Optimizing Your Resume: 5 Tips to take your resume from good to GREAT!
So you've got your resume saved and ready to share. You're feeling pretty confident about its contents and how impressive it makes you sound, right? Literally, every single detail of your prior work experience is listed on that resume. Every. Single. Bullet point. You share it on Monster, in LinkedIn messages, Glassdoor and Indeed, but not getting much feedback? By this time, you assumed you would have many opportunities knocking at your door -- but yet, the phone isn't ringing, the email inbox isn't flooding, and your livelihood is at stake yet another day.
Want to avoid this scenario? It starts with optimizing your email for the best possible results. Dictionary.com defines optimization as, "the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource." Hiring managers, recruiters, and talent acquisition professionals are bombarded with emails from all of the sources I mentioned above. They have to sift through a ton of resumes in order to find that 'gem' that they want to introduce as a potential candidate. Want to make sure your resume stands out? Keep reading.
It is important to stay on top of current trends in resume writing, and ensure that your resume is keeping up. Many organizations are using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to assist with human resources, recruitment and, hiring practices. A quality ATS system offers many features, but at its core, it helps companies collect and organize large numbers of applicants for their available job opportunities. According to Jobscan.com and Forbes.com, over 98% of Fortune 500 companies are using an ATS for their staffing needs.
After reviewing countless resumes in my own career and continuous education of employment practices, here are five tips that will help maximize your resume for optimal results.
1) Use of Key Words - using 'key words' from the job description you're applying for and carefully placing those words within your resume, will increase the chances of YOUR resume coming up in an ATS query.
2) Career Summary - "objectives" on your resume are a thing of the past, and have since been replaced with a Career Summary. This summary serves as a statement about who you are and what you're looking for, as your 'wow factor'. This summary should be no longer than three to four sentences long.
3) Site Quantifiable Results - provide data to showcase your impact as a quantifiable result (ex. "During my time in the office supervisor role, our turnover rate improved by 12%"). Numbers can tell a story and highlight your abilities all at the same time. Ensure to provide a brief comment to express how this quantifiable result improved the firm (ex. "This improvement in turnover ratio helped elevate department morale and employee loyalty.")
4) Leave Street Address Off - at the top/center of your resume simply include your name, city/state/zip, contact info and your LinkedIn hyperlink. Leave off your street address. Employers would rather know where to locate your LinkedIn profile instead of knowing the street you live on. The address info can be shared later, like when filling out an employment application.
5) Word copy and Text Only File - When submitting your resume, ensure to offer a Word copy and a Text Only file as well. The Word copy ensures that the LinkedIn hyperlink works properly, but the Text Only file helps the employer scan your resume into their ATS with original formatting. Usually, when a Word doc is scanned into an ATS, it tends to lose all of that lovely formatting you worked so hard on. Meanwhile, a Text Only file ensures that the formatting of your resume remains intact - which is appealing to the eye whenever a query is run and your resume comes up as a match.
Go through these tips when auditing your own resume. Ensure to update yours accordingly. Your resume doesn't land you the job, but it definitely opens the door to opportunity for an interview where you can really work your magic.
Don't let an antiquated resume style be the barrier between you and the opportunity you deserve.
Any questions? Email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to answer or give feedback.
Michelle Gomez, MBA
Best-selling author, speaker, and executive career coach
Founder & CEO - Michelle Gomez Coaching, LLC.