Having a high-quality, attention-grabbing resume is important. Often, this document serves as your first impression on the hiring manager, functioning as a digital handshake to get the ball rolling. Failing to nail the details means your application may quickly be discarded, preventing you from having the opportunity to discuss your qualifications in person. If you want to make it clear you are the right person for the job, your resume needs to send the right message from the beginning. Here are some tips for enhancing your resume so the hiring manager won’t simply move on to the next candidate.
Condense Your Contact Information
When it comes to listing your contact information, a streamlined approach is often best. Feel free to skip your full mailing or physical address and just list your city and state instead. You can also bypass labeling your details, such as phone number or email, unless it is absolutely necessary. In most cases, people recognize the formatting used to list phone numbers and emails, so putting “cell” or “email” ahead of the details is simply unnecessary.
Load Your Headline and Summary with Keywords
You often have just a few seconds to entice the hiring manager into reviewing your entire resume, so making sure important details about your skills and experiences are front and center is a smart way to go. When you create the information, use the same language that appears on the job announcement. This ensures your keywords are covered, and the hiring manager can see you possess the right skills with ease.
But don’t resort to only creating a list. Instead, create a headline featuring numerous keywords and use the summary section to show how your experience provides value to the company. Customize the material, so it speaks directly to the business, industry, and position as this will help you make the biggest impact. And don’t repeat any keywords that are listed in your headline in the summary unless it is completely unavoidable.
Add Familiar Job Titles
Organizations can use any title they want to describe a position. Since no one is required to stick with a particular convention, consider “translating” less common titles into more familiar terms. This lets you take an unconventional naming convention and guarantee it will make sense to any hiring manager. Just list your official job title on your resume and include a conventional version in parenthesis. If your position actually included multiple roles, feel free to add more than one traditional translation to make sure you cover your bases.
Head, Summary, Bullets
For each job, consider including a headline and summary before your standard bulleted list of skills or accomplishments. This approach can ensure your most important details are included first (using the headline) and then given some context with the help of the summary. Then, throw in some bullet points to show some quantifiable accomplishments that are relevant to the position. Not only does this help keep the information well organized, but it also adds visual interest in the document.
By making a few small changes, you can make sure your resume provides the best first impression possible, helping you stand out as the clear choice for the role. If you’re interested in learning more or are looking for a new job, the professionals at MindFinders can assist as you explore your options. As a leading IT staffing firm in the DC area, we can connect you with industry leaders seeking professionals just like you.
Written by Tim Booker, President and CEO of MindFinders, with over 20 years of industry experience.