Standing out from the crowd
Recruiters come across a plethora of Resumes on a daily basis and are pressed for time. How long do you think they have to review your resume? Recruiters probably spend just a few minutes on your resume to decide whether it gets shortlisted or rejected. Even if it is shortlisted, it goes to a series of people including the hiring manager, reporting manager and more audience from the employers’ team. So how do you ensure that your resume grabs attention and stands out from the crowd?
Share a Resume, not a CV
It is important for job applicants to understand the difference between a CV (Curriculum Vitae) and a Resume. A CV is a comprehensive description of everything that you have ever done and accomplished. It describes a step by step journey of your career and it ranges from 2-8 pages depending on the years of experience you hold.
On the other hand, a Resume is a crisp and on-point document that is crafted specifically for the job you’re applying for. In a resume, you only mention your achievements, experience, and skills that help recruiters shortlist you for the role you have applied for. You can enhance your chances of getting attention by sharing a Resume instead of a lengthy CV including every work experience and entire career history.
Include a cover letter
A cover letter is as important as a resume. The goal of a cover letter isn’t just to be a preamble to your resume. The goal is to create a connection, a direct engagement, and get the recruiter to refer you to the hiring manager. A cover letter is an opportunity for the you to brand yourself, and sell your unique attributes for the role. A cover letter should be optimized for the keywords and language pulled from the job description and include an executive summary of your key skills and accomplishments aligned to the role. It’s best to have a defined character limit and If it is too long, revise until it isn’t.
Video cover letter
As the world is progressing towards digitalization, a video cover letter can be an interesting way to help jobseekers to stand out. If done correctly, it could very well be the difference between being ignored or getting the interview. It should not simply recite and repeat details from your resume, ensure its personal and engaging. An effective video cover letter should have new content to bring an unique dimension to your resume by showcasing the intangible aspects of your application: your personality, energy, body language, and confidence.
Keeping in mind the limited time that a recruiter will spend on your resume, you should focus on emphasizing the relevant information aligned to the job you are applying for. The objective should be to ensure that the recruiter or hiring manager understands what you have to offer at the first glance. This is where Job Descriptions play a crucial role. Most applicants do not read the job description and do not focus on aligning their application and resume accordingly.
For a recruiter or a hiring manager, pressed for time, a well-designed resume with core competencies, attributes, strengths, career milestones, and achievements aligned to the specific job will stand out.
Bring credibility to your application
While it is alright to use words and phrases with good adjectives to highlight positives about yourself, you may also want to focus on building your case and bring credibility to your facts by adding data points and specific examples.
Example 1: “I am a team player” may be a good thing to put on your resume. But describing a goal achieved by a team will add to its credibility and make your resume look more genuine and honest.
Example 2: Instead of mentioning “I am a consistent performer”, provide more specific data points and targets achieved to support your case.
Do’s and Don’ts for your Resume
Keep it simple and clear: Your resume should be simple and straightforward. The key is that the reader should find the information they are looking for with ease.
Keep the basics in order: Name and contact information should be clearly visible, headings should be highlighted in bolds, font style should be similar throughout & use bullets.
Include a summary section: A summary section is a short paragraph at the beginning that gives your career overview and highlights skills and experience. It gives the hiring managers a glimpse into your profile.
Use reverse chronological order: To showcase your work experience, begin with the most recent relevant experience and proceed backward.
Include credible references: Supporting your work experience with references adds credibility to your resume.
Do not misrepresent your education or job experience: Misleading information about your education or experience will not only give a wrong impression but also lead to loss of credibility.
Avoid lengthy paragraphs: Be selective with presenting information and don’t lose an otherwise interested reader with lengthy, dense paragraphs and long lists of items.
Do not give reasons for leaving each job: This can be a discussion either in the interview, but you don’t need to include that information in your resume.
Do not get too personal: Limit personal information like your marital status, religious affiliation or family details to avoid any bias on the reader’s mind.
Do not list past/current salary information: Salary discussions should always be a discussion between the employer and job applicant. It need not be provided in your resume.