If you are in the middle of a job search or considering starting one, there are a couple of tricks you can use to boost your response rate and get more interviews. The list below will walk you through exactly what to do so you can find a job faster!
The average corporate job gets 250 applications, which means hiring managers look at countless resumes every single week. While you might be tempted to try to grab their attention with fancy formatting and stand-out design, it’ll only make their job harder and increase the odds that they glance at your resume and decide they aren’t interested. The only exception is if you are a graphic designer or artist. In that case, it makes sense to use a creative, unique resume.
For everyone else, instead of using your design and layout to impress them, use these to draw attention to your content and make that content as impressive as possible. So for your layout, try to use one or two fonts, no more. Also, use two or three font sizes, but not more than that. Make sure your resume is consistent in terms of formatting from start to finish and ensure that it flows naturally from top to bottom. You should have larger headers and then smaller text for your content. This pattern should repeat so that the hiring manager or recruiter can quickly recognize the pieces of information they’re seeking.
Once your formatting is perfected, you’ll need impressive content and bullet points to show the hiring manager you’re a high achiever. What should you put in those bullet points to have a maximum impact? Numbers!
The typical bullet point starts with something like, “responsible for…”, and talks in general terms. This isn’t going to stand out. Think of how many other resumes the hiring manager has looked at already, with those same general claims.
So you want to use specific data and numbers in your bullet points. Here’s an example of a powerful bullet point you might use: “Contacted 75+ new prospects per day to sell our services, achieving 192% of yearly sales quota and finishing as the #2 salesperson companywide in 2015.”
Here are some types of numbers you can use, many of which are included in the example above:
Most job seekers focus entirely on themselves and their own needs in their job search. You sat down and thought about your career, you decided it’s a good time to apply for jobs, and then focused on the mission at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you take the time to look at things from the hiring manager’s viewpoint you’ll have far more success because you’ll be able to tailor your resume to exactly what they want.
Here’s how to start thinking like the hiring manager: Look at the job description and figure out what’s most important to the company. What did they mention first or most often? That’s what they care about. Now go through your resume section-by-section and ask yourself what they’d be most impressed by. Move those pieces to the top of each section.
You’ll read a lot of different statistics about how much time you have to capture the hiring manager’s attention, but it’s definitely a short period of time. Putting yourself in their shoes and then tailoring your resume is the best way to ensure they decide they want to read more after that first glance.
Finally, keywords are a powerful way to make sure your resume gets the time it deserves, so the hiring manager or recruiter can see the rest of what you have to offer. Adding relevant keywords will also help your resume get past those pesky Applicant Tracking Systems.
Here’s what to do: Look at the job description again, and take note of any keywords they use. These keywords might appear in the skills and requirements, the job duties and responsibilities, and elsewhere. Now try to match those on your resume. You might have the right general information but if you don’t have a few eye-catching keywords, the hiring manager might not see it in time! So make those final edits and pack in the most relevant keywords, without going overboard.
If you follow the steps above you’ll get more responses without having to send out more applications. Overall you will attract better companies too, and will find a job much faster.
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