I've begun a 10-day series in what I'm calling The 10 Commandments of Resumes. I hope you'll come back each day and enjoy. I'd love to hear your comments too.
Are you tired of your job? Thinking about starting the search for a new one? Well, your first step is to create a compelling resume that will help get your foot in the door. For those of you who have been in the same job for some time, you'll discover that resumes have changed over the years. Gone is the list of responsibilities. What employers and recruiters look for now are what actions you've taken and what results you created to benefit the business. That helps them see how YOU can help THEM.
Another wrinkle is the advent of applicant tracking systems (ATS), which has greatly changed what's required in a resume. An ATS is calibrated to score your resume based on data such as key words, skills, former employers, and years of experience. Your resume is scored. The higher the score, the better your chances of having your resume reviewed. Fail to include the right combination of key words and other data, and your resume can score low, never being seen by human eyes.
Now, as with most career coaches, I do not recommend my clients simply apply blindly for jobs using online applications. The most direct way to your next job is your NETWORK, which I'll discuss in another blog series. However, you still need to get your resume into the employer's system, so you want to make sure it's found.
So, here we go!
Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Not Use a Header
We have all become quite used to using headers in our documents. They help us format information, and use it consistently on each page. Sadly, some ATSs strip the header out. So there you are. You've worked hard and put in hours and hours of work (or dollars if you used a professional resume writer) on your resume, only to have it arrive without your NAME, EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER AND LINKEDIN PROFILE. The employer may be really excited about your resume, but have no idea who to contact.
The solution? Simply type your NAME, EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER AND LINKEDIN PROFILE URL at the top of the first page. Use tabs for spacing, and keep the alignment consistent with the body of the resume. If you desire, you can put a line across the document to separate this information from the body.
On the second page, simply put your NAME, PHONE NUMBER, and EMAIL at the top. This is important so that if your resume is printed out and the two pages get separated, the employer still knows who those pages belong to.
There! Now your resume has your contact information and it won't get lost in the shuffle.
Come back tomorrow and I'll discuss the use of tables.