Getting Your Resume Noticed

Today hiring managers and recruiters are inundated with resumes. For every position, a recruiter can have dozens of resumes submitted. As a recruiter I’m going to let you in on a secret, most of those resumes aren’t read; they are quickly skimmed. So it is critical to have one’s resume tailored to grab the reader’s attention quickly. It must be easily readable and convey skillset quickly. Here are a couple of ideas that increase one’s chances of getting a hiring manager to make the next move:

1. Use bullet points- Long paragraphs are hard to quickly read. However short bullets are easier to read and make visual impact. These bullets need to be quick facts that convey your skillset and strengths. Doing a short description of your position and a short list of top accomplishments is all that is needed.
2. Use metrics- Having numbers to show your specific accomplishments gives credibility to your skills. It is much easier to get excited by a resume that lists quantifiable metrics. Your resume needs to show the strengths that you bring to the job. If it looks more like a job description, chances are it will get passed over. Here are some examples:
• Increased sales over 18 months by 5%
• Lead team of 12 to implement a Quality Management System
• Reduce overhead by 7% by renegotiating contracts
3. List reason for job transitions- Especially if you have been at numerous jobs over short periods of time, it can help you not look like a job hopper. This can be just a short reason such as transition due to plant closure, position eliminated, or it was a career advancement.
4. Job Title Header- This is the job you are applying for. If the first title isn’t what the hiring manager is looking for, they most likely will stop reading. This also means that you may need multiple resumes if you are looking at different job titles. Each of your resumes needs to be tailored to the job you want.
5. Keywords- Include keywords relevant to your job and industry. This is especially true when posting onto job boards. In more technical positions, list the software packages you are using. The more specific a job resume is the more likely your resume will pop up near the top when someone is doing a keyword search. This however doesn’t mean listing MS Office and Windows as skills. These need to be skills, products, and software/hardware that is specific to your job and are not universal in your field.

Making your resume clean and easy to read will increase your chance to get it noticed and getting a phone call. Using specific data that makes you and your qualifications unique will help someone remember a resume. This is the time to brag about your accomplishments. If you aren’t excited by your resume, then it probably will just be another resume in a queue that will be forgotten.