When you’re writing a resume, your ultimate goal is to be noticed as a qualified candidate and to make enough of an impact on an employer or recruiter that you are invited for an interview.
You know the things employers want to see- relevant skills and experience, required educational background, job history. But people often make the mistake of not taking enough time to work on perfecting their resume before submitting it for a job. There are critical steps you should take when preparing your resume, and these steps need to be followed for each job to which you apply.
It is not good enough to have one version of your resume that you send out for every job opening you are interested in. Resumes need to be tailored for each specific job. It will be obvious to an employer or recruiter if you have not taken the time to make your resume specific to their job posting, and that will get you noticed- in a bad way. There are other things that will get you noticed in a bad way, too:
- Not paying attention to detail. Recruiters and employers receive so many resumes that they are often looking for quick ways to narrow down the pile. One way they accomplish this is by looking for resumes with typos, bad grammar, or poor formatting and weeding them out first.
- Not meeting the minimum qualification requirements. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements for a job, don’t apply for it. Employers state these qualifications for a reason, and submitting an application when you don’t meet them is a waste of their time and yours. This is another way employers will weed your resume right out of the pile.
- Not submitting all of the required information with your application. If a job announcement specifically asks for something, make sure to include it. If you need to include examples of past experience or accomplishments, then do it. If the application asks for references, include them. Not giving employers the basic information they specifically ask for is not going to get you an interview.
- Not highlighting your relevant skills and experience. It should be immediately obvious from your resume that you have the specific skills and experience an employer is looking for. If an employer has to dig through your resume, and it isn’t clearly written to match the requirements mentioned in the job posting, then you haven’t done a good job. Your poorly-written resume could hurt your chances of getting noticed for an interview.
Most employers have some sort of scoring criteria when reviewing resumes and determining who makes the cut. The people doing this initial screening may not have the same level of technical or position-specific knowledge as the person who will be doing the actual interviewing or hiring. Don’t miss the cut because you didn’t take the time to tailor your resume to the position. Review the job posting, be sure to include similar verbiage in your resume that’s in the posting, and provide all the required information up front.
Your resume provides the first impression that potential employers have of you, so make sure to make it your best. Not paying enough attention to your resume shows employers that you either don’t care or aren’t serious about the job. Take the time to make your resume the best it can be for each position you apply to, and you will be positioning yourself to be noticed- in a good way.