The goal of fashioning a resume is to get you to the interview table and help you land a job.
In the 3 stage job winning process that involves sending a resume, getting shortlisted, and then nailing the interview, a resume plays a vital role in ensuring that you clear the preliminary round and get the chance to duel it out with the interviewing panel one-to-one.
Clearly, a resume is important and you need to perfect it to land more shortlists.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Research your target job and fashion your resume accordingly
Most recruiters have cited irrelevance as a major factor for dismissing candidates. Your job is to demonstrate that you matter by showcasing your relevance for the target job.
Getting shortlisted for a sought-after job in your industry demands that you address the needs of the job in the first place. You need to show that your skill-sets and expertise aligns with the hiring needs of the company and that you have the potential to deliver results.
So the first tip to writing a shortlist-worthy resume is to tailor your resume according to the job that you are targeting. Say goodbye to the redundant practice of sending one basic resume to every job that catches your eye.
A one-for-all approach to job hunting does not work.
Remember that while drafting your resume to make a unique resume for each job.
Use relevant keywords that match your functional skills and expertise
A great resume practice that has the potential to land you straight to the interview table is making use of relevant keywords.
Keywords are specific hiring criteria that most companies highlight in the job description for the position they are seeking to fill.
These keywords or hiring criteria can range from educational qualifications, to work experience, to specific skill sets to certifications needed to be considered eligible for the job.
You need to identify them and use keywords that match your functional skills and professional expertise. By highlighting keywords in your resume, you are giving a recruiter a very good reason to shortlist you as you will be able to show that you meet the minimum criteria.
Now that this is sorted, let us now move on to the next.
Write an impactful summary that highlights the pros of hiring you
This needs to be said:
A summary is not a shopping list of things that you expect out of the company you wish to work at.
Instead, it is a skill statement that should seamlessly communicate that you are the ‘ideal candidate’ for the job. It needs to articulate your achievements and demonstrate that hiring you is an investment because of the ways in which you can profit the hiring company.
Here are some tips to making an impactful summary:
- Draft your summary at the end. Doing so ensures that you are best able to comprehend the highlights of your career trajectory which makes it easy for you to write an informative summary.
- Highlight your achievements and draw a connection between your industry expertise and the results that you were able to bring with it.
Here’s an example of what an impeccable summary on resume for a Content Writer looks like:
“5+ years certified Creative Writer with proven expertise in working across domains encompassing the retail, advertisement, and marketing industry. Adept at fashioning engaging and plagiarism free articles at the stipulated time period. Proficient in organically incorporating both long tail and short tail keywords in articles and optimizing content for SEO. Lingual in the art of copywriting, copyediting, and generating catchy titles and blurbs for advertisement pieces for the target audience”.
Use numbers to articulate the utility of your professional expertise
Recruiters are obsessed with numbers.
They are not concerned with the work that you did as part of your job on a day to day basis.
That you can code is a given for a data science job. Similarly, the gift of writing keyword optimized articles is expected of a writer. Specifying these basic must-haves will do nothing to get a job.
Point is, your resume should not state the obvious. It should indulge in the practice of glorifying the utility of your skills & professional expertise.
Being lingual in a skill is not enough if it does not amount to profitability for the company.
For example, a company has no use for writers whose SEO writing skills does not lead to an increase in website traffic or engagement over time. Similarly, a company has no use for ML Engineers who make predictive models that do not seem to solve a business problem.
Thus, you should compose your roles & responsibilities in such a way that you are able to demonstrate the relevance of your skills. Using numbers to quantify your achievements is a great place to start.
- Revamped website content & incorporated keywords leading to a 30% increase in website traffic
In the above example, not only is the professional showing their website content writing and keyword using abilities, but they are also able to show how this expertise helped the company grow. Here, the professional’s efforts led to a boost in website traffic a.k.a visitors to the website by 30%.
Write an accurate profile title
While this may seem like obvious advice, it is important that you write your profile title correctly in your resume. It needs to accurately communicate your professional identity.
A great way to ensure this is to state it as it is.
If you’re an ‘Finance Analyst’ in a firm, your profile title should read ‘Finance Analyst’. Do not meddle with it or overly exaggerate your profile title by writing ‘Finance Consultant’.
Everyone knows that a consultant is a more senior position in a finance firm than an analyst.
Some professionals fall into the temptation of tweaking their profile titles to simply be considered eligible for a job they are not qualified for.
This is a malpractice you should not follow as it only hurts your reputation in the long run. Moreover, you might get blacklisted by some companies as they tend to see this as a serious offense.
So stay away from engaging in this practice and write your profile title as it is.
To sum up, writing a shortlist-worthy resume demands that you:
- Customize your resume according to the needs of the particular job you are targeting.
- Use keywords in a resume as long as they match with your skill sets.
- Write a compelling summary that demonstrates your suitability for the job.
- Use performance figures to show the extent of your professional contributions.
- Write an accurate profile title.