major problems for your job hunt.
Leave politically charged experience off your resume unless this volunteer work is directly applicable to your dream position. Your work with professional organizations, networking groups, and non-controversial causes is safer to include.
Learn more about laying out your resume
Writing is a resume is a big task, especially now that you need to target software as well as people. These four tips should help you get your resume off the ground.
If you’re looking for more in-depth advice, check out our free guide on how to structure a resume. This free resource gives you everything you need to know to write stunning resumes that start getting calls, interviews, and offers.