High COVID-19 unemployment numbers are producing active candidates. Passive candidates are on the verge of venturing into a job change now that the new normal is settling in. In either case, a concise well-planned resume is the foundation your next career will be built upon. Now more than ever, it’s important to take stock of the state of your resume and build an updated, current – and most importantly – living, flexible resume.
Resumes are no longer one and done
It’s no longer a pair of human eyes skimming your resume as a first step – AI has the gatekeeper’s job now. This single change over the years in the job selection process means that a computer is going to search through your resume to see how your skills match up with the skills required in the position using keyword matches.
We recommend that the wording on each resume you submit be tailored to each position you are considering. Carefully word your experience to reflect the keywords used in the job description. The more thoughtfully you do this, the better your chances of moving your resume past a computer screening and into the hands of the human recruiter.
Yes, every job application you complete will have a different resume but do not be discouraged. By doing this, you will become adept in skills that all companies prize: writing, clear communication and pivoting.
In a skills section at the bottom, include business-related platforms and remote work programs that you are familiar with using (Salesforce, Slack, Box, Zoom) that demonstrate how short your learning curve will be to get up and running in this position. These platform names are also keywords for the initial screening of your resume, so only mention the ones that the position outlines are required.
How to get your resume noticed, and don’t mind the gap
Congratulations, your resume made it past the computer screening. Now a human recruiter or HR Director, in just seven seconds, decides if you’ve made the short list for the job. Seven seconds. Getting the human’s attention requires two things: nuance and metrics.
While the bulk of your resume will be descriptive of past experiences, the top of your resume should look forward, telling the story of your future contributions to the company. Share your unique professional attributes and accompanying metrics.
Start your resume with an aspirational narrative focusing on your strengths that are the most relevant to the position – especially highlighting your remote work experience.
When you outline your past accomplishments, frame them with facts. By what percentage did you grow annual revenue or teams? Help the recruiter understand just how successful you were at every position with metrics. Don’t just list skills. Quantify your accomplishments. Prove that you represent good ROI.
Do not be afraid to list COVID-19 as the reason for a gap on your work experience if you were furloughed or laid off. Be honest. This is a common occurrence and employers are more understanding than you would expect. Highlight your perseverance. Call attention to your ability to learn new software and processes or your expertise in problem-solving. All these skill sets have to be honed by everyone in this situation.
Sometimes it’s the little things
Proofread, proofread, proofread. We cannot stress this enough. Do not just rely on your computer’s spell check. Share your resume with trusted peers who know you are searching. After that, ask them to proofread it for you. In addition, request objective feedback on how you look as a candidate in the industry big picture.
Spell technology platforms correctly. Similarly, use consistent punctuation and formatting. Make the structure of your resume clear. It should be easily scanned, both by the computer and the human.
Add the title of the applicable position as your title under your name on your resume. This keyword matches you on the computer screening process. It positions you visually as the right person for the job when the recruiter first glances at your resume. You are owning the position.
Don’t forget to link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume. A recent study showed a comprehensive LinkedIn resume increases your chances of a job interview by 71%. First, make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume. Then, make sure it elaborates on it.
LinkedIn gives you the ability to link to articles you’ve written and projects you’ve worked on. Moreover, it allows you to garner recommendations from peers and current and former colleagues.
With a few adjustments in wording, and a strong proofreading game, you and your resume can accomplish great things.
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