If you keep getting rejected for jobs after interviews, you might need to look in the mirror. But if you’re not even making it to the interview stage, it’s time to reassess your resume – from the hiring manager’s point of view. Here are eight ways to make high-impact improvements:
Cover letter – Cover letters give you freedom to customize and add some personality, so don’t forget this great opportunity to showcase yourself. Address the right person, grab ‘em with a strong opener, and play up the unique things you have to offer.
Start with a summary – Readers start at the top, so don’t begin your resume with a dry list of titles and dates. Instead, use the first few lines to make your “elevator pitch”, outlining goals and giving context for your accomplishments. Then ease readers into your career chronology.
Don’t ramble – For both cover letters and resumes, the proverbial less is definitely more. Yes, it’s harder to write a few good sentences instead of babbling on, but be a ruthless editor. Use the job requirements as a content checklist to avoid off-topic rambling. Resumes can exceed one page for those with long or complicated career histories – but only if absolutely necessary.
Become an action hero – Skills are important, but to really impress employers, let them know what was accomplished because of your abilities. Substitute passive, phrases like “responsible for” with energetic, results-oriented words like “created”, “achieved” and “initiated”.
Be calculating – Words can be vague, but numbers don’t lie. Underscore the impact of your achievements by quantifying them. If you increased sales, cite the percentage. If you developed a new product, share how much revenue it brought in. And if you streamlined procedures, let potential employers know how much money you saved the company.
Sail through screening – The standard for resumes is a 6th grade language level. Remember, the gatekeeper may not have the same level of education as the hiring manager, so keeping it simple can help you in the screening process. Don’t forget that some companies use electronic screening, so make sure to include key words related to the job.
Be targeted – If you don’t want to be seen as a cookie-cutter candidate, don’t send out a mass-mail resume. Successful job seekers tailor their resumes to each position and company. Research the job and corporate culture to help you decide what tone to take, and which skills or achievements to highlight.
Don’t date yourself – If age is an issue, consider scrapping the typical chronological format and create a functional resume instead. Functional resumes focus on skills and experience instead of a timeline. If your degree is more than 10 years old, keep the field but remove the graduation date. And if you insist on using a chronological resume, leave off any work experience more than twenty years old that is irrelevant to the job you’re seeking.
Triumph Services are not only experts in the field of IT Staffing, we have lots of great tips on being successful in your career. Browse our latest IT job opportunities today!