You’ve heard it a million times before, but haven’t quite figured out how to tackle the challenge. Since everyone has ability to apply for hundreds of jobs daily with one-click access, creating a resume that somehow puts you ahead of the rest may seem impossible.
Resumes can be tricky for job-seekers and hiring managers alike. Candidates have to figure out the absolute best way to format, word and send out their resume to assure several call-backs from companies. Employers, on the other hand, have to figure out how to weed through hundreds and thousands of resumes that come through to their database in order to find the best possible candidate for a position. A seemingly simple process of submitting a resume and searching for a qualified candidate can turn into a nightmare very quickly.
While emailing resumes and putting them through databases may seem counterproductive, there are a few things you can do to help your chances of having your resume read by a hiring manager. Many companies invest in applicant tracking systems (ATS) that handle job applications and resume data for hiring mangers and HR personnel. Among several other functions, an applicant tracking system can help screen and rank resumes based on keywords within your application. What does this mean?
Submitting your application to databases means you must format your resume a certain way to stand out to the system. You can do this by including certain keywords in accordance with your job position (be sure to check out the position description for keywords to add to your resume) and leaving out abbreviations, as ATS programs are not always equipped to decipher “Mgr.” vs “Manager.” Other ATS tricks also include uploading your resume instead of copying-and-pasting it, as the software will save your application in a more favorable format.
Another way to get creative with resumes is to create one in the form of an infographic. Infographic resumes have unique formats and are graphic-heavy. They add some color and can be a breath of fresh air from a standard resume. While creating one on your own can be extremely time-consuming and may require additional Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop knowledge, websites such as Vizualize.me, Re.vu, and Kinzaa will generate your own infographic resume based on your LinkedIn profile. All you have to do is sign into your LinkedIn account, hit “generate,” and you will have your own infographic resume within seconds.
An online work portfolio is also a great way to show off your accomplishments. For creatives, sites like Carbonmade provide a great platform to upload work samples and share the link to your work with employers.
Ask for recommendations from your coworkers. Don’t wait until you’ve left the company to ask for recommendations — instead, get them as they happen. After you’ve done a rock star job on a project, ask a coworker to recommend your work. Set a realistic goal for getting recommendations in real-time, such as aiming for two per quarter.
While most companies still follow the traditional model of posting a job on their website and job boards followed by the applicant submitting their resume, some companies are beginning to use LinkedIn. Many companies today are posting their job positions directly on LinkedIn, which allows all users to apply for those positions directly through the website. LinkedIn eliminates the need to constantly fill out the same personal information on different job boards. Since that information is already in your profile, LinkedIn directly sends your name, qualifications and previous job experiences to the position and company of your choice.
While this is an extremely convenient process, it also means constantly updating your LinkedIn profile with new companies, promotions and accomplishments. While you may updating LinkedIn more often, keep in mind that quality and writing style is still very important. If you are searching and applying for jobs directly through LinkedIn, triple check to make sure the copy on your profile is as sophisticated and professional as possible.
How would you build the best resume in real-time?